Bariatric surgery has now widely gained acceptance as a treatment option for health conditions like diabetes and hypertension, which is caused by excessive weight gain. In India, several political bigwigs have also opted for bariatric surgery to reduce weight and control their underlying health problems.
However, as popular as it may seem, bariatric surgery still comes with a hefty price-tag. The cost varies between Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh, depending on the type of package. Unfortunately, the procedure is still not covered by most medical insurance plans.
Dr Ashish Shah, the bariatric surgeon with Fortis Hospital, Bangalore, said: “It is a shame that in India it is not covered under medical insurance even though it is done to cure many medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and sleep apnea.”
The steep prices have not deterred interested candidates from going under the knife, as clearly, the benefits outweigh the cost.
Post-op care critical
The most crucial factor with bariatric surgery is the post-operative care. One has to be cautious about the diet to avoid leaks at the surgical site and possible complications like a hernia and pneumonia.
Pre-surgery counselling is a must, to inform the patient about risks and the importance of post-op care. After surgery, the patient is expected to maintain an active lifestyle by carrying out low-intensity activities such as yoga or walking. The initial few weeks post-surgery demands that the patient follows a liquid diet, following which they slowly move on to soft and semi-solid food.
Depending on the size of the person, one cannot consume more than 1,400 to 1,600 calories a day. In addition to this, as the surgery involves a significant alteration in the metabolic system, patients will need to be on vitamins and nutritional supplements as well.
Dr Nandakishore Dukkipati, Chief surgeon at LivLife Hospitals, Hyderabad believes that follow-up after bariatric surgery is extremely important. It ensures patients follow the necessary care to get the best results from their surgery.