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Why does weight loss surgery work when conventional weight loss methods don’t?

Weight loss surgery with proven results offers a new ray of hope to the obese and overweight community to attain their ideal weight.

Weight loss surgery is proving its mettle as the world grapples with a pandemic of lifestyle-induced obesity and related disorders. Most recently published data in The Lancet from the STAMPEDE trial suggests that weight loss surgery is superior to intensive medical therapy for obesity and its related co-morbidities even over a 5-10 year follow-up period.

Dr Harsh Sheth, an expert bariatric surgeon in Mumbai explains why diet and exercise simply aren’t as effective as weight loss surgery. He states, ‘Diet programs work by creating a daily calorie deficit, requiring the participants to ensure that they consume fewer calories than they expend on a daily basis. Whereas weight loss surgery works by inducing weight loss on both a mechanical as well as a chemical level. Surgical alteration of the digestive tract results in a favourable alteration of the incretin anti-incretin axis, as also resetting the metabolic set point in the brain to a lower level, something that can’t be achieved by diet and exercise alone.’

He further adds that ‘While weight loss surgery is safe and effective, optimal outcomes can be guaranteed only if the patient is motivated and the team has the requisite knowledge and expertise.’

Weight loss surgery (or metabolic surgery or popularly known as bariatric surgery) works via multiple mechanisms, the commonest of which are: restriction and malabsorption. Surgery can either reduce the volume of the stomach, thereby restricting the quantity of food consumed, and/or alter the digestive tract to only partially absorb calories from ingested food. Most procedures performed today combine the advantages of restriction and malabsorption to a certain degree, and hence provide an excellent result, not only in the short-term but also in the long-term.

Why does weight loss surgery work when conventional weight loss methods don't?

Dr Harsh Sheth and his team will ensure a comprehensive and personalized approach to weight loss surgery, to ensure optimal outcomes and avoid unnecessary surgical treatment in unindicated patients. In his capacity as a consultant in advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgery, he has transformed the lives of nearly 1000 patients. His surgical skills and expertise include performing sleeve gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, mini-gastric bypass, revision surgeries, and endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty.

For Bariatric surgery in Mumbai, Dr Harsh Sheth is available across reputed hospitals in Mumbai, viz. Saifee Hospital, Bhatia Hospital, ACI Cumballa Hill Hospital, Apollo Spectra Hospital (Tardeo), Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central, and Conwest & Manjula S Badani Jain Charitable Hospital.

Weight loss surgery with proven results offers a new ray of hope to the obese and overweight community to attain their ideal weight and lead a healthy and sustainable life.  Even though conventional methods (with diet and exercise) have been tried and tested, yet we have weight loss surgeries gaining preference and acknowledgment.

Going further, he states, ‘Weight loss surgery isn’t the magic wand one wants it to be. While one will lose weight rapidly over the course of two years, maintaining the weight requires commitment and dedication from the patient, something most surgeons will not touch upon.’

Take for example his patient Mrs. Dabhar, a 55-year-old obese lady with a BMI of 48.1 kg/m2, with uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, and diabetes related complications. She presented to Dr. Harsh Sheth intent on using medical therapy to lose weight, despite failing multiple previous diet and exercise regimes under the supervision of the most reputed dieticians and physical trainers. However, upon further counselling, she was convinced that a weight loss procedure would be a good option for her.

She underwent a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass a year ago and hasn’t looked back since. She has stopped her anti-diabetic medications, reduced her blood pressure medications, is able to run 4 km every day and has dropped down to a BMI of 28 kg/m2. Mrs Dabhar must serve as an inspiration for all other obese patients out there, to take the plunge and seek help. Because accepting that one’s weight is a problem opens the door to shedding that weight and leading a healthier life.

Weight loss surgery is a novel advancement in the field of medicine. It offers an apt solution to people who are struggling to restore their health as they deal with diabetes, hypertension and other lifestyle disorders.  As aptly said by Dr Harsh, ‘Weight loss surgery is not a magic want but definitely a guiding light to normal and healthy living especially in patients motivated to overcome their health challenges at all costs.’

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