Struggling with obesity is a tiresome endeavor made all the more frustrating by the startling amount of misinformation so often preached as fact. Fad diets, weight loss pills, miracle cures, and various other remedies that amount to nothing more than snake oil abound, creating a confusing miasma of misinformation that must be waded through before one can make an informed decision. Weight loss surgery is no exception; many people peddle falsehoods about lap band surgery, gastric sleeves, and gastric balloons, making it extremely hard to make an informed decision. So: what is fact, and what’s blatant fiction?
You’ll Gain Back the Weight You Lose
A huge amount of hesitation toward a surgical fix for obesity comes in the form of an oft-repeated warning that the weight loss is not permanent. This myth is rooted in reality: the lap band is not a cure-all, but needs to be paired with a commitment to eating healthily and working toward weight loss. The surgery is more of a catalyst than an outright fix, helping to increase the effectiveness of lifestyle changes that may have previously had no effect.
The Rapid Weight Loss is Unhealthy
This is patently false, first and foremost because lap band surgery doesn’t cause “rapid” weight loss. The target goal of 2-3 pounds per week may sound drastic, but is in fact a reasonable and healthy objective.
The Gastric Sleeve is Better
There’s no right or wrong here, as this myth boils down to: what’s “better” is what’s best for you. There are a number of pros and cons for both procedures; a conversation with your doctor can help you come to a decision on what route will work best for you. While the gastric sleeve reports more rapid weight loss, the process is irreversible and much more intrusive than a lap band, with more risks associated. A recent survey in Obesity News Today found that lap band surgery was mentioned favorably 13 times as often as gastric bypass; however, every case is unique, and what may be most efficacious for one person may not be for another.
Bariatric Surgery is Extremely Risky
While all surgeries have associated risks, lap band surgery is minimally invasive, most often done laparoscopically, or with a thin tube, inserted through mini-incisions. This means quick recovery time, less pain, and minimal scarring.
Weight loss surgery is an intimidating process; going in armed with facts will help alleviate a lot of nerves generated by misinformation. Anyone considering one of these procedures should be sure to conduct their own thorough research and have a comprehensive conversation with their doctor about associated risks, benefits, and possible alternatives that may better suit their case.