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When Weight Loss Surgery advised for Indian overweight person.

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When Weight Loss Surgery advised for Indian overweight person.
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When Weight Loss Surgery advised for Indian overweight person.

In India, the tide of obesity is rising, impacting millions and raising vital questions about health and well-being. While lifestyle modifications remain the cornerstone of weight management, sometimes, even dedicated efforts fall short. In such scenarios, weight loss surgery (WLS) emerges as a potential option for individuals struggling with severe obesity and its associated health risks. But who qualifies for WLS in India? This blog delves deep into the Indian criteria, guiding you through the complexities and considerations surrounding this potentially life-changing decision.

Understanding the Need: Addressing Severe Obesity

Before exploring the criteria, it’s crucial to understand who truly needs WLS. It’s not a quick fix for moderate weight loss or a substitute for healthy habits. In India, the Obesity & Metabolic Surgery Society of India (OSSI) sets the guidelines, prioritizing the safety and efficacy of WLS.

For Obesity:

  • BMI ≥ 35: If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or above, with or without related health conditions (co-morbidities), you should be considered for WLS.
  • BMI ≥ 30 with T2DM or Metabolic Syndrome: If you have type 2 diabetes (T2DM) or metabolic syndrome that is poorly controlled by lifestyle changes and medication, and your BMI is 30 or above, WLS should be considered .

The primary criterion is a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more, indicating severe obesity, is applicable in Western populations.

  • Type 2 diabetes: Uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetes with a BMI of 35 or above.
  • Severe obstructive sleep apnea:Diagnosed sleep apnea with a BMI of 35 or above, impacting daily life and quality of sleep.
  • Severe osteoarthritis: Painful and debilitating joint issues significantly limiting mobility.
  • Other qualifying conditions: In exceptional cases, other serious conditions like severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) may be considered.

Beyond the Numbers: Factors Shaping the Decision

While these criteria form the base, the decision for WLS involves more than just numbers. Here are crucial factors to consider:

  • Age: Ideally, candidates should be between 18 and 65 years old, ensuring long-term commitment and adherence to lifestyle changes post-surgery.
  • Psychological evaluation: Assessing readiness for the mental and emotional challenges of WLS and adhering to dietary and lifestyle modifications.
  • Medical history: Examining existing medical conditions that could impact surgery or recovery.
  • Social support: Evaluating the presence of a strong support system crucial for post-operative success.
  • Realistic expectations: Understanding that WLS is a tool, not a magic solution, and requires sustained effort for long-term results.

Exploring the Options: A Varied Landscape of Procedures

India offers a range of WLS procedures, each with its own advantages and disadvantages:

  • Gastric bypass: This is the most commonly performed surgery, creating a smaller stomach pouch and bypassing a portion of the small intestine.
  • Sleeve gastrectomy: This involves removing a large portion of the stomach, restricting food intake and reducing hunger hormones.
  • Adjustable gastric band: An inflatable band placed around the upper stomach portion, creating a smaller pouch and promoting satiety.
  • Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD-DS): A complex procedure for individuals with extreme obesity, involving bypassing a large portion of the small intestine and stomach.

The Road Ahead: Post-Surgery Considerations and Support

Following WLS, commitment to lifestyle changes is paramount. A healthy diet, regular physical activity, and regular follow-up with healthcare professionals are essential for maximizing success. Support groups and weight management programs can offer invaluable guidance and community.

Navigating the Financial Landscape: Insurance Coverage and Accessibility

While WLS has gained acceptance in India, affordability remains a significant concern. Thankfully, in October 2019, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) mandated insurance companies to cover WLS for medically eligible individuals.

However, limitations and variations in coverage exist, highlighting the need for further policy enhancements and access to affordable options.

Conclusion: A Well-Informed Decision for a Healthier Future

Deciding on WLS is a personal and complex choice. By understanding the Indian criteria, exploring your options, and carefully considering all factors, you can embark on this journey with a clear understanding of the commitment and potential rewards.

Remember, WLS is not a standalone solution but a tool that empowers you to reclaim your health and well-being.

So, arm yourself with knowledge, consult qualified healthcare professionals, and make an informed decision that leads you towards a healthier and happier future. When Weight Loss Surgery advised for Indian overweight person.

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