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'Weight loss surgery can cut medical expenses'

New Delhi,Health/Medicine, Fri, 26 Oct 2012 IANS

New Delhi, Oct 26 (IANS) People who opt for bariatric or weight loss surgery to treat obesity can save in medical care costs, a doctor from a hospital here said Friday.

"Losing fat through a surgery is a healthy and wise decision. Patients who underwent a bariatric procedure spent less than those who didn't, as medical costs for anti-diabetic agents and anti-hypertensive agents through all the six post-surgery years," said Deep Goel, director, department of bariatric surgery, BLK Hospital.

Healthy food habits and physical activity were the keys to guard against obesity but those who could not follow a disciplined routine, bariatric surgery was the wiser option, the doctor said.

Referring to a study published in October in Southern Medical Journal in Louisiana, United States, Goel said weight loss surgery patients might begin to recoup the procedure cost within the first four years and the monetary savings from reduced medical expenditure continue well into the sixth year.

The cost of a bariatric procedure is around $25,000 in the United States but in India, it ranged between Rs.60,000 and lakh.

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