What is Bariatric surgery? How is it different from liposuction?
Bariatric surgery involves surgical methods to restrict or to reduce absorption of food from stomach and intestine. This is not a cosmetic surgery. This procedure results in overall reduction in bodyweight and helps to improve associated medical disorders of excess bodyweight. Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery wherein part of body fat is removed using high power suction, which usually does not produce any sustained weight loss.
Who should undergo this procedure?
As a first line of treatment diet and exercises should be tried. Patients who had a trial of diet, regular exercise and probably drugs and failed to have a sustained weight loss must think about this surgery.
Among Asian Indians, the recommended BMI for obesity surgery is >32.5 with co=morbid illnesses and >37.5 in Obese individuals. (Consensus Statement for diagnosis and treatment of Obesity, JAPI, Vol.57, February 2009. www.japi.org)
How effective is weight-loss surgery? What are the benefits and is the effect long term?
These procedures help in reducing 50-85% excess body weight. The amount of weight loss varies depending on the type of procedure chosen (usually done by the doctor). Along with weight loss most of the medical co-morbidities improve which in turn improves patients self esteem and confidence. Some of the important benefits are
• Diabetes mellitus Type II in these patients improve and a vast majority of them become completely normal blood sugar levels normal after surgery.
• Hypertension & high cholesterol improves significantly. These effects along with good amount of weight loss reduce risk for heart disease significantly.
• There is good relief for sleep problems, apnoea and acid reflux symptoms.
• As the body weight comes down body pain and joint arthritis improves very well.
• Overall improvement in the sense of well being and self esteem.
The effect of these procedures is long term in terms of weight loss and improvement of co-morbidities, if the patient adheres to the follow up advice of the doctor.