Dr Muffazal Lakdawala, who has treated many celebrities and top politicians in India, was in Raipur. The obesity surgeon and expert in Laparoscopy speak to Divya Dubey about the weight loss surgery and its various aspects.
What is Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric is a basically a weight loss surgery. It is done mainly for people who are massively obese. It’s not a cosmetic surgery at all. So when you have many kilos to lose, then the best option is to go for bariatric surgery. There is enough literature to prove that bariatric surgery is the only proven way to achieve sustainable weight loss and improvement in associated co-morbidities or life-saving for obese people.
How many diseases does it prevent?
Normally, obesity is considered as the root cause of many diseases. Weight loss surgery controls diabetics, Blood Pressure, hypertension, stress, urinary incontinence, infertility, gallstones, sleep apnea, joints pain much more so anyone having problems like that which is causing an obstacle to living a normal life then bariatric surgery is a good option.
Does it prevent diabetes and blood pressure?
No. It depends on the status of patients BP and diabetes. But the dosage of medicines will be reduced for sure. Besides, it will also reduce the side effects such as eye and kidney changes. There are cases in which patients are able to stop regular medicines.
What kind of surgery is it?
There are two types of surgeries; open surgery and laparoscopic surgery and laparoscopy also which are done by robots. Many use robot-assisted surgery as a marketing tool but the fact is that this can be used effectively where human hand and instruments can’t turn around.
What about side effects of bariatric surgery?
Certain issues like feeling nausea, a feeling food stuck inside could happen after surgery for some time. In this surgery, the size of the stomach is reduced. Intake of multi-vitamins is required to avoid facing the deficiency of vitamins. Patients are advised accordingly before and after the surgery. Otherwise, there is no side-effects and no need for fear as it actually gets your good life back.
What about the skin loosening impact after losing weight?
If a patient has immense bulges or disproportionate weight before surgery, then it will get loose. If the patient is of the age of early 60s and more, then it’s natural that their skin gets loose after surgery. After six months, if the patient starts yoga and other exercises with prescribed protein and water intake, then skin gets tight. Usually, no skin tightening surgery is required.
What could be the maximum weight loss? Is there a possibility of a person becoming obese again?
It depends upon the type of body of the patient. I have seen patients who have lost 30 to 300 kilograms. There is a very rare chance of the person becoming obese again if the patients sincerely follow all instructions after surgery.
Since how long you are in this field? How did you come to choose that innovative field in surgery?
Since 2004, I am in the field of Bariatrics. I came into this line, you can say, by fluke. When I was with Johnson and Johnson, they were looking for surgeons to train in bariatrics. They asked some of the senior surgeons to go for training in bariatric surgery but they declined. As senior surgeons were reluctant due to various reasons, they opted for young surgeons and I was one among them. And it came as an opportunity.
How many surgeries you have done so far?
I have performed more than 7500 surgeries till date.
I am thankful to her that she had given me the opportunity to prove something impossible the world thought. We proved it. When she came to me she was more than 500 kgs and the time of leaving she had shed 330 kg’s in just three months. One thing is sad for me, she went out with half of her treatment I wanted to complete her treatment but I was not given that opportunity. I want to say that India has proved that it has skills to tackle heaviest patients. After this, many foreign patients like Eman are approaching us for taking up their cases. We were involved from the day one in the case of Eman, with Cambridge University from London, Howard University from America and Melbourne University from Australia in her care. So the best scientists in the world, not surgeons, were involved in her care so they knew the real care which we have actually provided to her.
You have become the president of Asia’s obesity surgery society so what would be your message for the obese?
I just want to create awareness regarding obesity because it is the mother of all diseases. A recent United States committee for disease control resolution says that 40 types of diseases are caused due to obesity. Apart from the cities like Mumbai and Delhi, people from smaller cities like Raipur are now opting for bariatric surgery. We are in the process of going in for tie-up with hospitals with modern facilities in such cities to that we could reach out to the patients rather than coming to Mumbai.