Bariatric surgery (a keyhole surgery for obesity and diabetes) has increasingly become popular in our country because of its profound efficacy in managing severe obesity and diseases produced by it such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, arthritis, infertility, etc. Angrisani et al published worldwide statistics in the Obesity Surgery journal- that almost 5 lakh bariatric procedures took place in 2013 worldwide and it is still on the rise! In India, unconfirmed reports suggest that 10000 patients undergo this surgery annually. These figures are increasing exponentially due to the widespread awareness about obesity and popularity of bariatric surgery.
The advantages and results of the surgery continue to amaze the general public- politicians like Nitin Gadkari and Arun Jaitley being prominent examples of this. Many patients have had dramatic weight loss, making them look better. The surgery, when done properly and for the right patient type, allows for mobility and the opportunity to enjoy life in various ways. Most diabetics go off their medications, arthritics lose their knee pain and sleep apneics do not need to take the CPAP machine anymore for sleeping. Self-confidence replaces depression and social withdrawal in many patients. Yes, the benefits are endless!
However, just like with all good things in life, one has to be careful. One has to be mindful of the post-surgery commitments regarding diet and supplementation. Nutritional management during follow up is one of the key factors that determine the outcome. Compliant patients who follow instructions do better than those who don’t. Centres who have a good team of trained bariatric nutritionists show best results. Bariatric surgery in this manner should be seen as a means to an end and not an end to the means.
Post-operative care and support is as important as bariatric surgery itself and we have realized this from the inception of our bariatric programme. This led to the creation of a good team of nutritionists in our Center who follow our patients stringently. Care is given to educate the patients regarding good nutrition and change their mindset to value health.
And while we learnt from our researching and experience, it also led to my writing this book. In this compact book, ‘Nutrition, Obesity and Bariatric Surgery’, co-authored by Dr. Aparna Mukhopadhyay, Professor at Presidency University, we have laid down evidence-based guidelines that our nutritionists follow in our Centre, Belle Vue Clinic, Kolkata. There is now a large number of people in society who have undergone this surgery and we would need many trained nutritionists to guide them. I hope that by sharing our knowledge with our bariatric surgeon colleagues and nutritionists, we would have touched the lives of many people.
Till now, no book was available on this topic in our country. I hope that this book will fill this deficiency. It will be useful to bariatric surgeons, nutritionists interested in the science of obesity and even the discerning patients who wish to know more about their food habits and supplements. It will also bridge the gulf between the bariatric surgeons and the nutritionists and help them to conceive a comprehensive care for obesity.