It is commonly referred to as weight loss surgery and bariatric surgery is often sold as a one-time solution to every health issue-related to obesity. Dr. Kapil Agrawal, senior consultant, Bariatric surgeon at Apollo Hospital, New Delhi says that it was initially as rare as once in three months that patients were showing up for the surgery. Nowadays, he says, they operate on up to two patients a day.
This surgery can help reduce up to 80% of excess body weight with the majority of weight loss occurring in 3 months and continues up to one year. But is this really the solution you should be opting for if your only health problem is that you’re slightly overweight?
Age and weight limits:
It’s not that anyone can just walk into a hospital and ask for this bariatric surgery. There are certain physical and health requirements that you have to meet, to qualify for the bariatric surgery.
The general age limit for female patients in India is 12 to 13 years of age, or once their body has developed completely. Male patients have to be 16 years old. The upper age limit is usually up to 65 but if the patient is healthy and has high life expectancy, this limit could be pushed. However, Dr. Kapil does tell us about his youngest patient who was an 11-year-old girl who was ashamed of her weight and was often bullied in school for it.
Major lifestyle changes:
People who are considering opting for a bariatric surgery should be prepared for making some healthy life style changes in order to achieve maximum weight loss. Some of the changes that need to be done to achieve optimal weight loss include regular exercise, eating low calorie foods, cutting down on alcohol and smoking. The best part of bariatric surgery is loss of appetite which occurs post-surgery due to hormonal changes caused by the surgery. It also reduces the craving for sweet things. As a result, patient does not have to fight with their own mind in developing healthy eating habits.
If not bariatric surgery, then what?
Bariatric surgery is a means of helping patients deal with diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, hormonal imbalance and obesity. If the patient has a target of losing more than 25 kg of body weight then bariatric surgery is the only option for achieving a long-term success.
However, if your target is to lose only 10-12 kg of body weight and you have the will power of developing healthy eating habits in the future, then you can have the option for gastric balloon. It is done endoscopically and the patient can be discharged on same day.
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