S’pore bariatric surgeon on his drive to help others shed kilos

SINGAPORE – Many people assume bariatric surgery – which reduces the size of the stomach and/or its capacity to absorb food – is only for weight loss. But it can also improve diabetes and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Dr Shanker Pasupathy, 42, learnt this during a one-year fellowship in advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgery in France and was spurred to pursue bariatric surgery.

After returning to Singapore, he was the first to perform some complex and minimally invasive procedures in SGH, including laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

A sleeve gastrectomy removes two-thirds of the stomach to reduce food intake, while a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass creates a small stomach pouch and connects it directly to the middle of the small intestine.

Today, he is the director of the Life Centre and senior consultant at the department of vascular surgery at Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

Dr Pasupathy is also president of the Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society of Singapore, a visiting consultant at the National University Hospital and Changi General Hospital (CGH), and an adjunct assistant professor at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.

His wife is a dietitian specialising in critical-care nutrition at CGH. They have two daughters aged seven and eight.

I sub-specialise in bariatric surgery because…

Many people assume such surgery is about making people thin, but I view it as making people healthy.

Bariatric surgery refers to gastrointestinal procedures which reduce a person’s food intake and modifies the way food is digested.

The resulting weight loss can dramatically improve obesity-related conditions such as diabetes mellitus, obstructive sleep apnoea, back and joint pain, as well as hypertension and cholesterol disorders.

The human body is fascinating because…

It is like a Ferrari. As long as you put in the right fuel (food), check the oil and tyres (biochemical markers such as blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol) and drive it regularly (exercise), no one can catch you.

If you do not take care of it and just leave it in the garage, you will have an expensive pile of junk.

– Read more http://bit.ly/1ec5Uly

-By Joan Chew Sunday, Jan 05, 2014 Mind Your Body, The Straits Times

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