Weight Loss: Benefits, cost, side effects and other details of Bariatric surgery by Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala

Weight Loss: Have several questions about Bariatric surgery? Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala, Founder & Chief Surgeon – Digestive Health Institute revealed all the details.
weight loss,Health & Fitness,Bariatric surgeryWeight Loss: Benefits, cost, side effects and other details of Bariatric surgery by Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala
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Weight loss is one of the common issues that many of us face. Some of the ways to lose weight aka fat are a healthy and balanced diet, daily workout, calorie deficit, eating pattern among others. If you are obese or overweight you should consider weight management as obesity is linked to several other health issues such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis and heart diseases, and stroke among others. Today, we are talking about one of the lesser-known ways to reduce fat/weight and it is via Bariatric surgery. If you want to know more then read on. In an exclusive interview with Pinkvilla, Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala, Founder & Chief Surgeon – Digestive Health Institute by Dr. Muffi revealed all the details of the same. 

Read on to know more about Bariatric Surgery to reduce weight:

What exactly is the process?

Bariatric Surgery or weight loss surgery is a surgical solution for patients suffering from obesity and its related comorbid conditions such as Diabetes, Hypertension, Dyslipidemia and Sleep Apnea etc. It’s an option for those that are 30 kgs above their ideal body weight. The surgery is done laparoscopically (4-5 tiny incisions on the abdomen). Alternatively, it can also be done scarless (via an incision deep in the umbilicus - belly button).

The surgery involves reducing the size of the stomach and/or realigning the intestines which result in a decrease in appetite, early satiety, malabsorption and hormonal and gut changes. The patient can lose up to 60-75 % of their excess body weight in a span of 1-2 years.

What is the cost of it?

The cost of the surgery can vary depending on the type of surgery, the equipment being used, the surgeon and the hospital fees as well. Usually, bariatric surgeries in India start from INR 3 lacs and above. 

Benefits of the surgery

Obesity affects every part of the body right from head to toe. Diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, cardiovascular diseases, dyslipidemia, fatty liver, PCOS, infertility,  deep vein thrombosis, hyperuricemia, various cancers, depression/anxiety are mostly caused due to obesity. Bariatric surgery dramatically reduces the risk factors for all of the above conditions and in some cases, helps in remission too. There are many cases where people have seen complete remission of Diabetes, Hypertension and other co-morbidities post their weight loss surgery. Weight loss surgery is also a secondary treatment for infertility. For those patients that are wheelchair-bound or have limited mobility due to excess weight, it helps improve their quality of life. 

The other benefit of doing a laparoscopic bariatric surgery is that recovery is quick. The keyhole incisions take a short time to heal and people are usually back to their normal lives within 2-3 days after the surgery. Laparoscopic bariatric surgery also leaves minimal/no scars, unlike open surgery.

Are there any side effects? 

Nausea and vomiting are the most common side effects post-bariatric surgery owing to the reduced size of the stomach, however, that is seen rarely unless the diet isn’t followed properly. It takes approximately 3-4 months for patients to settle into the surgery and get used to the new stomach pouch. Patients have to re-learn how to eat and drink. Chewing food thoroughly and eating and drinking slowly is imperative following surgery. 

Dumping syndrome is another side effect post-surgery that usually occurs after the ingestion of sugary/high-calorie foods. Consumption of high-calorie foods can cause pain, discomfort, nausea, and hypoglycaemia. Dumping syndrome is the body’s way of preventing patients from consuming foods that should be avoided.

What are the success rates and can it lead to weight gain again?

It is important to thoroughly evaluate the patient pre-operatively in order to decide on the most appropriate surgery type, best suited for the individual. The evaluation not only involves existing diseases, but also the patients’ commitment to change and willingness to adhere to a healthier lifestyle (diet + exercise). All of these factors play an important role in the selection of surgery. Incorrect procedure selection or not adapting to a healthy lifestyle can lead to weight gain in the long term.

Who ideally needs it? 

People with a BMI of 35 kg/m2 and above with or without comorbidities are eligible for bariatric surgery. Those with a BMI between 32 - 35 kg/m2 and suffering from one-two comorbid conditions like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, etc. are also eligible for bariatric surgery. Surgery, when done to help remission of co-morbid conditions, is called metabolic surgery.

What are the ways to know that your overweight or obese?  

BMI - Body Mass Index is a simple formula to help decide what category one falls in. 
BMI - Weight (in kgs) / Height (in cms)2.
BMI less than 18.5 = Underweight 
18.5 - 22.9 = Normal Range 
23- 24.9 = Overweight 
25 - 29.9 = Pre - obese 
30 - 40 = Grade 1 obese 
40 - 50 = Grade 2 obese 
More than 50 = Grade 3 obese

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