To go under the knife for a weight loss surgery is not an easy decision. As a bariatric surgeon I understand that the decision would not be taken immediately by patients who are suffering from morbid obesity with co-morbid conditions. There is one such experience I would like to share of a gentleman by name Suresh who came enquiring about bariatric surgery procedures.Suresh belonged to a typical middle class family, and was having a not-so-high-flying career. He was in his late 20’s and his weight was around 150 kg. When I counseled him, he was depressed by his obesity and was perceived as a non-performer in his workplace. This situation typically happens to every obese individual.He wanted a way out of his obesity and I readily provided a detailed counseling. As one of the responsible bariatric surgeons in Chennai, I counsel the patients about the procedure, its benefits, the post surgical care and life after bariatric surgery. Suresh was convinced about the difference a bariatric surgery would bring to his life. However he asked me if he could speak to a person who had already undergone a bariatric surgery with me. I promised that I would speak to one of my patient by name Uma, who had undergone the weight loss surgery and get back to him if she was willing to attend a joint meeting. Uma was progressing well after her surgery and had her post-surgery appointment with me. I said to Uma about Suresh and she readily obliged to present her experience when I was counseling Suresh.Suresh came the same day when Uma had her appointment. I facilitated the meeting and Suresh had many questions to ask. Uma explained her positive experience after the bariatric surgery. She talked about how simple the laparoscopic procedure was. She also talked about how life was after undergoing the surgery. Suresh was pretty convinced and he decided firmly to undergo the surgery.After a thorough examination and following other protocols, Suresh had his bariatric surgery performed. He lost weight, gained confidence and was doing well. I also got to hear that he had switched his job and was now having a wonderful career.Here is the next wonderful twist. Suresh and Uma had decided to get married. When they informed me of the decision, I truly felt delighted for them. They invited me to their marriage and I did attend. I last heard that they had two wonderful babies. I feel excited by this experience as it goes to prove that morbidly obese individuals can lead a truly normal life once their obesity problem is addressed. This emphasizes the fact that bariatric surgery is not a cosmetic surgery.
PS – Names of the patients have been changed to uphold their privacy.
Dr M Maran