Bariatric Surgery for Morbid Obesity

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Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is the most effective therapy available for morbid obesity and can result in improvement or complete resolution of obesity comorbidities.

Both open and laparoscopic bariatric obesity surgery are effective therapies for morbid obesity and represent complementary state-of-the-art procedures.

The bariatric surgery patient is best evaluated and subsequently cared for by a multidisciplinary team. Given below are some of the FAQ on morbid obesity.

1) What is morbid obesity ?

Morbid obesity is a disease which is chronic and life long, due to excessive fat storage in the body.

2) How do you assess morbid obesity?

For all practical purposes, obesity is assessed by a measurement called body mass index (BMI).

It is calculated simply by:
BMI = weight (in kilograms) / height (in meters) ^2

BMI of a person:

Average weight : 18-22.5
Over weight : 22.5 – 27.5
Obese : 27.5 – 37.5
Morbid obese : > 37.5
Super obese : > 50

3) How does morbid obesity differ from being over weight or obese?

Over weight / obesity is a reversible condition and can be treated by dieting and exercise, but morbid obesity require surgical intervention. This is because the body mechanisms that control a person’s weight are set in such a matter that they gain weight easily. These patients find it difficult to lose weight and even more difficult to sustain it.

4) What are the risks associated with morbid obesity?

These are increased risk of developing high blood pressure, type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gall stone disease, cancer of breast, prostate and colon.

Morbidly obese patients are victims of prejudice and public ridicule due to their size and this may lead of mental depression, avoiding social visits and functions, quitting jobs, avoiding public transport etc.

Morbid obesity is a treatable cause of early preventable death.

5) Why should morbid obesity be treated?

Once morbid obesity is treated surgically, there will be sustained and permanent weight loss, which will lead to improvement of physical and mental morbidity. Morbid obesity is a disease like any other disease.

6) What is yo-yo dieting?

It is a condition in which morbidly obese patients undergo strict and vigorous dieting and exercise, looses weight of about 5 – 7 kgs a month only to regain it once they stop dieting. But once obesity surgery is done, dieting helps weight loss which is sustained.

7) What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a treatment option for patients with morbid obesity. This surgery helps you lose weight by altering your body’s food digestion and absorption. There are 3 surgical options – each having their benefits and risks the choice of which should be decided after a thorough discussion with your surgeon.

8) Are you a candidate for morbid obesity surgery?

You will qualify for morbid obesity surgery if:
• You are classified as ‘morbid by obese’ (BMI > 37.5)
• Your BMI is 32.5 – 37.5 with severe obesity related medical condition e.g. diabetes, heart disease, high BP, arthritis
• Other methods of weight loss (dietary/medicines) have been unsuccessful.
• You are unable to perform routine activities / daily chores due to the weight problem.
• You have understood the surgical procedures for weight loss, the risks and after effects involved and are committed to make life long behavioral changes pertaining to dietary and exercises.
• You are mentally (psychiatrically) stable

9) How does morbid obesity surgery change your life?

Patient must learn to eat food in small amounts and to chew it well and slowly, weight loss starts soon after surgery and continue for 1½ – 2 yrs. Improvements occur in obesity related medical condition and almost 60% of patient can stop medications. There is enhanced quality of life with improved stamina, mood, self esteem and body image.