Common myths about bariatric surgery

Learn the common myths and truth about bariatric surgery from Dawn Vergin, MEd, RD, a Clinical Registered Dietitian at Ascension Michigan Weight Loss.

If you are considering bariatric surgery you may have unknowingly heard some common myths, which may impact you from making an informed decision. To help you determine if bariatric surgery is right for you, below are some common concerns we often hear: 

  • People should just diet and exercise to lose weight. The disease of obesity makes it very difficult for some people to lose weight, even with diet and exercise.
  • Bariatric surgery is dangerous. There are risks associated with any surgery, but advances in technology have reduced the risks of bariatric surgery. Most bariatric surgeries are now done laparoscopically, which can also reduce recovery time. The disease of obesity increases health risks of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. 
  • After bariatric surgery, I no longer have to diet to manage my weight. Bariatric surgery is only one part of a lifetime of lifestyle changes to manage obesity. Surgery is a tool to help you lose weight. If healthy food choices are not followed after surgery, a patient can regain weight.
  • Bariatric surgery is expensive. Most insurances will cover bariatric surgery for people with a body mass index (BMI) over 40, or with a BMI of 35-40 with certain health conditions.
  • Everyone gains weight back after bariatric surgery. When patients commit to positive lifestyle changes, including appropriate nutritional and exercise plans established by their care team, they are more successful at maintaining a healthier body weight.
  • Bariatric surgery causes vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Bariatric surgeries vary and some will reduce the body's ability to absorb some nutrients. Deficiencies can be avoided by regular use of vitamin and mineral supplements. We closely monitor your vitamin and mineral status through blood work and make adjustments with supplements as needed to keep our patients well nourished.
  • My skin will sag after bariatric surgery. Everyone is different in how their skin responds to quick weight loss.

Bariatric surgery can be a successful way to manage your weight long term and reduce some health conditions. In fact, in 2019 there were more than 256,000 bariatric surgeries performed just in the United States. Ascension Weight Loss Program care teams are available to you before and after your weight loss journey to help you reach your goals. To reach our care teams, visit