October 31, 2017
Bariatric surgery is no more a cosmetic surgery under the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), according to Dr. Praveen Raj, Head of Bariatric Surgery, Gem Hospital.
The hospital, added yet another feather to its cap, by performing bariatric surgery on two persons suffering from morbid obesity under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme. This is the first time in the country that a bariatric surgery has been performed under the insurance scheme.
(The first patient Saravanan, a washer man by profession, who was weighing 141 kg lost 10kg, 20 days after the surgery. The second patient, Catherine from Salem, who was weighing 149 kg, lost eight kilos within a week after the surgery.)
The surgery is a boon for patients who are unable to reduce their weight by lifestyle modifications or for those suffering from sleep apnea, osteoarthritis (a type of arthritis, where flexible tissues at the end of bones wears down) due to complications of obesity, Dr. Praveen said.
“Earlier this surgery was performed only on the rich due to high costs involved,” he added.
“The number of deaths occurring due to obesity is high in India. Tamil Nadu ranks fourth in obesity disorder and third in diabetic disorder in the country. Most of the affected persons are women,” Dr. Praveen said and added that patients with 30 BMI (Body Mass Index) and with a family annual income of Rs. 72,000 were eligible for the insurance scheme.
“Through the surgery, there will be gradual decrease in the weight of the person affected by obesity disorder. One year after the surgery, the patient is expected to lose 85 per cent of the weight.”