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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Huge surge in weight loss surgeries in India: Expert

With diabetes and obesity on the increase in the country, weight reduction procedures or bariatric surgeries are in huge demand in the country, said an expert.

"Bariatric surgeries are in huge demand. This is an indicator of the rising obesity and diabetes cases. There is a vast difference in the number of cases from five years ago," said Om Tantia, consultant bariatric and metabolic surgeon, ILS Hospital here.

India has the second largest number of diabetes patients with an estimated 61 million people affected. Nearly 140 million people in India have high blood pressure, which is 14 percent of the world`s total such patients.

The surgical procedures performed on the stomach (such as sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass surgery) lead to long-term weight loss and resolution of diabetes.

"The advantage is that diabetes is resolved in patients and those overweight lose 70 to 80 percent of their excess weight," said Tantia, adding that the risk factors are less than a percent.

For people who are over-weight and cannot shed the excess fat through lifestyle changes (including exercise), dietary control and drugs, bariatric surgeries become the best option.

According to Tantia, the deciding factors for people who choose to go under the scalpel is the Body Mass Index (BMI).

As per international protocols for the Asia Pacific region, BMI is pegged at 37.5 as the criterion.

"People overweight by 30 to 40 kg are greatly benefited," said Tantia.

A Live Workshop and Conference on Bariatric Surgery will be organized by ILS Hospital July 26-27.

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