Weight Loss: Do you need a weight loss surgery?
Weight loss surgery is not for everyone. There are different factors which determine if one is a right candidate for this procedure. Dr Ramen Goel, Head, Bariatric Surgery, Nova Specialty Surgery, Mumbai demystifies the cloud behind weight loss surgeries and who needs a weight loss surgery and its specifics.
One of the most important factors is body mass index (BMI). BMI is used to assess excess weight by adjusting actual weight against person's height. If the body mass index (BMI) is 32.5 or more -- you may be suitable candidate for weight loss surgery. Generally speaking, if you are more than 20-25 kgs overweight, then you may fall in this category.
If you have tried various conventional measures and failed to maintain the weight loss, then bariatric surgery is one available option for significant, sustained weight loss.
Weight loss surgery may be an appropriate treatment option for those with serious obesity-related health issues such as high blood pressure. For such people, the risk of complications of the disease and even sudden death is high if they do not lose weight. Surgery not only helps lose weight but also reduces the risks from these complications.
Diabetes is considered a lifetime disease with no possibility of remission or cure. Despite medicines and lifestyle modifications over 56% - 70% remain uncontrolled diabetics. The serious complications of diabetes like high BP, heart attacks, brain strokes, kidney failures, nerve damages with amputations and blindness are usually seen in these uncontrolled patients. Bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery) has gained acceptance in last one decade as a possible mode of diabetes remission. International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and American Diabetes Association (ADA) has clarified role of this surgery for uncontrolled diabetic patients with BMI over 27.5 and 35 respectively.
Obesity results in obstructive sleep apnea where the person is not able to sleep well and snores, while remaining drowsy during the day. Besides problem of sleep this results in high BP, heart failure etc. This requires lifelong use of a CPAP machine. Usually after bariatric surgery these patient improves within 2-4 weeks & most of the persons need not use CPAP ever again.
Do you get breathless on walking small distances or have joint pains and wondered how will you exercise? In such situations, unsupervised exercise may prove more dangerous than give you any benefit. Significant weight loss with bariatric surgery may reduce your breathlessness or joint pains before you start exercise regimen to make them more enjoyable and safe.
Worldwide studies have proved that obese people face more risks and are likely to have early failure of new joints than other patients when it comes to total knee replacement (TKR) surgery. They may need to have revision operations more often than other patients. Being overweight puts extra stress on the joints, such as the knees, and consequently is a risk factor for developing osteoarthritis. Bariatric surgery can help improve success of these procedures as the person reduces considerable amount of weight post the procedure.
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* An MBBS, MS, FICS (USA),FIAGES, FALS, Dr Ramen Goel, is a highly trained gastro-intestinal surgeon with 20 years of experience, and is amongst the pioneers of bariatric surgery in India, and a thought leader across the world. He is a bariatric surgeon to one of India’s top ten industrialists.