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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 135-139

Obesity and surgical intervention: How acquainted are we?

Department of General Surgery, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
M V Ramya
Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/fjs.fjs_29_20

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Background: Obesity is one of the leading causes of worry due to the vital role it plays in pathophysiology of many metabolic diseases. Even though there are various approaches taken to treat obesity, bariatric surgery has been shown to be effective. There is still hesitancy among the medical fraternity to accept bariatric surgery. We aim, in this study, to evaluate the perceptions and awareness about obesity and bariatric surgery among the medical fraternity. Materials and Methods: A survey consisting of an anonymous questionnaire was conducted which included undergraduate students, house surgeons, postgraduate residents, and consultants from various specialties in various institutes across Karnataka as participants. The study was conducted in September 2019. The research tool was designed using www.surveymonkey.com, which consisted of questions regarding obesity and its surgical management and was circulated among medical colleagues through social networking websites such as WhatsApp and Facebook, Inc. The survey was made available for 10 days. Questions were framed using skip logic, wherein each set of participants had a selected set of questions. A total of 28 questions were circulated for each participant. Results: Six hundred and seventy-one participants took part in the survey, among which 53.57% were undergraduate students, 28.18% were postgraduate residents, and 18.25% were consultants. About 88.03% believe that obesity is a disease and has a high prevalence in India. Nearly 96.87% of them are of the opinion that obesity affects only the educated, high socioeconomic status, and urban population, and 25.3% of them believe that obesity is not seen in the rural, low socioeconomic status population. Only 7.12% of them are aware of the fact that obesity is a causative factor for cancer. About 46.3% of them opine that obese patients are discriminated in the health sector. However, 61.57% of them would not like to undergo the surgery in case they ever fall into the obese category nor would they recommend it to their relatives. Conclusion: By making simple models and flow charts to educate the healthcare professionals regarding obesity, pathophysiology and the treatment might reduce the stigmatizing attitudes and reduce the discriminatory attitude towards obese patients and would help in the efficient management of obesity and its associated comorbidities.

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