Bariatric surgery is passé. Women willing to battle the bulge are now opting for intra-gastric balloon procedure for quick results. The demand for this minimally-invasive technique has seen a 25% rise in Indore in the last two years.
Doctors in the city state that this relatively new procedure, where a silicone balloon filled with saline water is placed inside stomach to limit appetite, is more popular among young and unmarried women, aged between 18 and 25.
“A huge chunk of our patients are young and unmarried women. They want to reduce weight without surgery. The idea of looking thin and fit before marriage is one reason why young women undergo this procedure,” said Dr Mohit Bhandari, a bariatric surgeon.
For Richa (name changed), this new technique has eased out a lot of tension and health problems.
“I needed to lose around 15-20 kg but did want any surgery marks on my belly. So I opted for intra-gastric balloon procedure,” she said.
Figures collected from a private hospital suggest that a total of 1,500 people opted for weight-loss techniques in Indore last year, of which 375 picked intra-gastric balloon procedure over bariatric surgery. The cost for this new procedure varies between `2 lakh and `3 lakh.
Bhandari, who performs around 90 weight-loss surgeries per month, said: “When I started out in 2006, there were not too many cases. Since 2011, however, I have started getting around 1,000 such requests in a year.”
The reasons for more women opting for weight-loss procedures are aplenty. While some are concerned about their marriage prospects, others go for this quick technique to try their luck at modelling or air-hostess profession.
A quick and easy way to lose weight, many experts also count the repercussions attached to the operations.
“It is no doubt a helpful procedure to lose weight. But, if the operation is done in haste and does not calculation Body Mass Index correctly, it can turn fatal to the patient,” said Dr Sharad Pandit, joint director, health department.
The side effects include nausea, bloating and loss of appetite.
“The patient has to follow a strict diet. If he/she doesn’t then it can either to anaemia,” Dr Raj Kumar Mathur, bariatric surgeon at MY Hospital, said.
THE BIG FAT PROBLEM
Figures collected from a private hospital in Indore suggest that 1,500 people opted for weight-loss techniques in the city last year
Cost: Rs 2-3 lakh in state (varies as per the cost and expenses of the hospital)
The balloon is introduced into the stomach through the mouth without the need for surgery. The doctor inserts an endoscopic camera (gastroscope) into the stomach. If no abnormalities are observed, the balloon is placed through the mouth and down the oesophagus into the stomach. Once inside the stomach, it is then filled with a sterile saline solution through a small filling tube attached to the balloon. The doctor then removes the tube by gently pulling on the external end, leaving the balloon inside the stomach
This procedure is performed by a qualified specialist gastroenterologist alongside an anaesthetist and trained nursing staff
Placement of the balloon takes approximately 20 minutes, after which patients are monitored by nursing staff in the recovery bay. As this is a “day-only” procedure, patients are generally discharged within two hours after the balloon insertion.