Well Being: Should you opt for obesity control procedures?

An expert advises on safety and usefulness of such procedures.

obesity weight loss
They are high-risk procedures and should be done in a well regulated set-up with experienced personnel with a proven track record.

By Dr Vigyan Jain

How safe are cosmetic procedures offered by salons and wellness centres for obesity control?

There are no invasive procedures which should be offered by salons and wellness centres for obesity control.

How safe are medical procedures like liposuction?

They are high-risk procedures and should be done in a well regulated set-up with experienced personnel with a proven track record.

Who are the patients advised to opt for such procedures?

Patients who require cosmetic and body contouring only may be advised to undergo such procedures. It can be useful in selected cases, post-plastic surgery after successful bariatric surgery. They are not suitable for weight loss.

Is it advisable to take pills for obesity control? Who are the right candidates for such medications?

Taking medications can be useful in selected group of patients. There are very few drugs now available for weight loss. But they have to be under the guidance of a specialist in obesity medicine in the right patient as part of multidisciplinary approach for weight loss.

The right candidates for medications:

Patient who do not fit the criteria to undergo bariatric surgery (eg BMI between 25 and 33 kg/m2).

As a means to achieve short-term weight loss prior to bariatric surgery or any other surgery.

Patients who wish to prevent weight gain or as an adjunct following successful bariatric surgery.

What about patients that are genetically prone to obesity? What are the options for them?

Very few patients have genetic cause for obesity. Obesity results in patients predominantly because of lifestyle issue. Genetic problems usually are seen in teens/ adolescents/ children and investigations (genetic markers that need blood tests) are needed to establish the exact cause. However, once established, options are limited for such patients.

Do such procedures and medications yield permanent results?

Cosmetic procedures have no role in management of obesity. Liposuction has no role in management of morbid obesity. Genetic problems need to be fully investigated. Diagnosis has to be established and then decision has to be taken by a specialist.

And permanent result is the percentage of weight loss that you achieve.

No cosmetic procedure or liposuction can achieve significant weight loss. These procedures are for body contouring/ cosmesis only.

(Dr Vigyan Jain is consultant, bariatric & upper GI surgery, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai)

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