FAQs

Frequently asked questions

WHAT IS OBESITY?

Obesity results from the excessive accumulation of fat that exceeds the body’s skeletal and physical standards. According to the United States National Institute of Health (NIH), an increase in 20% or more above your ideal body weight is the point at which excess weight becomes a health risk.

WHAT IS MORBID OR CLINICALLY SEVERE OBESITY?

Obesity becomes morbid when it reaches the point of significantly increasing the risk of one or more obesity-related health conditions (also known as co-morbidities). This results either in significant physical disability or even death. Morbid obesity is a serious and chronic disease, and its symptoms build slowly over an extended period of time.

WHY IS OBESITY BAD FOR ME?

Obesity is a risk factor for life-threatening diseases, including:

  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
  • Heart Disease
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Stroke
  • Heartburn or Acid Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Cancer (in women: endometrial, gallbladder, cervical and uterine; in men: colorectal and prostate)
For every 10 extra kilograms above the stipulated body weight (measured according to height), life expectancy of a person reduces by three years.
Compared to a normal-weight person, a 25-year-old morbidly obese man has a 22% reduction in expected remaining lifespan. This is an approximate loss of 12 YEARS!
This number will also likely grow if the ever-expanding numbers of currently obese children continue as obese adults.

SO HOW WILL LOSING WEIGHT HELP?

Many obesity related health conditions may be improved or resolved completely following a gastric bypass surgery. These include Type II Diabetes Mellitus, High Blood Pressure/Heart Disease, Osteoarthritis of weight bearing joints, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Infertility in women, Stress Urinary Incontinence, etc. The lifestyle of these morbidly obese patient improves significantly especially in social/economic opportunities and physical functioning and appearance. Studies show that the risk of death from the above mentioned conditions drops significantly after weight loss.
Multiple studies have shown that Type II diabetes mellitus can be partially or completely reversed after bariatric (or metabolic) surgery. In practical terms, this means this surgery can even CURE DIABETES – something that was unheard of before.

DOES THIS PREVENT CANCER?

Most cancers, which have a clear causal relationship with obesity, can be prevented by losing excess weight. This means that the risk of these cancers can be reduced dramatically after this surgery, as proven by multiple international studies.

AM I A SUITABLE CANDIDATE FOR THIS SURGERY?

If you are someone for whom non-surgical procedures have failed to provide sustained weight loss, you can be evaluated for, and if appropriate, undergo lifesaving weight loss surgery. This surgery is known as Bariatric Surgery (also known as metabolic surgery).
Bariatric surgery is a major operation, and if you’re considering it, you must make a serious, lifelong commitment to lifestyle changes.

WHAT IS BARIATRIC SURGERY? OR METABOLIC SURGERY?

Bariatric surgery, now also known as metabolic surgery, is a physiological (natural) way of losing excess weight. It involves altering the anatomy of the stomach and/or the intestines, so that they can now function in order to help you loose excess weight in a NATURAL FASHION.
Bariatric or metabolic surgical procedures work on the principles of restriction, malabsorption or both. Restrictive procedures limit the intake of food, and malabsorptive procedures affect the absorption of food through the alimentary tract. In addition to this, a variety of hormonal changes are introduced in the body, all of which work towards burning excess body fat and correcting the diseases caused by morbid obesity.

IS THIS LIKE LIPOSUCTION?

Liposuction is a purely cosmetic procedure, done for body contouring. It is meant for people with small amounts of fat distributed unevenly in the body. It does not help in reversing the disturbances caused in the body by morbid obesity. Moreover, most of the fat lost by this method is usually regained after a while.

IS IT A QUICK FIX WEIGHT LOSS TREATMENT? IF NOT, WHY?

NO, it is not a quick fix weight loss program, since this is not a cosmetic procedure (unlike liposuction). This is a METABOLIC SURGERY, which helps not only to reduce weight naturally over a period of months, but also control or cure medical illnesses as mentioned above.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH IT?

Risks are usually categorized as immediate risks which include bleeding, Deep Vein Thrombosis, injury to neighboring organs (like esophagus and spleen), shoulder pain and delayed risks, such as Pneumonia, Abdominal Infections and Pulmonary Embolism. These risks are common to all abdominal laparoscopic surgeries.
The risks associated specifically with bariatric surgery are chest pain, abdominal hernia, constipation or diarrhea, stoma obstruction, stretching of the stomach and reoperation for various reasons.

HOW DO I PREPARE FOR THIS SURGERY?

Before the surgery, we shall give you a list of laboratory and radiological investigations to be done. Once our specialist anaesthetist gives the go ahead, we can plan your surgical procedure for a convenient date. For a period of 5 to 7 days before the surgery, you will be placed on a liquid diet regime. You will be admitted in the hospital one night prior to the surgery in a special room for bariatric patients.

HOW ARE THESE SURGERIES PERFORMED?

A variety of bariatric procedures have been described, all of which can be carried out laparoscopically or robotically. All of these involve the patient being under general anaesthesia, making 4-6 small cuts on the abdomen ranging from 5-12 mm in size, and lasting for about 2-5 hours.

TELL US ABOUT THE PROCEDURE AND RECOVERY TIME?

Since the procedure is done by a minimally invasive technique, recovery is faster than conventional surgeries. The patient is made to walk on the day of the surgery itself, and oral feeds are started a few hours after the surgery. Feeds are increased stepwise in accordance with our dietician. Patients can usually be discharged 2-3 days after the procedure.

WHAT LONG-TERM PRECAUTIONS DO I NEED? WILL I RETURN TO MY OLD WEIGHT?

Since this is a metabolic procedure, the key to its long-term success lies in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Dietary habits need to change, and exercise is a must. Certain vitamin and mineral supplements will be required lifelong, but these usually have no untoward effects.
Studies have shown that interacting with those who have undergone bariatric procedures helps to stay more focused and motivated to maintain the newfound weight. Attending support group meetings gives a great platform to share your experiences and adjust to life better.