Bariatric surgery to treat obesity is gaining ground. But the potential side-effects after the surgery are often overlooked
DOWN TO EARTH
Ithe third most obese country NDIA IS in the world after the US and China. As Indians try to deal with the associated health effects of obesity obstructive sleep apnea, Type-2 diabetes, and osteoarthritis a cure called bariatric surgery is gaining currency.The surgery restricts food intake and decreases absorption of food in stomach and intestines. Over 10,000 such surgeries were performed last year alone in India.The figure may rise up to 50,000 per year, says Arun Prasad, vice president, Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society of India.
But new scientific evidence shows that the surgery itself is risky. About 40 per cent patients opting for bariatric surgery suffer from dumping syndrome a collective term for sweating,flushing,light-headedness,palpitations, desire to lie down, upper abdominal fullness, nausea, diarrhoea and cramping even before they are discharged from hospitals. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the number of reported leaks in the stapled areas of the stomach varies between one and five per cent after surgery. Internal hernias,hair loss and gall stones are other complications that can also occur (see box: The day after).
Pregnant obese women with a prior bariatric surgery have an increased risk of intrauterine growth restriction, says a paper published in the Journal of MaternalFetal and Neonatal Medicine in July. On August 4,the journal Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research revealed that bariatric patients,who had undergone the gastric by-
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