Know about the myths associated with obesity and bariatric surgery

Obesity is a disease and goes beyond just social image. The World Health Organization estimates that between one-fourth and one-third of cancer cases in the world are attributable to excess weight and physical inactivity. This also stands true to a host of other diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, asthma, sleep apnoea, depression, asthma etc

Know about the myths associated with obesity and bariatric surgery in India
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Obesity has been classified as a disease by various medical associations. Obesity is a metabolic, chronic and progressive disease with a significant genetic predisposition gives rise to comorbidities such as Hypertension, diabetes, Sleep Apnoea, infertility, asthma and cancer amongst others

Although, obesity is an indicator of prosperity and abundance in India. It tends to affects only ones social image

Weight loss surgery is nothing more than a cop-out for people who are too lazy to diet and exercise.

Contrary to popular belief, diet and exercise may not be the best weight loss solution for everyone. The National Institutes of Health Experts Panel actually states that long-term, sustained weight loss for people who are severely obese is only achievable through a weight loss procedure.

This however, does not mean that diets and exercises will not help severely obese patients. However, in order to shed the necessary amount of weight to make a life-changing, healthful impact, bariatric surgery may be the best option.

The risks of weight loss surgery outweigh the risks of obesity.

Obesity is a disease linked with a number of serious health conditions including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and others. In fact, the National Institutes of Health list obesity as the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

Weight loss surgery on the other hand is an incredibly safe procedure. Studies have shown that bariatric surgery patients are able to reduce their mortality rate by up to 89 per cent compared with severely obese people who avoid treatment.

Bariatric surgery is dangerous

While any surgery poses certain risks, the risk of death from surgery is considerably less for bariatric patients than for individuals affected by severe obesity who have not had the surgery.

In fact, the data show up to an 89 per cent reduction in mortality, as well as highly significant decreases in mortality rates due to specific diseases, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

After bariatric surgery, you may be able to decrease or discontinue medications for chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure.

Bariatric surgery is the easy way out

Bariatric surgery needs a lot of Pre and post-operative preparations and care. While considering this procedure, preparation is often around four to six months.

One is required to have multiple assessments and appointments with doctors, a dietician and exercise physiologist.

In addition, one needs see patients for an initial evaluation, 10 group sessions and additional individual sessions as needed.

After surgery, it is important to follow a daily regimented schedule with food and fluid intake, continue with exercise and other lifestyle changes, and continue receiving outside support.

Bariatric surgery, along with commitment to lifestyle change, not only provides long-term weight loss, but it significantly improves health and quality of life for many.

You have the option of cutting off the bariatric surgeon post-surgery.

Patients need to visit their doctor frequently to make sure that the post-surgery healing process is successful. Post-surgery follow-up varied from surgeon to surgeon.

However, it is recommended that the patient visits the doctor after every two weeks for progress monitoring and diet advancements.

After the patient stops this, then it is recommended that the visits become monthly. These monthly appointments motivate the patient to stay on track and maintain his or her healthy dietary and lifestyle requirements.

Even if you feel like you do not need the stated motivation, you need to maintain the monthly visits for at least the first year post-surgery.

Recent research has shown that the patients who continue this monthly rapport with their surgeons tend to have a higher chance of long-term success, as opposed to those who do not.

Most surgeons also have support groups in place to assist the patient with short term and long term questions and needs.

Bariatric surgery will leave a big scar

Nowadays, most bariatric surgeries can be done laparoscopically. This means that the surgeon will make very small cuts on your tummy through which the surgery will be done. As these cuts are quite small, they heal quickly and do not leave big scars on your body.

You have the option of choosing the procedure you want to help you achieve what you want.

When one visit the surgeon, he or she will analyse the situation and figure out which procedure will work best for your health.

The patient does not have the authority to decide the procedure that works best for them. This is because they are not qualified enough to know the consequences and results of the procedure.

Exercising and dieting regularly is a sure way of losing weight

Contrary to belief, 95% of the people who try to lose weight regain it in 2 to 5 years. Scientists have hit upon an answer to explain the unwanted gain that happens even after people exercise and diet properly called the ‘set point theory.’

According to this theory, our body decides how much we should weigh and fixes this weight as a “set point”. This happens without us even realizing it.

At the start of a diet, some weight is lost and we feel lighter. But, as times passes, this feeling goes away as we stop losing weight. And even worse, the weighing scale starts going up instead of down. This is called as the “yo-yo effect.”

The “yo-yo” effect happens because, when we diet, the body thinks that it is starving. So, it releases hormones. These hormones make us feel hungrier and cause our muscles to burn less energy. This makes our shed kilos come back as our body tries to get back to the set point weight.

Set point is hard to change but not impossible. Hard work and determination can go a long way in resetting the set point. The key here is to not lose hope and keep persevering in your weight loss journey.

Bariatric surgery works by lowering the “set point”. It makes the person feel less hungry, fuller, and also makes the person choose healthier foods. It also tells the muscles to burn more fat.

Bariatric surgery might have to be repeated

Usually when someone chooses to have bariatric surgery (and then follows their post-surgery plan), the person loses a significant amount of weight and maintains that loss for years to come.

In some circumstances, however, the procedure doesn’t lead to the significant weight loss that the patient expected.

Or, the patient will lose their desired weight, but then gains it back. This can be due to factors such as how well the patient followed the program post-surgery.

It can also be due to the procedure being performed incorrectly.  It can be needed due to the following reasons:

Weight gain: The most common reason for revision surgery is weight regain or insufficient weight loss. Whether it’s due to poor diet and exercise, psychological concerns or other unknown reasons, it’s possible that patients will regain weight after having bariatric surgery.

Faulty surgery: If someone received faulty bariatric surgery, it’s important to get the procedure revised. Faulty surgery occurs when a surgeon performs the procedure incorrectly, and is more common in patients who received bariatric surgery years ago using less-effective methods.

Health revisions: In some situations, a patient will have health or emergency concerns that will call for bariatric revisions. These circumstances can vary based on individual and doctors should treat it on a per-patient basis.

Many people think: You have the surgery, you lose the weight and that’s it. But there are lifestyle changes and behaviour modifications patients have to make. You can gain the weight back if you have not committed yourself to the lifestyle changes necessary for success.

The author is a leading Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgeon in Pune

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