Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker
Bariatric and advanced laparoscopic surgeon, Mumbai
Obesity is defined as a condition where a patient has accumulated so much body fat that it may have a negative impact on their health. A person is considered to be obese if their body mass index (BMI) is greater than 27.5 kg/m2. Bariatric surgery is a treatment option for patients suffering from clinically severe obesity and currently this is the only modality for sustained weight loss in this group of patients. Anyone with a BMI more than 37.5 kg/m2 qualifies for bariatric surgery. patients with BMI more than 32.5 kg/m2 with two obesity related diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obstructive sleep apnoea, joint pains, gout, PCOD or infertility etc also qualify for surgery.
Unfortunately, today there are many myths about bariatric surgery in India and this article attempts to clear those myths and present the facts in a lucid manner.
|Bariatric surgery is a cosmetic procedure done for making the patient look better||Bariatric surgery is performed for the treatment of clinically severe obesity. It is not a cosmetic procedure. Not only does it lead to massive weight loss but it also leads to improvement in obesity related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnoea, high cholesterol, gout, joint pains, PCOD, infertility etc.|
|Bariatric surgery is the same as liposuction or tummy tuck||Liposuction and tummy tucks are superficial and localized cosmetic procedures, primarily performed to improve the appearance of the patient. After these procedures patients lose only about 5 to 10 kg of their weight and do not experience any kind of improvement in the above-mentioned diseases related to obesity. Patients also tend to regain the lost weight early on.
Bariatric surgery, on the other hand is a gastro-intestinal surgery with a central action. Patients lose up to 70% of their excess body weight after this surgery. They also experience a significant improvement in other diseases. Weight loss is sustained for a much longer period of time after bariatric surgery.
|Bariatric surgery leads to extreme weakness||Bariatric surgery in India is performed by the key hole method- laparoscopically. Recovery is much faster and patients are usually discharged one day later. Most patients get back to work within one week after surgery. As the food intake is restricted, patients need to be on nutritional supplements like multi-vitamins, calcium, iron and protein. Supplementation protocols depend on the type of surgery you have undergone. Compliance to nutritional supplementation and adequate hydration is a must and prevents weakness after surgery. Patients are also advised to do their investigations at regular intervals to avoid any kind of nutritional deficiencies. Regular follow up is a must after any kind of bariatric surgery and is the key to success.|
|One cannot eat anything after bariatric surgery||All bariatric procedures lead to restriction of food intake. In the first 3 to 6 months, restriction is higher. It is advisable to have small frequent meals to keep up the nutritional intake. As time goes by, food intake increases gradually and patients are able to eat better quantities. It is also important to pay attention to quality of food being consumed after surgery.|
|Patients can regain all the lost weight in a few years||Bariatric surgery in Mumbai leads to massive weight loss in the first 2 years. Most patients lose up to 70% of their excess during this time. However, like in the management of any other chronic disease, lifestyle modification is an important part of management of obesity. Patients who embrace lifestyle modification get better weight loss results in the long term. Not all patients regain weight.|
|Bariatric surgery has a high complication rate||Bariatric surgery is safe. The complication rate of bariatric surgery is much lesser than many other surgeries done for cancer or heart. The risk of complications is the same as that in knee replacement surgery or gall bladder surgery. The mortality rate after bariatric surgery is less than 0.5%|