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by Dr Praveen Raj


Bariatric surgery refers to any surgery performed in the stomach/intestines or both with the intent of  weight reduction and resolution of obesity related co-morbidities.Its misinterpreted with liposuction commonly , which is actually a contouring(shaping-up) procedure for normal to overweight individuals.

How can treatment of obesity be lifesaving?

Its common to consider problems like diabetes , hypertension and associated cardiac disorders etc to be diseases.But we now enough understanding that obesity by altering the internal metabolism is responsible for many of the diseases like diabetes, hypertension, menstrual regularities , obstructive sleep apnea , non-alcoholic fatty liver disease , infertility , cancers(uterus,breast,large intestine) etc .Hence the American Diabetology Association(ADA) and World Health Organisation(WHO) have defined obesity as a disease and any treatment at weight reduction as a life saving methodology.

Is there an entity called healthy obesity?

Being obese(>30 BMI for Caucasians ;>25 BMI for Asians) by itself means being unhealthy.Hence weight reduction is of paramount importance. But in very selected individuals actively involved in exercises, tend to have higher muscle mass contributing to being a little high on the weighing scale , which is acceptable.But on the other end , being normal weight may not necessarily mean healthy , and a good balance of lifestyle is required.

Is surgery the only option for the treatment of obesity?

DEFINITELY NOT.Motivation and attempts at weight reduction by sustainable change of lifestyle is the first modality.Short attempts of fad diets to be discouraged , as these are not sustainable in the long term actually making someone accumulate more weight on a cumulative basis.At GEM we encourage a multidisciplinary approach for weight management.Drugs and endoscopic therapies may be required for a small fraction of patients.Bariatric surgery becomes important only when someone is unable to lose/maintain lost weight by natural means.Its also suitable for patients suffering from illnesses secondary to obesity as mentioned above.

How is bariatric surgery life saving?

A significant fraction os patients with diabetes have their diabetes uncontrolled(indicated by HbA1C levels) even on a regularly monitored compliant therapy.This is called refractory diabetes.These are the ones who will eventually end up with diabetes related complications like blindness , kidney failure, myocardial infarction etc.Bariatric surgery has proven to benefit these patients tremendously in diabetic control preventing these complications or improving them if already existent. The ADA have now included bariatric surgery in the treatment algorithm of type 2 diabetes.

Gem Obesity&Diabetes surgery centre , headed by Dr.Praveen Raj(President-International Excellence Federation in Bariatric Surgery) is only International Centre of Excellence in South India accredited by the Surgical Review Corporation,USA.


© 2017 GEM Obesity & Diabetes Surgery Centre - Updated by GEM Hospital IT Department