Debunking Five Common Bariatric Surgery Myths


By Ayotunde Adeyeri, MD, FASMBS

Medical Director – Sterling Surgicare

Hackensack Meridian Health


I could easily spend the rest of my days debunking false information about obesity and bariatric weight loss surgery. I’ve listed the top five incorrect assumptions about weight loss surgery below and explain why they are incorrect:

  1. Myth: Bariatric surgery is the ‘easy way out’

Fact: Obesity is a medical condition caused by genetics, metabolism, lifestyle choices, endocrine disorders, other medical conditions and medications. People with the chronic disease of obesity resist traditional weight loss through standard diet and exercise.

  1. Myth: Bariatric surgery is a risky operation

Fact: Bariatric surgery carries a remarkably low mortality range between 0.03% and 0.2% (National Library of Medicine 2022). Compared to the health risks associated with severe obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, cardiac conditions, and elevated cancer risk, the benefits of surgical weight loss are clear.

  1. Myth: After bariatric surgery, I can eat whatever I want in smaller portions.

Fact: Even before surgery, our patients commit to long-term lifestyle improvements to speed weight loss and maintain it for life. Working with a bariatric nutritionist, you’ll learn that sugar and processed foods consumed in the past are no longer necessary. Former cravings for these foods also decrease significantly.

  1. Myth: If my gastric band (lap band) failed, I have no other bariatric options.

Fact: Revision bariatric surgery offers an alternative. This procedure transforms the lap band into a more efficient gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, often suitable for patients who faced complications, didn’t achieve their weight goals, regained weight, or struggled with lap-band maintenance requirements.

  1. Myth: Gastric sleeve and gastric bypass require a prolonged recovery.

Fact: Today’s bariatric surgery uses a minimally-invasive surgical approach consisting of small incisions, significantly speeding up recovery time, reducing blood loss and post-operative pain. Most patients are hospitalized for 1-3 days and return to work in about a month, dependent on their overall health and the physical requirements of their jobs.

Anytime you read or receive questionable or confusing information about weight loss, obesity or bariatric surgery, feel free to reach out to our Sterling Surgicare bariatric team for reliable and up-to-the-minute guidance. Dr. Adeyeri is an in-network provider for several medical insurance companies including Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ. Call 732-217-3897 to learn more and schedule a prompt consultation.