Bariatric Surgery in India

Last Modified: May 25, 2020  |   Created on: May 9, 2017
Weight Loss
The cost of bariatric surgery in India is one of the major reasons why foreigners prefer to come to India to undergo one or the other weight loss procedure. India has carved a name for itself in the world in the field of bariatric surgery because of its high quality of treatment at an extremely affordable price.

Bariatric Surgery

The cost of weight loss surgery in India is significantly less than what it costs in other developed countries. By traveling to India, the amount of money that a foreign visitor saves is one of the greatest benefits of undergoing weight loss surgery here. Plus, they should be rest assured that they will be receiving the highest quality of medical care and services during their entire duration of stay in the country. The cost can depend on several factors:

  • Treatment procedure
  • Technology used
  • Severity of defect
  • Location
  • Pre and aftercare
  • Services included

However, the exact cost of bariatric surgery in India depends on several factors. The choice of hospitals, the choice of the city, duration of stay, type of hospital accommodation opted for, complications during surgery, doctor’s fees and anesthesia cost are some of these factors. Nevertheless, several packages are offered to the medical tourists and they can choose one, depending on how much they can spend during their stay in the country.

For some patients, the cost of bariatric surgery is nil. For example, the world’s heaviest woman from Egypt, named Emam Ahmad, recently underwent weight-loss surgery in Mumbai. The doctors treated her for free. Since the day of her surgery, she has lost over 700 pounds and has now traveled back to her home country safely. Before the surgery, she weighed 1,102 pounds.

The following table indicates the difference in the cost of weight loss surgery in India and abroad:

 Gastric bypass CostSleeve gastrectomy Cost
India$4000$6400
United States (US)$28000
United Kingdom (UK)$24000

Note: The treatment costs vary from case to case and a specialist review is advised to determine the best procedure/approach for treatment. Several external factors also impact the cost & quality of treatment including the expertise of specialists and type of surgery (Minimally invasive or open surgery). Please contact Lyfboat Care Team for a personalized quote and advise.

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Weight loss surgery in India

Bariatric surgery in India is most commonly opted by severely obese individuals who are looking forward to an affordable weight loss surgery option. Many medical tourists from different countries travel to India for weight loss surgery primarily because of the excellent quality of medical care and services offered by the hospitals in the country.

Bariatric surgery, as a specialty in itself, includes several surgical procedures that help with immense weight loss over a period of few months. Each type of surgery works through a different mechanism and involves the use of an entirely different technique.

Sleeve gastrectomy, gastric banding, gastric bypass and biliopancreatic diversion (BPD) are some of the common types of weight loss surgery in India. In addition, there are several modifications of these bariatric surgeries that are sometimes performed to suit the needs of the patient.

The best hospitals for bariatric surgery in India are located in different cities that are easily accessible to both inbound and outbound patients. These hospitals are equipped with all the latest technology used to conduct a successful bariatric surgery, including the most advanced life support system and laparoscopy technique.

Many foreign patients visit the top hospitals for bariatric surgery in India each year to experience drastic weight loss. These surgeries not only help reduce the significant amount of weight, but it also helps control or treats the co-morbidities associated with obesity, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Weight loss surgery in India is now very popular, especially in major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai. Every hospital that conducts this surgery in the country has a specially designed and well-established bariatrics department that looks after the needs of the patients who have come for weight loss and are seeking an improvement in their quality of life.

Who can be a candidate for bariatric surgery?

People who fulfil the following criteria can be eligible for a weight loss surgery:

  • BMI equal to or more than 40, or a person who is more than 100 pounds (45.36 kilogram) overweight.
  • BMI equal to or more than 35, and have one or more obesity-related medical conditions such as type II diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, sleep apnea or other respiratory disorders, osteoarthritis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, abnormalities related to lipid profile, and gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Unable to achieve a healthy weight or lose the excess weight with prior weight loss efforts sustained over a period of time.

Types of Bariatric Surgery in India

The best hospitals for weight loss surgery in India specialize in conducting different types of bariatric procedures. Read more about the benefits and risks of each type of bariatric surgery here – ‘A Guide to Choose The Best Type of Weight Loss Surgery for You‘.
Some commonly performed weight loss procedures include the following:

Gastric Banding in India

This minimally invasive weight loss surgery is performed with the help of a laparoscope. A gastric band is a flexible, inflatable band that is used to tie the upper stomach, resulting in a small pouch and a passage that connects it to the rest of the stomach.

By doing this, the surgeons aim to promote an early feeling of fullness in individuals with a gastric band. As a result, the patient eats less and gradually loses a significant amount of weight in the near future.

The gastric band is filled with saline to establish a certain passage width. However, the amount of saline can be adjusted later to increase or decrease the passage opening and accordingly fluctuate the digestive capability and the amount of food that an individual can eat at a time.

The gastric band is intentionally left to stay at its place permanently. However, in the case of adverse reaction or when it is no longer required, the band can be surgically removed. Proper exercise and dietary changes are required to achieve weight loss after the placement of the gastric band.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RGB) in India

Popularly known as gastric bypass, RGB is a surgical weight loss technique that works by bypassing the digestive process carried out by a large portion of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. During this procedure, a small pouch of the stomach is created by stapling it to make it smaller. This small stomach pouch is connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine with the help of a small opening.

Thus, the gastric bypass works by limiting the amount of food that an individual can consume and by slowing down the passage of food from the stomach to the small intestine through the small opening. As a result, the patient loses a significant amount of weight in the following months. But decreased absorption of nutrients is one of the major limitations of this approach.

How can Lyfboat assist you getting Bariatric Surgery in India?

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Lyfboat is a free advisory platform; we do not charge any fees from patients. In fact, we negotiate the price that Indian hospitals offer. In some cases we are able to reduce the cost by negotiating upto 20% of what Hospitals generally offer. We advise the best treatment from the top hospital/surgeon at best price.

Sleeve Gastrectomy in India

Sleeve gastrectomy is considered more effective than the rest of the surgical weight loss procedures. This is because it does not involve the placement of any foreign material such as a band or decreased absorption of nutrients.

During sleeve gastrectomy, about 75 percent of the stomach is surgically removed. That is, only 25 percent of the stomach is left in the body of the patient. The functioning of the stomach and the rest of the digestive tract remains the same, it’s just that the patient feels fuller earlier than usual because of the reduced size of the stomach. It is estimated that a patient loses more than 60 to 70 percent of his or her body weight within the first year of having the surgery.

bariatric surgery infographics

Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch 

This procedure is performed in two components. First, the surgeon creates a smaller, tubular stomach pouch by removing a part of the stomach, as done in a sleeve gastrectomy surgery. In the next part, the small intestine is rerouted by bypassing a large portion of it.

During the procedure, the first portion of the small intestine, called the duodenum, is divided starting just from the outlet of the stomach. After this, a segment of the last portion or distal part of small intestine is brought up and attached to the outlet of the small stomach pouch. This will create a bypass, so that when the patient costumes the food, it goes to the newly created tubular pouch of stomach and then directly go into the last segment of the small intestine. Almost three-quarter of the small intestine is rerouted or bypassed by the food.

With this procedure a person can achieve greater weight loss than gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy or gastric band, i.e. around 60 – 70% percent loss of excess weight or more. 

The bypassed part of the small intestine carries the enzymes from bile and pancreas, and these are necessary for the breakdown and absorption of protein and fat. This part is reconnected to the last part of the small intestine so that they can mix with food and digest it properly. Similar to the other bariatric surgeries, the Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS) procedure also helps to reduce the amount of food consumed at a time. This effect starts to decrease over a period of time and patients can eventually consume almost normal quantity of food. But unlike the other surgeries, this procedure involves bypassing a significant amount of small bowel by the food.

Also, the food will not be mixed with the bile and pancreatic enzymes until it has reached very far down in the small intestine. This causes a decrease in the absorption of calories and nutrients, especially protein and fat. Additionally, the nutrients and vitamins which are dependent on fat for absorption, i.e. fat soluble vitamins and nutrients are also not properly absorbed. The procedure is similar to the gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy in terms that it affects gut hormones which control hunger and satiety as well as blood sugar control. Therefore, BPD/DS is known as the most effective procedure for the treatment of diabetes, an obesity related co-morbidity.

Benefits and Risks of Weight Loss Surgery – Effects of Bariatric Surgery on Weight Loss and Quality of Life

Undergoing bariatric surgery may bring a lot of psychological and emotional changes in an individual. Therefore, it is important for an individual to understand the risks and benefits associated with each type of weight loss surgery and accordingly take the decision. The following are some of the benefits of undergoing bariatric surgery:
  • Significant weight loss in the first few months after the surgery
  • Improved quality of life
  • Freedom of independent physical movement
  • Reduced risk of diseases and long-term health risks
  • Better management of hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol
  • Increases confidence and self-worth
  • Increases opportunity for jobs
  • Better mobility and increased energy
The following are some of the risks of weight loss surgery:
  • Food intolerance
  • Slippage of gastric band
  • Vomiting
  • Perforation of the stomach
  • Straining before healing of incision

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, there are other potential side effects that may occur. As some procedure result in malabsorption of nutrients, it may cause certain nutrient deficiencies after the surgery. It is important to take prescribed vitamins and minerals. Nutrient or vitamin deficiency can lead to health problems, such as anaemia, osteoporosis or others. Another problem that can occur due to a rapid weight loss is gallstones. The surgeon may prescribe medication that has to be taken for about 6 months post-surgery to help prevent gallstones. A risk involved in gastric banding procedure is that the band may erode into the stomach wall and it will need to be removed.

Recovery After Weight Loss Surgery

There are certain things that a patient needs to take care of after undergoing surgery. For example, the patients are expected to follow the actions mentioned below post-surgery:

  • Eat slowly and completely
  • Take small and frequent meals
  • Do not skip meals
  • Stop eating as soon as the feeling of fullness is experienced
  • Complete sugar and fat avoidance
  • Do not eat when distracted
  • Drink plenty of water before and after meals

An individual loses weight gradually after undergoing weight loss surgery. Some patient loses weight quickly, while others may take some time. It is important to understand that diet management is important after undergoing weight loss surgery. In addition, patients should exercise regularly to maintain the weight that they have achieved and to stop it from going up again.

Recovery after weight loss surgery is facilitated by a therapist, who is an integral part of the hospital. They help with the smooth transition to day-to-day activities and also help plan diet and daily routine.

The patient must follow the instructions given by the surgeon at the time of discharge to make sure that they reap the maximum benefits of undergoing weight loss surgery.

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)

Will I need to take vitamin and mineral supplements for a long time after my weight-loss surgery?

Vitamin and mineral supplements can be a lifelong requirement for people after a bariatric surgery. The supplements usually required include multivitamin, calcium with vitamin D, and in some cases, iron and/or vitamin B12 supplement, depending on the type of surgery performed. Some patients may also need additional fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) depending on the level of vitamin malabsorption after the operation. Generally, a chewable tablet form is given initially after the surgery.

Should I avoid caffeine after a bariatric surgery? 

Caffeinated beverages are known to be as good as other beverages for hydration. But, it is advisable to avoid caffeine for at least the first few weeks or a month after the surgery as the stomach is extra sensitive during this time. The surgeon or dietitian will further instruct you about resuming caffeine after this time. However, caffeine often comes with high sugar content and high calories, so it is better to choose your beverage wisely.

Why should I have more fluid intake post bariatric surgery?

Dehydration is a common problem that can lead to serious problems and readmission to the hospital. It occurs when there is not enough fluid in the body to keep it functioning and also to burn the stored fat for energy. It is advisable to carry water with you all the time and remember to drink even when you don’t feel thirsty. 

Signs of dehydration to look out for include parched throat, headache, dizziness while sitting or standing up and hard stools. Contact the surgeon or medical staff if you feel the signs of dehydration or are unable to drink enough fluid to stay hydrated.

Will the bariatric surgery have an effect on my medications?

Prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs might be absorbed differently after weight surgery, depending on the type of procedure performed. The doctor may change the medication therapy of the patient. Initially after surgery, larger tablets or capsules are not recommended as these pills may get stuck. The surgeon usually recommends taking medication in different forms, such as liquid, suspension, crushed or chewable tablet, or in injectable form. Some medications that act after a while and enteric coated medication can not be crushed while others might be crushable and taken with food.

Procedures such as sleeve gastrectomy and adjustable gastric banding may have little or no change at all how medications are absorbed. Others such as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and duodenal switch can have more significant changes in the absorption of drugs. 

How soon after surgery can I exercise?

That depends on the type of exercise. You should begin walking while still in the hospital, unless instructed otherwise. As you heal, begin to increase your exercise time and intensity. Your doctor will release you to increase your activity based on your progress. After surgery, exercises such as weights, sit-ups, pull-ups, or any abdominal straining should wait until you get the go-ahead from your doctor.

Is it safe to drink alcohol after surgery?

It is not recommended having alcohol after the bariatric surgery as it contains calories and minimal nutrition, which works against the weight loss goal. Also, the absorption of alcohol is different and quicker after gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery, as the enzyme involved in the digestion of alcohol is absent or significantly reduced.

Can I get pregnant after the bariatric surgery?

The doctor usually recommends not to plan pregnant for 12-18 months after surgery. This allows the person to have maximum weight loss depending on the procedure and have a stable weight. Bariatric surgery also helps in resolving weight-related infertility problems and improves the chances of conceiving.

Vanshika Rawat

Written By Vanshika Rawat

Vanshika Rawat is an experienced content developer. She is very knowledgeable in the field of science and healthcare and has worked under brilliant scientists during her higher education. Vanshika obtained her degrees in Masters in Science and Bachelors in Science (Microbiology with Hons.) from renowned institutions - Panjab University and University of Delhi.

Best Hospitals for Bariatric Surgery in India

Almost all bariatric surgery hospitals in India specialize in conducting all types of weight loss surgery, whether or not it is conducted in a minimally invasive manner or not. Minimally invasive weight loss surgery in India is conducted with the help of a laparoscope, which is a specialized device used to view the internal organs and perform surgical actions without the need of making big incisions.

Minimally invasive bariatric surgery in India, thus, ensures that the patient is able to recover quickly after the surgery because the healing time is greatly reduced. Moreover, the best hospitals for bariatric surgery in India are equipped with separate recovery units and all the support systems that help patients recover quickly and return to their normal routine.

The top bariatric surgery hospitals in India are located in all the major metropolitan cities. These hospitals offer state-of-the-art facilities and make use of the best available technology. Despite all these advantages, the cost of bariatric surgery in India remains one of the lowest in the world.

The surgeons who perform weight loss surgery in India are some of the finest in the world. They hold extensive experience in handling highly obese individuals and making sure that they achieve the desired results after the surgery.

The top bariatric surgeons in India have provided a new lease of life to hundreds of patients, who were once not even able to move on their own because of excessive weight. They are renowned all across the world for their skills and the experience that they hold.

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