Obesity has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. Today India stands third after USA and China in the list of top ten obese countries and is second only to China in Diabetes. 30 Million of India’s adult population is either overweight or obese and 62 million is diabetic.
WHAT IS OBESITY: It is a chronic disease of excess fat storage due to various causes. Calories from food if not burnt by physical labour get converted into fat which is then stored.
WHICH PERSON IS OBESE: Depending on an individual’s Body Mass Index which is basically a ratio of height and weight calculated as Weight (Kg) / Height (metre2). BMI of more than 23 Kg/m2 is overweight and more than 27.5 Kg/m2 is obese.
WHAT IS MORBID OBESITY: Obesity leading to other diseases e.g. High BP, Diabetes, Respiratory and sleep disturbances, Joint Pains, dyslipidaemias, hypothyroidism, menstrual disturbances, infertility and cancer which are commonly associated with Severe Obesity (BMI > 32.5 Kg/m2) and Morbid Obesity (BMI > 37.5 Kg/m2).
DO YOU NEED SURGERY TO LOOSE WEIGHT: Severely and Morbidly Obese individuals need Bariatric procedure to loose excess weight, maintain long term weight loss and also get rid off associated diseases. These procedures are more than 60 years old and have stood the test of time.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER OPTIONS: Exercise, Diet and Life style changes are the options in overweight and obese individuals (BMI < 32.5 Kg/m2). Higher BMI individuals need surgery as either they are unable to endure physical exercises or are suffering from various co morbidities. Forced dieting leads to periods of indulgence causing rebound and one typically ends up gaining even more weight.
ARE SLIMMING PILLS SAFE: No medications are safe in the long run and can even lead to serious complications. Medications stand nowhere compared to surgery in effectiveness of weight.
IS DIABETES CURED AFTER BARIATRIC SURGERY: Type II Diabetes gets corrected immediately after the procedure even before weight loss and all other co-morbidities get resolved or are better controlled on fewer medications. Diabetics of long duration (> 10 years), on insulin may require medication but in much reduced dose.
WHAT IS THE LENGTH OF HOSPITALISATION: One is admitted a day prior, ambulated a few hours after the procedure and discharged after 2 – 3 days.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU EAT AFTER SURGERY: Liquid diet is started a day after the procedure. Diet progresses from liquids to semi solids to soft to normal diet in a phased manner.
HOW MUCH IS THE WEIGHT LOSS: On an average 5 – 7 Kg is lost every month after the surgery. 80 – 90% of excess weight is lost at one year.
IS THERE A NEED FOR SUPPLEMENTS: Post operative supplements for iron, calcium and vitamins are prescribed that do not have any adverse effects.
WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS: Immediate complications of bleeding and leakage are very rare at well equipped centres. These are detected early and hence easily managed at high volume centres. Loosening of skin and nutritional deficiencies have to be addressed in the long run. Overall Bariatric procedures are very safe, effective and drastically improve the quality of an individual’s life.