THE COMPLETE PATIENT’S GUIDE TO BARIATRIC SURGERY

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BARIATRIC SURGERY GETS A BAD RAP

Bariatric surgery gets a bad rap. And it makes sense.

Tell your friends or family members that you are considering bariatric surgery and you usually get a response like this; ‘You don’t need surgery. You’re not that fat. You can do it the natural way.’

Your friends and family members care about you. But they are scared, misinformed and sometimes even a tad bit jealous. They aren’t trying to make you feel bad. But they’ve heard stories.

Here’s the thing about stories; stories are only as good as the details. ‘Ann had bariatric surgery and lost 150 pounds. She completely got off all her meds and she no longer has diabetes.’ That’s a true but very boring story.

This story is much more interesting and something you might even share with a friend; ‘Jane tried to lose weight the ‘easy way.’ Yep, she had that Lap Band thing. Well she almost died on the operating table. For an entire year, she could only drink water and eat baby food. Then she gained it all back! I just saw her drinking a coke and eating a donut. Man, people just want the easy way out.’

It’s stories like these that give all of bariatric surgery a bad rap. And while some of those scary stories are true, most of them are embellished, changed, and outright gossip.

Some patients do regain weight years after bariatric surgery. It’s typically not the surgery that failed, but instead the patient or bariatric program that failed. Failure (inadequate weight loss) typically happens for two reasons:

  • Lack of pre and post-operative education and support (the bariatric program’s fault if these weren’t offered) or…
  • Lack of implementation (the patient never changed their lifestyle by not taking advantage of the education and support offered).
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