Dr Girish Juneja, Surgeon of Excellence (IFSO Certified) for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, throws the spotlight on tackling obesity with bariatric and other metabolic surgeries
To what do you attribute the growth of obesity in our population?
Reasons for increase of obesity prevalence in our population is multifactorial ranging from environmental factors, combined with poor unbalanced diet, lack of physical activity (including food advertising, which encourages people to buy and consume unhealthy food), Besides this, genetics, stress, emotional factors, also some modern medications such as antidepressants are playing significant roles.
What motivated your choice to enter the faculty of bariatric treatment? And what do you think made you the reputation of being one of the best bariatric surgeons in the country?
I remember about 20 years ago during a trip to Austria, I visited one of my friends (a doctor), at a hospital and there I saw and met his transformed patients after bariatric surgery, they were happy not only physically but mentally too. This amazed me and led me to enter the field of bariatrics. To be a successful bariatric surgeon, I will say it depends upon your experience, updating your knowledge regularly, and above all your sincerity and compassion towards your patients, these key factors are for you and your patients’ success. I feel extremely happy and satisfied when my patient’s life gets changed. It brings a sense of achievement to be part of his or her weight-loss journey.
When it comes to diabetes, patients ask bariatric surgeons about the “best” procedure for them? Can you highlight how that works?
Although all kinds of bariatric surgeries are beneficial for diabetic patients, in my experience and medical literature, the most potent bariatric procedure is mini gastric bypass, which can reverse diabetes in 60 to 70 per cent of type 2 diabetic patients, especially if diabetes is less than five years.
As more and more centers and hospitals offering bariatric surgery pop up, what do you believe must be considered to choose a particular bariatric treatment centre and surgeons?
When selecting a doctor, the two most important things you should consider are:
Training and experience. One should opt for a surgeon, who not only specialises and is dedicated in bariatric field but also participates in some quality bariatric program such as EAC-BS (European Accreditation council for Bariatric surgery -under IFSO) or MBSAQIP, this means they ensure rigorous standards for patient safety and quality care needs are met. It is important for you to meet your surgeon at the start of your weight loss journey not only to understand about surgery, and the long term effects of surgery but also to help his team to develop personalised care for you. On the other hand, the surgeon and his team will also be in the same position to give you well oriented personalised care after meeting you.
After care. Bariatric surgery is a surgery, which needs long term care not only for best weight loss results, but also to avoid any long term problems and to not gain weight back.
With the abundance of the bariatric surgery research we are witnessing, what do you think still needs to be done with regard to the field of bariatric surgery or the technical aspects?
Newer and more effective weight loss medications along with more effective minimally invasive technically advanced procedures are the way to go.
Tell us about the kinds of metabolic treatments/surgeries you offer?
I offer all kinds well established proven metabolic surgeries such as sleeve, gastric bypass, etc., besides taking referred cases for failed or suboptimal results cases after primary bariatric surgeries. I also conduct non-invasive endoscopic sleeve and very popular but simplest gastric balloons (all kinds).
Dr Girish Juneja is a leading bariatric/laparoscopic surgeon with 30+ years of surgical experience. He specialises in advanced laparoscopic/endoscopic and bariatric surgery. He had his basic and advanced laparoscopic training from Nine Wells Medical College, UK, and a diploma in minimal access (laparoscopic) surgery from France. He did his fellowship in bariatric surgery from Netherlands and is also an international fellow of ASMBS, USA. Presently, he is a Certified Surgeon of Excellence for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery by IFSO (International Federation for Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders) and is practicing as Director of Bariatric Services (laparoscopic/bariatric surgeon) at Al Zahra Hospital in Dubai, UAE.