weight loss surgery myths
Over the years, we have heard it all at
Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery. Myths, misconceptions, and rumors abound when it comes to weight loss surgery. In this article, we will clear some of these up and provide you with the truth about what to expect before, during, and after surgery.

Weight Loss Surgery Myths

The first thing we want to make sure everyone understands is that weight loss surgery is just the beginning. It’s the first step of what will be a long journey to better health, and it takes a major commitment on your part to maintain. When you succeed, the reward and feeling of accomplishment is HUGE!

Myth #1: Weight loss surgery is dangerous

Studies have shown that the risk for weight loss surgery is about the same as a routine gallbladder surgery. Every surgery does carry some risks, but recent advances in techniques and technology, including taking a minimally invasive approach, make weight loss surgery a very safe option.

Myth #2: If you diet and exercise, there’s no reason for surgery

Diet and exercise are important, and that is all it takes for some people. However, it’s not enough for others, especially those with other health conditions or those who are extremely obese. The fact is, surgery is an important tool that can help people lose weight, but making healthy choices is necessary to keep that weight off.

Myth 3: Weight loss surgery is a quick, easy fix

Surgery is the first step in a weight loss journey. It is not quick or easy. You will go through a pre-procedure process to prepare, undergo the surgery itself, recover from your surgery, and then you will have a stringent diet and exercise plan to follow for several months. Even after your initial weight loss in the first year or so after surgery, continuing to eat healthy and exercising will continue to be a part of your life in order to maintain your weight loss.

Myth #4: Most people gain the weight back

After weight loss surgery, you may lose anywhere from 50 to 100 pounds in the first year. Long-term studies have shown that 10 years after a procedure, more patients have kept the weight off when compared to patients who have lost weight without surgery. Again, it does take commitment and work, but for those who follow through, regaining weight is not common.

Myth #5: Surgery leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies

There are different types of weight loss surgery. Some do change the way the body absorbs vitamins and minerals, and deficiencies can happen. This side effect is preventable by using supplements after surgery. In your follow-up care, we will do regular testing to check vitamin and mineral levels to make sure this does not happen.

Myth #6: You can’t have children after weight loss surgery

We do typically advise patients not to get pregnant within the first two years after weight loss surgery, so this is a consideration for some. This is because the intent of surgery is to induce weight loss, while the opposite happens during pregnancy. But the surgery itself does not affect the ability to become pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term at all.

Myth #7: Insurance won’t cover weight loss surgery

In many instances, insurance does cover weight loss surgery. Coverage varies from state to state and company to company. You do need to meet certain requirements for insurance to cover the surgery, and the process may take longer when you must qualify for coverage. Even without insurance, many of our patients find that our surgeries are affordable when paying out of pocket.

Myth 8: Weight loss surgery means a long hospital stay and recovery time

When taking a minimally invasive approach like we do at Birmingham Minimally Invasive, there is no need for long stays in the hospital. Some surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis, or there may be a one or two-night stay required. You will have a much shorter recovery time as well due to our minimally invasive approach. Exact recovery time will depend on your starting weight and other health conditions you may have. 

We hope you will always be open with us in asking questions and confirming myths or rumors you may have heard. Remember, every person and their situation is unique so what a friend or colleague experiences may not be what you will experience. We love working with each individual patient to come up with a plan that’s tailored to specific needs and goals.