Over­weigh­ing bal­ance

Bari­atric surgery to treat obe­sity is gain­ing ground. But the po­ten­tial side-ef­fects af­ter the surgery are of­ten over­looked

Down to Earth - - HEALTH - SAK­SHI JAIN |

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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