Obesity is defined as the excess amount of body fat. The scientific method of measuring obesity is called body mass index (BMI), calculated based on the ethnicity, height, weight and age of a person. In India, the normal BMI is between 18.5 and 23. Anything between 23 and 27 is termed as overweight and above 27 is termed as obese. Obesity is caused due to genetics or hereditary and also due to consumption of high amount fast food, high calorie junk food, soda, overly sweetened desserts, etc. It also has a lot to do with hormonal imbalance.
Bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery is performed on people who have very high BMIs of 35-40. Such BMIs can be life threatening. There are three types of bariatric surgeries performed. The first surgery is done using a gastric band with the help of staples. This method is called Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB). The second method is done by removing a portion of the stomach and is called sleeve gastrectomy. The last is done by resecting or re-routing the small intestines to a small stomach pouch. All the above procedures aim at reducing the size of the stomach, thereby, reducing the intake of food.
According to the international standards, bariatric surgery has recorded a mortality rate of less than 1%, hence, making it one of the safest and most effective surgeries. However, the patient needs to be thoroughly analysed and determined as fit and healthy for operation. This means, if a patient has diabetes, BP issues, hypertension or cardiac issues, they should be treated first before opting for a bariatric surgery. In rare cases, the surgery might have some diverse effects.
With bariatric surgery, the patient can lose up to 60-80% of their excess body fat within two years. But, the benefits of bariatric surgery are not limited to just weight loss. It also helps patients resolve other diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases and many more. As a matter of fact, the surgery helps cure diabetic patients for good. The bariatric surgeons (Dr. Ashwin and Dr. Shuboi) stated that the surgery can be opted as an alternate cure for diabetes as it can cure diabetes up to 80% and reduce the intake of diabetic medicines up to 20%. Dr. Ashwin added that the surgical results were better for a younger patient, owing to the advantage of younger metabolism, higher resistance, stronger antibodies and hormonal factors.
Bariatric surgery probably has the fastest recovery times for a patient to get back on his feet. Post operation, he/she needs bed rest for about four days and in just 7-10 days, the patient can regain normalcy, i.e., travelling to office and engaging in other daily activities. A minimalistic bariatric surgery may cost around 2-3 lakh rupees including medicines. If the patient requires additional comfort such as a private hospital room, a personal medical assistant, etc., the price may increase accordingly.
It depends on previous excess weight. We advise patients to strictly follow a healthy diet and exercise daily in order to achieve an optimal weight loss result. Patients need to realize that it’s a life-long commitment and must be taken seriously. An alternate way to lose weight can be achieved by taking medicines. However, the results may not be as effective or long-lasting as achieved through bariatric surgery.