Who is Eligible for Bariatric Surgery for Weight Loss?

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It is a common perception that “obesity” is only a cosmetic problem and the issues related with it are related just to “body image”. The truth is that today obesity is one of the most serious diseases affecting man-kind and it affects the body from head to toe. Not only is obesity closely linked to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, it creates havoc with all other systems in the human body.

People who have attempted to lose weight, know how difficult it is to not only lose weight but also to maintain the weight loss. This entire process can be extremely disheartening and demotivating for the patients. Obesity is also one of the most mis-understood diseases.

Currently, bariatric/metabolic surgery is the only way that can lead to sustained weight loss in morbidly obese patients. Bariatric surgery is recommended for:

  • Patients who have a BMI ? 37.5 Kg/m2.
  • Patients with a BMI? 32.5 Kg/m2 along with two or more associated diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, dyslipidemia, gout, infertility, sleep apnoea etc.
  • Patients with a BMI? 27.5 Kg/m2 mand type 2 diabetes which is uncontrolled despite optimum medical management.

In simple words, if you are more than 30 kgs above your ideal body weight and have failed to lose weight by any other method, then you may be eligible for bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery leads to about 60 to 75% excess weight loss over a period of 12 to 18 months. It leads to significant improvement in obesity related diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, joint pains, infertility etc and reduces the overall risk of heart disease. Most importantly, surgery leads to a considerable improvement in the quality of life.

Bariatric surgery is safe, however, a strict life-long follow up with the bariatric team is mandatory for good results. Last but not the least, patients who embrace, lifestyle modification after bariatric surgery get the best results in the long term.

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