Doctors point out that there are two types of ‘fatty’ conditions – one moderately excessive, but stubborn fat in certain parts of your body, which spoils your aesthetics, and the other hugely excessive, leading to uncomfortably overlapping skin bags. Undoubtedly, both are detrimental to your overall health and need to be tackled in right earnest. But quick-fix solutions can be counterproductive, and medically advisable way to go about it is slow and steady!
Photos By : Life In Chandigarh
Speaking to LifeInChandigarh.com on the subject, Prof (Dr) Anil Bhansali, head of Department of Endocrinology at the premier healthcare and medical education institute PGI Chandigarh, is emphatic while maintaining that having a BMI (body mass index), which is calculated by dividing your weight in kg by your height in metres square, is a reasonably good indicator for us to decide whether we need to shed weight or not. For Asian population, BMI between 19 and 25 is considered normal while 25-29 is overweight and 30 and above is obese or very obese.
Even a one-year-old can have obesity. The right approach is to tackle the issue at the overweight stage, instead of waiting for it to progress to obesity. Studies have shown that children who are overweight when they start school, are far more likely to be obese by the time they become teenagers.
Obesity is a medical condition doctors would not like anyone to get into, because people who have it become more susceptible to catching infection and developing non communicable diseases like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, problems of the joints, and cancer.
Information gathered by LifeInChandigarh.com from various authoritative health sector sources is conclusive that while the best recourse to shed those extra kilos is dietary control and workouts running in tandem, but there are apparently not many takers for this ideal option because of lack of will, or even patience, to go through the highly demanding routine.
There are a few non-surgical techniques like Cryolipolysis, Ultrasound Fat Blasting and patented CoolSculpting which take care of your stubborn fat bulges, for example in the thigh, abdomen and flank, bra fat, back fat and underneath the buttocks and upper arm, without having to resort to dietary control and workouts, but their benefits are confined to improving your aesthetics rather than reducing your weight and improving your health condition on account of being overweight or obese.
For removing hugely excessive amounts of fat and skin flab, there are surgical techniques like Liposuction and Tummy Tuck, which are performed by plastic surgeons, and which, with major advancements over the last few years, have become much safer.
However, an emerging trend is towards performing Bariatric surgery, in which broadly speaking the size of your stomach is reduced, resulting in less craving for food. It is also considered to be beneficial for controlling diabetes. Dr Bhansali also rates Bariatric surgery as possibly the safest and most effective solution for weight loss.
Dr Sunny Bawa, who has been practicing Cryolipolysis and Ultrasound Fat Blasting in Chandigarh for the last 11 years, during which he has handled thousands of cases, says people are increasingly wanting to look their best in public along with maintaining physical and mental well being. “Cryolipolysis is a convenient technology which uses controlled cooling to freeze and eliminate fat cells without surgery or downtime for recovery. Similarly Ultrasound Fat Blasting technology is used to eliminate stubborn fat bulges and is very effective with a little dietary control,” he adds.
Men and women in their 20s and 30s come to this doctor, who is also a fitness, martial arts and adventure freak, for pure aesthetics, while the older lot in the age bracket 40-60 start coming in after their physicians raise health concerns over their excessive fat.
Dr Bawa, who shares the multi-centre weight loss and spa brand Nidsun with his Delhi-based sister Nidhi Mohan Kamal, herself a food scientist and well known fitness expert, cites several examples of overweight or obese patients overcoming their fat-related medical complications with the help of their fat reduction techniques. One striking example he gives is of a 38-year-old woman who came complaining of infertility and eventually conceived after shedding 20 kg weight at their Chandigarh centre.
Husband-wife doctor duo Dr KM Kapoor and Dr Puneet Kapoor have recently added a latest patented Cryolipolysis non surgical US technology christened CoolSculpting for fat loss to their portfolio of invasive techniques like Liposuction at their well known age reversal clinic and medispa AntiClock.
Says Puneet Kapoor, “for the past many years, our clients had been asking for a non-surgical alternative to Liposuction. So a year ago we brought in the most technologically advanced ‘Advantage’ series of applicators using the controlled fat freezing technique. By this method, the stubborn and noticeable bulges in the most fat-prone areas of the body, that are pinchable or grabable, are frozen to minus-10 or minus-11 degrees celsius after gripping them with suction in the specially designed cups of the applicators.
“The extreme cold sensitive fat cells in the targetted area, which get damaged, eventually die and within a couple of months are filtered out permanently as waste by the body’s lymphatic system, giving that part of the body a sculpted look. The rest of the tissues like nerves and muscles in the targeted area remain unaffected. The skin is protected during the procedure with a patented gel pad. With the advanced CoolSculpting Advantage series this procedure ideally takes not more than 35 minutes with minimal unease or discomfort to the client. “Most of our clients watch their favourite shows on Netflix, surf the Net, read a book, sip tea or just take a nap,” Dr Puneet shares.
The CoolSculpting procedure will not help you lose weight. However, it will definitely help you lose that unwanted fat and look slimmer in your clothes. Ideal candidates for this treatment are men and women who weigh not more than 15 kgs over and above their ideal body weight (BMI). The ideal age group for this procedure is 25-45 years when skin tone is good. In higher age group the skin begins to sag in the targeted area.
“We are perhaps the only centre in this region to have two of the CoolSculpting Advantage series machines, so we can run them simultaneously on a client to cut down on time required for the procedure. Most patients need only one sitting. The cost depends on how many applicators are deployed on a patient. Each applicator costs around Rs 33,000 and 4-6 applicators are usually deployed in a single sitting.”
Liposuction & Tummy Tuck
Speaking about the surgical options of fat loss, well known plastic surgeon Dr KM Kapoor, who has performed 1,000-plus such procedures, most at Fortis Hospital Mohali, says, “with greater awareness and availability of advanced facilities over the past 5-10 years, the outcomes of surgical techniques like Liposuction and Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) have vastly improved. These are generally safe surgeries provided these are done in a proper setup.”
Liposuction involves puncturing of the target area and sucking out the fat from under the skin using a special Liposuction cannula. Generally it is performed on ballooning bellies, thighs and buttocks or on female-like male chest. In Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty, excessively sagging skin around the naval area after liposuction is removed superficially without touching the vital organs and then sewn up again. Liposuction can cost anything between Rs 70,000-Rs 80,000, while charges for Tummy Tuck can be upwards of Rs 2 lakh.
Dr Kapoor remembers two typical cases he handed during his long practice – one of a 180 kg man, whose weight reduced to 130 kg with liposuction and further to 115 kg within weeks, and second of a 13-year-old obese school boy who had developed breasts equivalent to the size of a normal adult woman and which had become a subject for constant teasing by his friends. Liposuction and gland removal restored the boy’s normal life, Dr KM Kapoor adds.
Coming to Bariatric surgery, possibly the safest and most effective solution for weight loss and which also helps control diabetes, Dr Amit Garg, a young Bariatric surgeon practising in Fortis Hospital Mohali, says “among Asian population, a fit case for getting Bariatric surgery done is a person with a BMI of 32 or above with diabetes or hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, knee problem, or knee arthritis.
Another fit case for Bariatric surgery is a person with a BMI of 32 or above and who has start medication for diabetes, but his or her blood sugar levels are not going down.
He points out that in the UK, from where he received his initial training in Bariatric surgery, national health coverage standard guidelines straightaway recommend Bariatric surgery for a person with a BMI of 37 or more and is a diabetic. The problem in India is that once you are diagnosed with diabetes, you are immediately put on medication without going into the cause of the disease, whether pancreas are working fine or not.
Governments and individuals have to weigh the costs and advantages of Bariatric surgery against the expenditure on treatment of diabetes through medication and the dangers associated with the ailment like turning blind, kidney failure or diabetic foot. By adopting a pragmatic approach and laying down standard guidelines, UK has been able to bring down expenditure of treating diabetes to one-third, he asserts.