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Recently I read about a new study that links increased risk for colon cancer with weight loss surgery. I thought it was important to share this information with you, because it seems to me that information about the possible negative side effects of weight loss surgery is so often buried in the general media. And I think the positive effects of weight loss surgery are often blown out of proportion in the media as well.
That’s not to say that I have any interest in telling you what to do with your body. It’s YOURS. You should do whatever you think is best. However, with over 100,000 weight loss surgeries performed in the US annually, I know that weight loss surgery is big business, and therefore, there are large financial incentives for certain companies to suppress information about the potential unfortunate side effects from these surgeries. So I’d like to provide a few links to some of information about weight loss surgery that is not supported by those who profit from it. And hopefully I can help “balance the scales” a little bit.
To be clear, one of the potential side effects of this surgery is death. To be sure, there is a risk of death from any surgery. But there is growing concern that the risks of weight loss surgery are often underplayed and that the evidence often cited concerning the potential upside to weight loss surgery (including savings in medical costs and lives) is deeply flawed. It is also really important to understand that weight loss surgery is not a miracle cure, and it isn’t always the patient’s fault when things go wrong. It seems that weight loss surgery is often treated like other weight loss techniques in that success is usually attributed to the surgery and failure is usually blamed on the patient. Thus many who have negative experiences with weight loss surgery are often shamed and ridiculed and even asked to leave public forums where they might share their stories. That’s why I think it’s important to share this link to a site dedicated to those who wish to share their stories about complications arising from weight loss surgery. I think people who are considering weight loss surgery are provided with plenty of links to people often still experiencing the “honeymoon glow” of the initial weight loss. But I think if you are considering this important life-changing step, you should also have access to a few of the heartbreaking stories of those who have not had such a wonderful experience.
To reiterate. I am not telling you that you should or should not have weight loss surgery. It is your body and your decision. Clearly some people feel that the surgery has had a positive effect in their life and there are plenty of places where you can read about that. I know people who have had the surgery and are glad they did. But I have also known and cared for people who have died from these procedures. I know people who have had these procedures and didn’t feel they were told the truth about what to expect. I know people who felt that the potential downside was significantly underplayed and wish that they were given more balanced information before they had the surgery. I simply wish to provide a few links that will hopefully help provide that balance.
The Fat Chick