Using bariatric surgery to fight obesity

Using bariatric surgery to fight obesity

Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker
Bariatric and Laparoscopic Surgeon

In the last week amongst the other patients I saw, there was one with a history of a stroke a few days back, one with a history of stroke, 2 years ago and a young lady with a condition called intracranial hypertension.

The one common factor between all three patients was, that all of them suffered from morbid obesity or clinically severe obesity, as it is called now.

The thing about obesity is that it is wrongly perceived as a sign of good health and a well to do economic status, atleast in India. However once people crossover from the overweight to the obese category, which is somewhere around a BMI of 29 to 30 or so, they tend to put on weight faster.

As the BMI continues to increase, obesity gradually starts affecting each and every part of the human body. Diabetes, high blood pressure and dyslipidemia are the big three that alongwith obesity form the metabolic syndrome. Eventually these together increase the risk of having cardiovascular events. Stroke is one of them.

Coming to the treatment part. Bariatric surgery is recommended for patients suffering from clinically severe obesity if their BMI is greater than 35. It can also be considered as a treatment option for patients with a BMI more than 32.5 with two or more associated diseases. As of now it is the only valid treatment option that leads to sustained weight loss in this patient population.

As a bariatric surgeon, I see many such patients on a daily basis. I also usually see that these patients and their families are very scared of getting the surgery done. There are many myths and many detractors who prevent these patients from getting treated on time.

Now here is the thing about treatment of any disease. Firstly, one needs to recognize that he or she is suffering from a disease. Secondly, get one or may be two expert opinions from qualified professionals and specialists about the best way forward. Thirdly, plan the entire process, prepare well and get it done. Last but not the least, dont delay the treatment. Every treatment works best in the early stages of a disease. Every single day that you delay, you are allowing the disease, time to grow and decreasing the chances of curing it.

Problems like stroke, heart related issues, embolism etc are life threatening complications of obesity. Dont let it grow to this extent.

Getting timely treatment can save your life and also improve your quality of life. Consult the right doctor at the earliest. Please dont miss the bus.

Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker
Bariatric and Laparoscopic Surgeon

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