Bariatric Surgery: Myths & Facts

Posted On Jun 01, 2022

Dr. Surendra Jasti

Consultant - Gastrointestinal Surgery and Bariatric Surgery

Manipal Super Speciality Hospitals-Vijayawada

Bariatric Surgery in Vijayawada

With the rising prevalence of obesity, which is quickly becoming an epidemic in India, the necessity of weight loss procedures is surging sharply. As per research, around 30.5% and 9.5% of men will be overweight and obese, respectively, in the country by 2040. Furthermore, as per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) of 2016, around 18.6% of men and 20.7% of women in the 15-49 age group in India are overweight.

While intermittent fasting, consuming a low-carb and high-protein diet and exercising regularly are usually recommended for reducing weight and becoming healthier, these lifestyle changes do little to lessen the risks of various life-threatening health problems – heart disease/stroke, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes – in people with severe obesity. 

Additionally, in such cases, conventional methods of weight management don’t succeed as severely obese people find it difficult to perform high-intensity physical exercises and experience reduced satiation due to changes in their diets, thus making bariatric surgery the only viable solution for reducing weight. However, despite being proved as a life-saver for an overwhelmingly large number of people struggling with severe obesity, a cloud of myths and uncertainties still surrounds these procedures. 

Thus, to raise awareness about bariatric surgeries and tackle the obesity epidemic currently spreading in the country, it is necessary to separate fact from fiction and sift what’s right from what’s not. 

Myth 1: Consuming less food and exercising more is all you need to do to lose weight.

Fact: Recent research has found that obesity is a complex disorder that involves multiple biological, genetic, psychological, metabolic, cultural and economic factors, rather than a condition simply exacerbated by consuming unhealthy foods and a lack of self-control. Moreover, when people reduce weight by only making dietary changes, their bodies compensate by going through several biological changes, such as a slower metabolism and excessive eating, which persist for a long period of time. This is why people generally regain weight after losing it. 

Myth 2: Bariatric Surgery is not safe.

Fact: While some complications and risks are associated with all surgeries, the probability of suffering from a bariatric procedure is significantly lower than in other surgeries. Moreover, the chances of suffering from bariatric surgery are considerably lower than from severe obesity, which usually leads to several chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cancer. Additionally, a person who has undergone bariatric surgery may be able to dismiss or reduce prescriptions for various health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart diseases. If you have any queries related to bariatric surgery then consult with the gastroenterologist in Vijayawada.

Myth 3: Bariatric surgery offers a quick fix.

Fact: A bariatric surgery requires a long commitment, with around 4-6 months of planning prior to the procedure, multiple examinations and several consultations with a dietician, physicians and an exercise physiologist. Further, patients are advised to maintain a highly structured daily routine for fluid and food consumption, exercise and other lifestyle adjustments consistently for a long period of time after a bariatric procedure to achieve improved long-term health. 

Myth 4: Bariatric Surgery would help you get a toned physique.

Fact: While a bariatric procedure would undoubtedly help you lose weight, it would not help you achieve a toned physique. Moreover, the amount of weight a person would lose after undergoing a bariatric surgery would depend on the type of surgery, gender, age, initial weight, health condition and activity level. On average, a person can expect to lose around 30-65% of their extra body weight but making dietary changes and other lifestyle adjustments would help the person surpass this level. 

Bariatric surgeons define success as lifestyle improvements and better health rather than a toned physique, which majorly depends on where the journey began and thus, may not be a realistic goal for a lot of patients.

While a bariatric surgery will, unquestionably, help you lose weight, it should be combined with necessary lifestyle changes, such as consuming a healthy diet and exercising regularly, to achieve better long-term health.

Manipal Hospital is the bariatric surgery hospital in Vijayawada equipped with world-class facilities and technologies and has highly qualified gastro doctors in Vijayawada who are expert in treating all gastroenterology conditions.

Dr. Surendra Jasti

Consultant - Gastrointestinal & General Surgeon

Manipal Hospital Vijayawada

Call Us