For over ten million obese people in the United States of America, getting thin does not just mean looking good; it also means feeling healthy, feeling good about oneself, and being able to lead a “normal” life. Unfortunately, combating obesity isn’t as easy as it might seem.
Even after the initial hurdle of losing unwanted weight is overcome, maintaining a healthy body weight requires a drastic change in the lifestyle, including diet and physical exercise routine.
Dr. Ajay Goyal, who has been leading the New Jersey Bariatric Center, has conducted various weight loss surgeries on a host of patients. Both Gastric bypass and Lap band surgeries have yielded good results for his patients. Individual considerations like extent of weight loss, reversibility of the procedure, risks and diet requirements help patients in choosing the right surgery for them. Successful operations on patients have not just transformed their lives, but also given hope to the thousands of others who want to get in shape and stay fit.
In the words of a 54 year old patient on whom the Lap band surgery was successfully performed, “my life is a thousand times better now. I don’t feel like a fifty four year old woman. I feel more youthful.”
Having been put in the first class of an aircraft just to be given a seat big enough to accommodate her, she decided she didn’t want to spend the rest of her life “feeling totally uncomfortable about her weight and self-conscious around people” and that that flight would be her “last humiliating flight.”
That is when she resolved to shed the extra pounds, and found Dr. Goyal, whom she describes:
“Dr Goyal is a no nonsense man who gives you facts…all the information about the surgery, and answers all your questions patiently and to your satisfaction. I just felt comfortable around him. I felt that this is the man I want to do my surgery.”
"In fact, one of the first things he suggested was that I attend one of his seminars on weight loss surgery to gain complete knowledge about what I was going to do. It was then that I decided that he was the best guy to perform this surgery. His staff is as cordial and cooperative as him. They will always remember your name and your face when you walk into his office."
After attending one of Dr. Goyal’s seminars, she had her mind made up about going ahead with surgery where the different options, procedures and their pros and cons were explained. Prior to her operation, she was required to consult a nutritionist and a psychologist, and undertake all the required medical tests. The importance of post-operative procedures and lifestyle changes was constantly stressed upon.
“Surgery is a very small part of it. You have to be mentally ready for it. If you’re not mentally ready for it, and you have expectations that are not realistic, you can’t succeed in any type of surgery,” said the patient.
Getting rid of excess body weight can spontaneously cure some of the medical conditions closely related to obesity- like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, sleep apnea, etc. After having lost 149 pounds of weight, the patient reported relief from heart burn and sleep apnea which she’d earlier experienced.
"My blood pressure is under control, sleep apnea is almost cured. I am not out of breath anymore, whereas earlier even the mildest exertion used to get my heart pumping thrice its usual rate. My back too doesn’t hurt anymore. I can now sit on a low couch and stand up gracefully without having to hoist myself!"
Apart from the medical benefits, losing unwanted weight has positive psychological effects too, a reality summed up by what the patient had to say-
“I think this is seriously the best decision I’ve made in my life. I do so one hundred percent. I like seeing myself in the mirror now. I feel like a normal person. The best part? I can go to stores and try out anything that I fancy! Now I like what I see in the mirror. Don’t feel like I am going on 54!"