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Stigma may keep people from getting weight loss surgery



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“Most obese patients who qualify for weight loss surgery don’t seek it out, and that may be due at least partly to stigma, a U.S. survey suggests.”

“Nearly half of randomly-chosen survey participants said they believe the procedure is usually done for cosmetic rather than health reasons, and about 40 percent thought people who choose the surgery have taken “the easy way out,” …”

“This is actually a problem with physicians, too. Often they give patients advice to lose weight, but they don’t refer the patient to a weight loss specialist.”

Stigma May Keep People From Getting Weight Loss Surgery

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-obesity-surgery-attitudes/stigma-may-keep-people-from-getting-weight-loss-surgery-idUSKBN1OC2JF

Weight Loss Surgery Carries 'Easy Way Out' Stigma

https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/news/20181212/weight-loss-surgery-carries-easy-way-out-stigma#1

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2 hours ago, Missouri-Lee's Summit said:

“This is actually a problem with physicians, too. Often they give patients advice to lose weight, but they don’t refer the patient to a weight loss specialist.”

I found this to be true. My family Dr advised me to lose weight with diet and exercise. I was not given a diet plan or a referral to a dietician. He never mentioned bariatrics as an option.

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My physician didn't want me to have the surgery. He said that its too permanent and that there were too many sacrifices I'd have to live with the rest of my life. He then went on to say I need to diet and exercise and that I just needed to make life long changes to my lifestyle. So I told him I'd rather make the changes and sacrifices that lead to EFFECTIVE LONG TERM weight loss. It was a long, frustrating appointment. There were tears. But I finally got him on board. Thank goodness I did tons of research myself before approaching him and had an arsenal of information all ready to go.

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I think this is quite likely true. I didn't find that bias with my docs though. My oncologist is the one who kept pressing me to get surgery--for 2 years he worked on me to convince me of the need. My other docs deferred to comment and just told me it had to be my full decision.

Quite honestly, until the onc told me the first time, I hadn't realized it would "be that easy to qualify" and get covered by insurance. Sounds cray, I know, but it's true.

I think sometimes we don't know or don't have the money for a major surgery.

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Shockingly neither my regular doctor nor my cardiologist ever suggested WLS. I’m 5’7” and have been over 300lbs for over 10 years. (Highest weight was 365). When I mentioned it to both of them (needed clearance from both for the surgery) they were both onboard right away. I wonder why they never mentioned it to me themselves. Maybe male doctors feel weird bringing WLS up to their female patients?!??

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Not the ones I have met over the years. Some even took fiendish glee remarking on my size. I didn't know I was permitted to protest either. My OB- Gyn's junior partner informed I was so obese I shouldn't have been able to conceive. At this time I was 8.5 months pregnant. Although my real OB was senior partner, the last 2 appointments in their practice you had to be seen by the other partners, just in case when you went into labor one of the others was on call. I just had enough presence of mind to say" Gee I so wish you had told my husband and I that fact and I wouldn't be upon this exam table!" Sure enough Dr Smart- mouth was on call when labor started, I left my apartment and walked and walked and walked around my complex until he was off. Ding Dang sure he would not be touching my lady parts again!

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My PCP, a relatively young woman, recommended the VGS to me. It took me about a year to decide to do it, after watching several friends have successful VGS procedures. My psychiatrist, a Yale doctor in his 80s told me he thought it was a great idea when I asked him. He knew I had lost 80 lbs on Phentermine, fought to keep it off, and gained it back. He told me he recommended it to other patients. My BMI was 40 and I had zero push back from the medical community.

And about it being the easy way out? I pay someone to clean my house. I just ordered groceries to be delivered. I don't think this is the easy way out, but if it is, BRING IT.

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I was constantly told to lose weight by doctors but WLS was never suggested. I should have had the surgery 10-15 years ago, and the stigma absolutely pushed me away from it. I was ashamed that I couldn't do it on my own I guess...and yet I didn't think a bit less of anyone else who had it. I am only 7 weeks out but I can already tell that I made the right decision and I wish I would have done it sooner instead of spending my youth obese, unhealthy and unhappy. I missed out on so many things because of my obesity.

I don't see this changing in the near future, at least not in the United States. People are extremely judgemental and have a punitive attitude when it comes to medical intervention. You see that attitude not only toward obesity but also addiction, pain management and mental illness. I get enraged every time I see someone post something on social media about "You don't need antidepressants, you need running shoes." People think if they just eat enough kale and do enough crossfit that there is no need for a flu shot. People are even judgemental when it comes to cancer! I am all for natural remedies when possible but I am incredibly grateful to live in an age of modern medical interventions and I will absolutely use any tools I can to make myself healthier and happier.

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My former primary care doc told me he preferred “more conservative methods” and I just needed to watch my portions. My current primary care didn’t suggest weight loss surgery, but was totally on board when I brought it up.

My cardiologist strongly suggested that I look into doing it. Eventually, I’ll need to have my aortic valve replaced, thanks to drawing what’s likely a genetic short straw, but he said losing weight could lengthen the amount of time before needing the replacement surgery. I think I ignored it at the time, but he’s the only one whoever brought it up.

I don’t understand why doctors do not mention it to patients who have weight related illnesses or health problems, especially if they are advising them they need to lose weight. They really ought to provide more guidance/options for losing weight.

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My OBGYN mentioned bypass to me numerous times, even when I was much smaller. I found it sort of offensive at the time. SO many people think it's an easy way out... but this is a billion times harder than any diet. Because with a diet, you can always slide off the ride if you really want to. There's no sliding off this ride... without serious repercussions. This is the strictest regimen I've ever followed and I've certainly never had complications from "mere" dieting.

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I use to think that wls was the easy way out until I started doing more research and my bmi was over 40. I think doctors don't bring it up because being obese is a big money maker in the medical field. The more you weigh more than likely you will suffer from different ailments that are costly. So why would they want you to lose weight super fast. They want that money coming in for a long time. I'm so glad my doctor approved my wls surgery but I'm kind of mad he didn't reccomend it in the first place..

Sent from my SM-G955U using BariatricPal mobile app

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On 12/26/2018 at 2:26 AM, Healthy_life said:

family Dr advised me to lose weight - . He never mentioned bariatrics as an option.

@Healthy_life

same with my doc - he told me to watch what i eat. (like i didn't know that!!) i guess its not really his responsibility to suggest the surgery, but it sure would have been nice.

One day. at an appt., i asked his opinion about WLS, he said that i would be a great candidate. Good idea!! hmm, wish he had suggested before. Least there was one smart cookie in the office!!😉

kathy

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Very similar to my experience. My doctor never mentioned weight loss surgery to me, but when I brought it up, he was 100% on board with it.

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One doctor of mine brought up my weight, he had been given a number of saxenda supplies by a rep for him to distribute to patients (bearing in mind that one of the doctor's speciaility's was diabetes 2) to trial for a month. My blood glucose levels were up, I was happy to try, I had been concerned about my weight and failing many times to lose. Saxenda wasn't for me, it made my dry mouth worse. It was also going to be quite expensive if I had continued with it.

My other doctor had really discussed my weight except in relation to high blood pressure and cholestrol levels, but when I asked for a referral for a gastric balloon, he was happy to give me one (I didn't go through with that, I didn't like the specialist). A couple of years later I asked for a referral for a band (didn't go through with that either (the (different) specialist gave me a book about life with a band, scared me off the idea of a band). Fast forward to March/April 2018 I asked once again for a referral, this time for an Endscopic Sleeve Gastroplastry (ESG), again I had the referral, this time I did proceed :) Never once though did he express concern about my ever increasing weight, to be honest I am not sure how I would have taken it if he had, however, he was always happy to give me the referrals. My experience with the saxenda was probably half way between the band referral and the ESG referral.

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