Youngsters go under the knife to lose weight

Youngsters go under the knife to lose weight

Youngsters go under the knife to lose weight

If your picture of a weight-loss surgery, also known as a bariatric surgery, is that of an over-weight 40-year-old being wheeled into the OT, then it needs correction.

As compared to the norm of middle-aged men and women going for weight loss surgeries generally, doctors are surprised at the rate at which this age bracket is coming down.

More often than ever before, young adults, adolescents and even children as young as 8 and 9 (you read that right) are approaching hospitals for weight loss surgeries!
Doctors say that as much as awareness about such surgeries is increasing, the phenomenon of child obesity rising worldwide is to be bla­med.

Dr Atul Peters, Director, Institute of Bariatric, Metabolic and Minimal Accesses Surgery, Fortis Healthcare, says, “Till about three years back, I would get patie­n­ts above 40 only who have already developed obesity related diseases like infertility, diabetes and hyper-tension.

These days, getting patients of 18-25 years of age with morbid obesity, has become regular. The youngest I have treated so far is a boy of eight years of age who was 90 kgs.”    

A body-mass index (BMI) of 18-25 kg is considered normal. BMI above 30, however, is obese and above 32.5 kgs is considered morbidly obese which is a disease in itself. BMI is calculated by dividing one’s weight by the square of one’s height.

Dr Atul informs, “People are increasingly realising that they should not wait till 40 to get this problem corrected. The sooner you get a weight-loss surgery done, the better.
“Also, the fact that this surgery is becoming safer over time with the development of medical techniques and technology besides its assured effectiveness, is aiding its popularity.” 

Bariatric surgeries include surgeries like gastric banding (in which a silicone band is fastened around the top of the stomach to reduce appetite), Sleeve Gastrectomy (in which a portion of the stomach is removed) and gastric bypass (whereby stomach is divided into a small upper pouch and a much larger lower ‘remnant’ pouch to reduce appetite again).

Dr. YS Gautam, a Bariatric surgeon in Shalimar Bagh further says, “Genetic and environment factors are contributing to the rise of child obesity and resultant drop in the age of patients coming for them.

“I have seen full families with obesity problems due to genetic factors. Besides, environmental factors like price of healthy food rising while the price of junk food continuously going down, lack of parks for children to play and sedentary lifestyles are major reasons for this problem.”

Besides full weight-loss surgeries, young adults are also going for cosmetic weight-loss techniques like Meso therapy and liposuction. Cosmetologist Dr. Ka­r­u­na Malhotra says,
“Many young unmarried men and women come to me for procedures like injection lipolysis wherein a cocktail of drugs is injected into a body part with hard fat to melt it.

“Then, with the help of certain medicines, it is removed from the body. Younger people prefer it as it leaves behi­nd no scars, thereby leaving no traces of a surgery on
the body.”

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