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FAQs on Bariatric Surgery
Dr Nandakishore Dukkipati
Medical science describes obesity as a condition when the amount of fat stored in a human body exceeds healthy limits. Obesity itself is a disease. Additionally, it provides ideal condition for degenerative diseases to take hold of a body, and reduce life expectancy.The good news for those who are battling the battle of the bulge is that there is now a solution in the form of weight loss surgery.

Why do some people need bariatric surgery?
Obese individuals are at far greater risk of dying of an obesity-associated disease (such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, respiratory disease and others). Obesity accounts for more than 280,000 deaths annually in the United States, and will soon overtake smoking as the primary preventable cause of death, if current trends continue. This trend is at an alarming rise in India.

Weight loss by conventional therapies, such as diet, exercise, behavioral modification, or by anti-obesity medications, have a less than one-percent long-term success rate for obese individuals. Weight-loss surgery can help the morbidly obese achieve long-term success.

What is the difference between being overweight and being obese?
By definition overweight is a body mass index (BMI) of 25-29 and obesity is defined as a BMI greater than or equal to 30.

What are the various surgical options?
All of these procedures can be performed in a minimally invasive fashion (laparoscopic). They are,
  1. Adjustable Gastric Band
  2. Gastric Sleeve
  3. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
Choosing between the procedures involves many factors, including the patient’s preference and consideration
of the patient’s eating habits. The final decision is best made as a team effort when discussed between the patient and the surgeon. An ideal center will have clinical staff that has extensive training, experience, and excels in managing postoperative surgical complications.

How much weight can I expect to lose after gastric bypass surgery?
The difference in weight loss can vary according to the motivation of the patient and the procedure he or she chose. Usually, those who choose the gastric band procedure experience a more gradual weight loss compared to those who opt for the gastric bypass procedure.To some, it will be advantageous since it offers time to regain skin tone. Gastric-bypass patients achieve a quicker weight loss in the initial phase.

Regardless of the procedure chosen, the weight loss is similar at the end of 2 years time.

How long will I be in the hospital?

Length of hospital stay for either an open or laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is about a two to three days, and less than 24 hours for a gastric band patient. The time spent in the hospital depends upon the individual, his or her co-morbidities, and whether or not there are complications.

What happens to my excess skin?
The amount of excess skin depends on the total weight loss, age, whether the person smokes and how much the skin was stretched. About 25% of patients elect to have plastic surgery.
Dr Nandakishore Dukkipat is Consultant - Advanced Laparoscopic & Bariatric Surgery, Apollo Health City, Hyderabad.

  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
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