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Obesity is a major health problem affecting men, women and children in recent times. Though the term ‘obese’ is loosely used to refer to anyone who looks fat, medically obesity is quantified by one’s Body Mass Index (BMI). Anyone with a BMI >25 Kg/square metre is considered overweight and >30 is considered obese. The table grades obesity into three types.

Underweight <18.5 kg/m2
Normal Weight 18.5 - 24.9 kg/m2
Overweight 25 - 29.9 kg/m2
Obesity (Class 1) 30 - 34.9 kg/m2
Obesity (Class 2) 35 - 39.9 kg/m2
Extreme obesity (Class 3) >=40 kg/m2

The problem of obesity has to do a lot with sedentary lifestyles and eating habits. The body's weight is a maintained by a tight balance between how many calories one eats and how many calories one burns. For instance, if one consumes 3000 kcal per day and utilise 2400 kcal, the remaining 600 kcal get stored as fat in the body, to be used later. In the absence of physical activity, this excess body fat never gets burnt. The problem of eating excess calories is the most common cause of obesity. However, there are other factors also that control the body weight - namely, hormones like leptin and ghrelin, genetic risks. There are some medical conditions like hypothyroidism and Cushing's syndrome which can lead to obesity.

Obesity is not merely a problem of external appearance. It is a true medical problem with extreme effects on one's health. A 25-year-old morbidly obese man has a 22% reduction in life expectancy, or 12 years of life lost, compared with a normal-sized man. Untreated, obesity is responsible for a significant proportion of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, stroke, osteoarthritis and many types of cancer. Excess fat gets deposited in the blood vessels, form an atheroma and can block blood supply. Fat in the cells of the body makes them resistant to the action of blood sugar regulators - leading to diabetes. Fat releases free radicals which damage cells, cause mutations and lead to cancers.

Obesity needs to be considered as a serious health problem and one has to take measures to reduce weight. Brisk exercise like walking or jogging for at least 30 minutes a day can go a long way in reducing weight. A conscious effort is needed to make sure you eat only healthy, freshly cooked food with zero trans-fat. Some people who are morbidly obese (BMI > 40) will need Obesity Surgery(bariatric surgery) to reduce weight. Medical causes of obesity need to be evaluated by a specialist and managed efficiently. However, whatever the situation may be healthy eating habit is a must and if combined with a bit of daily dose of exercise, then it can do wonders.

Obesity Surgery or Bariatric surgery is known to bring multiple benefits. It is very important that your doctor monitors you regularly post-surgery.

What Is Obesity Surgery?

Commonly referred to as weight loss surgery, Obesity Surgery(bariatric surgery) is one of the few weight loss treatments that has a history of proven results. The term bariatric surgery refers to any surgical procedure on the stomach or intestines to induce weight loss.

Obesity Surgery (Bariatric surgery) is a term that encompasses a number of procedures. The most common procedure is gastric sleeve surgery (sleeve gastrectomy). Sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric sleeve, is a surgical weight-loss procedure in which the stomach is reduced to about 15% of its original size, by surgical removal of a large portion of the stomach, following the major curve. The open edges are then attached together (typically with surgical staples, sutures, or both) to leave the stomach shaped more like a tube, or a sleeve, with a banana shape. The procedure permanently reduces the size of the stomach. The procedure is performed through laparoscopic surgery and is not reversible.

As a result, patients:

Feel less hungry

Feel full sooner after eating

Lose up to 75% of their excess weight

Improve or cure their obesity-related health problems

Health Benefits

Gastric sleeve results in complete solution (cure, as long as weight loss is maintained) of many obesity-related health problems, including those listed below.

Sleep apnea
Cholesterol problems

and at least 10 other conditions

Gastric sleeve weight loss improves joint health. For every pound of weight lost, there is a 4 pound reduction in pressure on the knee. This improves mobility and reduces pain in the knees. 88,000 participants were involved in data collection on cancer research. Results state that patients who undergo weight loss surgery have 33% less risk of developing cancer. Risk rates were even further reduced for obesity-related cancers, including:

Colon cancer   |   Postmenopausal breast cancer   |   Endometrial cancer   |   Pancreatic cancer

Note that patients who have a strict follow-up schedule with their surgeon at 3-, 6-, and 12-months post-op see greater improvements in or remission of their diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), and high cholesterol than patients who skip these visits.

Doctors Profile

Dr. Nanda Rajneesh

Breast Cancer and Obesity (Bariatric) Surgeon

Sakra Institute of Breast and Obesity, Sakra World Hospital, Bangalore

MS ( General Surgery ), Mysore Medical College, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences. Fellowship Gastrointestinal Surgical Oncology, Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai. Fellowship in Obesity Surgery(Bariatric Surgery), St. Nicolas Hospital, Belgium. Fellow of Association of Colorectal Surgeons of India. Fellow of International College of Surgeons. MRCS ( Member of Royal College of Surgeons), Edinburg, Scotland.

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