Traditionally, Indians are slim, healthy and never need to diet or consider weight loss, as our eating habits consist of lots of cooked leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and rice which have been passed down through the generations.
This traditional cuisine has kept the Indian population healthy though millenniums and in comparison to the west, we have generally had a lower incident of obesity, cholesterol and blood pressure related ailments with which westerners are battling.
But in recent times, things have drastically changed. There has been a noticeable increase in obesity among Indians, particularly among the youth, as they gravitate toward burgers, coke and the quick takeaways consumed by their western peers. Besides, Indian parents call overweight children ‘healthy’ which is a euphemism for not being malnourished so the trend is not stopped.
India now has the unenviable record of the highest incidence of diabetes in the world.
How did we go from being one of the healthiest community to the unhealthiest people?
We are now experiencing the same difficulty in losing the excess weight, as our western counterparts and are looking at alternative remedies – like surgery. This is not an easy decision for anyone and is the last resort after trying different fad diets, buying expensive exercise apparatus and passive exercise machines that very seldom work.
The psychological effects of becoming obese is just as damaging, as one tends to comfort-eat to get over the feelings of ugliness and inadequacy brought on by an uncontrollable weight increase and the overweight person becomes morbidly obese.
There are amazing results of obese people who have actually lost weight through eating plans, worked out by their dietitians, exercise and the encouragement of everyone around them. But it isn’t easy for children to stick to eating plans and they are developing Type II diabetes, high blood pressure and the accompanying diseases.
What are my weight loss surgery options?
The most common surgery being performed on children as young as 13 and the morbidly obese is bariatric surgery. It ranges from having a gastric band put around the stomach to reduce its size, to having a gastrectomy, which is actually having a portion of the stomach removed. Bariatric surgery has fantastic results, prolonging the life of the patient, curing diabetes as well as aiding the loss of weight. Quite often, this will be the only surgery needed to get the wanted result.
Post weight loss: Liposuction and Cosmetic surgeries
Generally a patient has liposuction after losing a huge amount of weight and there are stubborn pockets of fat on the abdomen, thighs and buttocks that further dieting just won’t shift. The patient has to be in good health and not taking anti-coagulant medication. There are risks attached to this surgery, as for any surgery and the patient is made aware of them by the surgeon. There are usually additional procedures that go with the liposuction like a tummy tuck, thigh and arm lifts and breast reductions. Any additional procedure will prolong the healing process.
Bruises, swelling and discomfit are some of the after-effects that take a number of weeks to subside. The patient is made to understand that life-style changes need to take place to enhance the effects of any weight-reduction surgeries.
How to choose a Plastic Surgeon?
The first thing you need to ascertain is whether he is registered with the Board of Plastic Surgery and if he has hospital privileges. This is critical because although the procedure will probably be done in his own rooms, having hospital privileges ensures that he is an experienced surgeon and he abides by the safety protocol and ethics of the medical profession.
Ask the doctor for references and if he is experienced in the exact procedure you will be having done.
Do you feel comfortable with your doctor and is his/her idea of beauty the same as yours? Does the surgeon practice safety first and foremost? Do your due diligence as you would with any doctor and get all your questions answered, one way or the other.
In many instances, having surgery is a drastic but life-saving procedure. The patient has tried everything and failed and his life now depends on losing weight urgently to save his life.
If at all possible, losing weight without surgery is the better way to go. It takes a lot longer, is a lot more difficult and the end results are not always satisfactory. You would still need some body sculpturing to cut away the excess skin that now hangs loose around the belly and legs.
There are pros and cons for both surgical and non-surgical approaches to weight loss so it depends entirely on the individual, on the strength of will power to go it alone, or the urgency of having the fat reduced. There is no right or wrong way as each case has to be assessed individually. Simply, take every precaution, do your homework, find the best professionals to help you and your rate of success will be assured.