The highs and lows of bariatric surgery

Jul 11 07:41 2012 Ramyasadasivam Print This Article

Dumping your excess weight and its associated insecurities in a bariatric clinic may sound like a fairytale fantasy, but it is anything but. Even if your surgery is a breeze and you lose all the weight you wanted to, life doesn't always get the Cinderella ending you had hoped for.

Apart from the immediate risks of complications associated with a major surgery,Guest Posting you put yourself at risk of a clutch of problems: osteoporosis, anaemia and other nutritional deficiencies, bowel obstruction, gallstones, hernia, ulcers, stomach perforation, and/or gastric dumping syndrome, characterised by frequent diarrhoea and vomiting.

And then there's still more - depression, alcoholism and suicide.

Bariatric Surgery

All bariatric "weight-loss" surgeries aim to make you eat less. They involve either stapling or banding your stomach to make it smaller, or creating a gastric bypass, where the stomach is made smaller and the gut shorter.

Weight Loss Surgery

While these surgeries treat and even cure severe obesity-related conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep disorders and Type-2 diabetes, they are increasingly being misused as just another way of losing weight.

But bariatric surgery is more than a dental extraction that you fret over but forget about after it's over.

The US Department of Health and Human Services data for 2011 shows that overall, 7.3% people who underwent bariatric surgery had complications, though mostly minor, while they were in hospital for the surgery. But 2.5% had serious complications, which were highest for people undergoing gastric bypass (3.6%), followed by sleeve gastrectomy (2.2%), and laparoscopic adjustable band procedures (0.9%).

Corresponding data for India is not available, but the US data showed that serious complications were fewer when the surgery was done by high-volume hospitals and surgeons. In other words, if you must go for the surgery, choose an experienced surgeon to stack the odds in your favour.

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