What You Must Know About Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is a procedure through which obese people lose weight by reducing the stomach size with the help of a gastric band or by removing a portion of the stomach or by re-routing small intestines to a small stomach pouch.

Owing to the fad of being small-sized, people feel bariatric surgery is done only to lose weight. However, that’s not the case. It also helps in recovering from Type II diabetes and minimizing cardiovascular risks thereby reducing the mortality rate. As per the U.S National Institutes of Health, bariatric surgery should be performed for obese people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at last 40. But recent researches suggest that bariatric surgery can be performed on any patient whose BMI is higher than 30.

Bariatric Surgery Procedure

There are three procedures through which bariatric surgery is performed namely:

  1. Predominantly Malabsorptive Procedures: The success rate of this procedure is derived from creating a physiological condition of malabsorption.
  2. Predominantly Restrictive Procedures: As the name suggests, this procedure is based upon restrictive measures like reducing oral intake by limiting gastric volume. The risk of metabolic complications is reduced with this procedure.
  3. Mixed Procedures: In this, malabsorptive and restrictive procedures are combined.

Following are the bariatric surgery procedures commonly performed in India:

  • Gastric Bypass Surgery

In this procedure, the stomach is divided into two pouches. The upper one is made into a small sized pouch and the remaining part becomes the larger pouch. The upper part of the stomach is separated from rest of the stomach by stapling and the small intestines are rearranged to allow connection of both sections of the stomach. This results in lesser food intake. 

  • Lap-Band Surgery

This procedure is also known as Adjustable Gastric Band. In this procedure, the smaller pouch is created placing a silicon rubber on top of the stomach. It is performed laparoscopically. Lap-Band surgery is touted to be the safest procedure of bariatric surgery.

  • Gastric Sleeve Procedure

Also known as Sleeve Gastrectomy, in this process, a significant portion of the stomach is reduced by creating a major curve. This is a permanent/irreversible process unlike Lap-Band or Gastric Bypass. This process is also performed laparoscopically and is generally recommended for highly obese people. 

Postoperative Rehabilitation

After undergoing bariatric surgery patients are put on a clear liquid diet for a couple of days after which they are shifted to a liquid diet for two weeks. The patient follows this diet until the recovery of gastrointestinal tract. After complete recovery, the patient can shift to normal diet but since the intake of food reduces due to the reduction in the size of the stomach, doctors prescribe a diet rich in proteins and lower fats.

While bariatric surgery is not a magic bullet for weight loss, by following the right diet and lifestyle, most of the patients are able to maintain their weight after the surgery without any issues.

Need vs. Fad

The obsession of losing weight and reducing size has made bariatric surgery a fad. The body undergoes major altercations after undergoing the surgery. The post-surgery life isn’t as easy or simple to lead on. There are permanent dietary changes that the patient has to adhere to. If you fail to do so, the consequences can be serious. The surgery isn’t a permanent solution to weight issues. People feel that once they go under the knife, they can live the rest of their lives enjoying eating and no exercising. This is a myth. One needs to have a healthy and regular exercise routine else the weight is bound to return.

Being overweight or obese has serious health issues. People should opt for bariatric surgery for medical conditions rather than aesthetics. The health issues such people face range from hypertension to cardiac arrest and diabetes.

Take into consideration the overall factors before undergoing such a drastic step until and unless your doctor has suggested you to take this route due to your health concerns. Consult a reputed bariatric surgeon to help you know the needs and effects of the surgery on your body.


You Have Just Started Working Out – How Should Your Diet Change?

Joining a gym or exercising more often/regularly is the most common New Year’s resolution across the globe. The fitness brands’ sales surge in the last fortnight of December when everyone starts gearing up for the New Year. However, people forget that exercising is not the only way of getting fitter. You need to eat right as well. And, by eating right we don’t mean simply replacing sugar with honey. You need to back your workout regime with a healthy and nutritious diet.

Effect of Food Choices on Your Workout 

The right kinds of food can help you in many ways. Your stamina, weight loss, muscle building et al. depend upon the type of food you eat. There are pre and post workout foods that provide thorough support to your body. Start your day with a food high in protein like nuts and almonds. A handful of it soon after you move out of your bed will keep you energized through the day. Adding healthy foods in the right proportion and consuming them at the right hour of the day can be beneficial.

Pre and Post Workout Foods

Every food has some nutritious value and it is good to know/learn about it. If you are a novice, don’t rely on anyone but a certified nutritionist. Balancing the nutrient intake is quintessential for the body. Here are some foods that you can include in your routine:

Pre Workout Meal

If you’re starting your day with a workout, never do it on an empty stomach. An empty stomach workout will force your body to store fat to keep itself fed and, in turn, makes you lose lesser calories. Ensure that you have a balanced combination of simple and complex carbs so that the release of energy is slow throughout your workout. You can imbibe these pre-workout meals in your regime and make sure to consume these at least half an hour to forty minutes before hitting the floor.

  • Oatmeal
  • Bananas
  • Hardboiled Eggs
  • Nuts and Almonds
  • Yogurt
  • Granola
  • Fibrous Fruits
  • Fruit Smoothies
  • Whole wheat toast with sliced bananas
  • Smoothies with berries

Post Workout Meal

After the workout wear and tear, the body needs replenishment. Rather than depending upon artificial foods, consume food that naturally replenishes the body. Get the right nutrients after your exercise to help your body rebuild the muscle proteins and glycogen stores.

  • Muesli
  • Fresh Orange Juice
  • Boiled Eggs or Omelette
  • Paneer in any form
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Fruit Salad
  • Wholegrain Bread
  • Spinach Soup
  • Chocolate milk
  • Sweet potato

Supplements vs. Food

The first and biggest mistake the beginners commit is adding supplements to their routine as soon as they begin working out. Remember, not everyone requires external supplements. If you are working out for 30 minutes to one hour and having a balanced diet, you may not need any external supplements at all. Always consult a certified nutritionist or your physician before adding any supplementary food or drink to your diet.

You can always rely on natural resources for your nutrition requirement and here are some foods to ditch those supplements:

Vitamin C

  • Citrus fruits like orange, mosambi and kiwi
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemon juice
  • Guava
  • Papaya
  • Green and Red pepper


  • Chia seeds
  • Yogurt
  • Broccoli
  • Watercress
  • Water Chestnut
  • Kale

Vitamin E

  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potato
  • Avocado


  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Cashew
  • Soy


  • Seafood
  • Whole Eggs
  • Chicken Breast
  • Quinoa
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney Beans 

Good Fat vs. Bad Fat

Shunning out fat completely from your body is not going to help you lose weight, build muscle or stay fitter. For your body to absorb vitamins and nutrients, fat is needed. Not all fat that you consume is harmful for the body. One needs to know the difference between good and bad fat. Imbibe good fat and get rid of bad fat from your diet. Here’s a list of foods with good and bad fat:

Good Fat

  • Dark Chocolate
  • Whole Eggs
  • Full Fat Yogurt
  • Red Meat
  • Ghee
  • Cheese

Bad Fat

  • Butter
  • Beef and Pork
  • Dark Chicken Meat
  • Fried Foods
  • Processed Food
  • Bakery Products like cakes, pastries and cookies

Dietary needs vary for every individual. Each body has a different requirement. No two people can have same or similar results with same dietary habits. Nutrients are essential for a healthy body but overconsumption of anything can have adverse effects on the body. Working out is just the tip of the iceberg. It won’t bear fruits without a healthy and adequate nutrient supply to the body.

Healthcare Meets Technology – When Two Worlds Converge

The recently concluded Times Health Icons Pune 2017 event, conducted by the Times of India, felicitating some of the pathbreakers in the field of medicine met with resounding success.

Mars Pune Times Health Icons

MARSPlus was the sponsor for this event. We got an opportunity to have a candid conversation with up Dr. Bhandari who was one of the speakers at the event. Dr. Bhandari is a renowned bariatric surgeon and a strong technology advocate. He is the Founder Director of Mohak Bariatrics and Robotics, Indore and Director, Bhandari Hospital and Research Centre, Indore and has performed over 8000 Bariatric procedures. He has also been featured in the Limca Book of Records for operating over 25 complex and diversified Bariatric /Robotic procedure in a span of 11 hours! He has conducted more than 750 complex robotic bariatric procedures and his centre is one of the most sought-after centres for revisions in weight loss surgery addressing failures after bariatric surgery.

Here is an excerpt from the conversation.

Dr. Mohit BhandariTechnology, according to Dr. Bhandari, is a great boon for the healthcare segment. Having established one of the most technologically advanced hospitals in the country, he believes that the use of technology in healthcare is a critical enabler of productivity, ensuring precision and patient satisfaction. Unlike the propaganda of ‘technology is a distraction’, Dr. Bhandari believes that when used appropriately, technology actually can improve efficiencies of doctors and help them manipulate their time effectively. Managing multiple patients and hospital functions and functionalities can add to the cognitive burden. Technology helps a great deal in alleviating this burden and helps in building an interconnected network that not only improves process efficiencies but also helps in placing the patient at the heart of the healthcare process.

With the great consumerisation of everything, healthcare too now has to become more patient-centric. The relationships between doctors and patients have undergone a massive shift. The patients are no more just the passive recipients of healthcare. Their expectations from their healthcare experience are rising. Since doctors only have a finite amount of time in their hands, they have to ensure that the time they spend with their patient is optimally productive. According to Dr. Bhandari, having a siloed healthcare approach cannot enable productive interactions. Doctor-patient relationships now have to be more engaging and doctors cannot afford to waste their time in looking for information. They need to maximise their time with patients.

Dr. Bhandari feels that while technology has been a part of the healthcare ecosystem, health tech has to become simpler. Disconnected and siloed solutions to automate or digitise healthcare not only limit information sharing but also demand a lot of time and attention, something that is a premium for most healthcare practitioners. Some of the earlier healthcare systems have been so complex that they demanded a separate team of technicians only to do data entry. As one of the earliest adopters of MARSPlus integrated health app, he feels that the ease of use offered by MARSPlus is what makes it a unique solution.

Dr. Bhandari deduces that when health tech offers an integrated experience, it paves the path for delivering good healthcare services. According to Dr. Bhandari, “a fully integrated platform like MarsPlus allows me to stay connected with my network of remote doctors, laboratories in other cities and most importantly stay connected directly with patients.  As a bariatric practice, we need to closely monitor patients progress and overall health after they have left our facility and MARS helps us do that seamlessly.”

The complexity of use of healthcare applications has been one of the biggest impediments to adoption. Since doctors are people who are always on the go, an easy to use platform that connects all the stakeholders of healthcare, the doctors, the hospitals, the labs, the pathology departments and ancillary areas such as billing and finance can be a great boon. Dr. Bhandari uses the MARSPlus solution extensively in his own hospital to ensure patient satisfaction, identify areas of improvement and stay in touch with his patients proactively. The additional benefit is that he doesn’t have to depend on his diary to manage his appointments. His app manages everything with surgical precision for him.

Dr. Bhandari attributes the success of his hospitals to “exceptional team skills, a correct attitude, infrastructure with cutting-edge technology, and keeping pace with time”. He believes that technology has interwoven itself into the very fabric of our lives and we should leverage it to the maximum. He himself uses technology to manage the post-operative care of his patients. “A good technology solution also helps us leverage data”, he says. He further adds “When we have a single repository of all patient data then the time spent with the patient is more productive.” When we asked him if he felt that technology was a distraction for the doctors his reply was simple. He said “Not at all. In fact, it helps in spending more time with the patients.

During the course of this event it became clear that contrary to what we are lead to believe, doctors are, in fact, strong advocates of technology. After all, they are surrounded by it during all their waking and working hours. However, what they do not like is the manner in which these solutions are built and the complexity of use. A comprehensive and integrated healthcare solution that takes into considering all the important checkpoints, is easy to use, mobile compatible and allows the anywhere, anytime use can enable proactive healthcare is clearly be a welcome addition to the healthcare ecosystem of today.

An Evening Dedicated To Those Who Dedicate Themselves To Us – Times Health Icons Pune 2017

“People pay the doctor for his trouble; for his kindness they still remain in his debt.”- Seneca (the Younger) of Ancient Rome

Mars Pune Times Health Icons It’s hard to think of a profession that carries with it greater moral value than the medical profession. Doctors, quite literally, hold our lives in their hands and to reach that stature they must endure almost unimaginable personal sacrifice and expend an extraordinary amount of labour. Despite all that when was the last time you heard of doctors being honoured for their role in society? Well, the Times Health Icons Pune 2017 was a signal attempt to correct that injustice, and we were privileged to be the title sponsor of this wonderful event.

The evening was dedicated to awarding the finest contributors to Pune’s healthcare services sector. A rigorous survey was conducted by i3 Research Consultants to identify the leading lights in various specialised areas of the practice of medicine. The Survey revealed large hospitals, smaller clinics, and specific individual doctors in various areas whose exemplary contributions demanded recognition. The who’s who of Pune’s medical fraternity joined this celebration of the best the city had to offer.

Mars Pune Times Health Icons

This was also an opportunity to hear from some leading lights with wonderful insights to offer derived from their own personal experiences. The Chief Guest, Dr. Ranjit Patil, Minister of State Home in the Maharashtra Government spoke as a member of the community with the weight of 24 years of experience as an orthopedic surgeon. He mentioned the tremendous pace of growth in the sector – estimated to be at 16.5% over this year. He also spoke of the need to focus even more on the provision of secondary and tertiary healthcare services to the unorganized and rural sector and of the key role that the private sector could play in this key task. He heartily congratulated the winners and in conclusion, left everyone with a keen sense of the task still at hand.Mars Pune Times Health Icons

Our interest has always been in how technology can be leveraged to help doctors improve the quality of care they provide. A panel discussion outlined exactly how this synergy could pay rich dividends. A visionary panel comprising Dr. Mathias Fobi, Dr. Mohit Bhandari, and Dr. Pritesh Vyas shared their personal experiences with adopting high technology and of how this helped them improve care, streamline their clinic operations, and stay more in touch with the entire ecosystem that came together to serve the patient. They each specifically spoke of the role of data. They highlighted how important it was becoming to providing collaborative care and an improved patient experience. Dr. Fobi and Dr. Bhandari especially spoke of how data was being used to help shorten treatment cycles and identify early indicators of chronic complaints. Our CEO, Mr. Nilesh Vyas, was also fortunate enough to get the opportunity to outline the Mars Plus vision to an appreciative audience. We believe that our vision of an integrated healthcare ecosystem that put the patient at the heart of the process, resonated with them.

Dr Sancheti at Mars Pune Times Health IconsIn probably the most inspirational talk of the evening, Dr. K H Sancheti, addressed his fellow doctors. Over 50 years of experience has made him an iconic name in orthopedic care in India and, indeed, the world. He has been recognized by the Government of India with the very highest level of civilian honours – he is a Padma Shri, a Padma Bhushan, and a Padma Vibhushan. He told the tale of how he was inspired to become a doctor and of the principles that guided his journey. His experiences served as a beacon for the entire audience. His closing remarks will stay with everyone for a long time. He said, “We not only use our head but our heart to treat patients too. This has, and always will, make all the difference in treating patients.”

The evening was all about the awards though. Doctors, clinics, and hospitals got awarded in categories like Cardiology, IVF, Diabetology, Breast Cancer care, Bariatrics, Organ Transplant, and Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery among others. Other fields like Dentistry and Trichology also found their due mention. The awardees were radiant as they stepped up to accept the recognition.

As an emerging, but committed part of this ecosystem this evening meant a lot to us. Of course, it was a great opportunity to showcase ourselves to a community of devoted medical practitioners. But more than that, for us it was a chance to show our appreciation for a community that deserves all the recognition it can get – and more!

Team Mars Plus at Times Health Icons Pune 2017
Team Mars Plus at Mars Pune Times Health Icons

Want to Change your Life for Better? Adapt these 15 Food Swaps

The most important step towards healthy living is eating right. What if we tell you that you can cut down on calories while still munching a delicious snack? Yes, cutting down calories doesn’t mean cutting down on food. You just need to swap calorie-laden food with a low-fat alternative. And, low-fat doesn’t mean an insipid or an unappetizing food option. Consider this; you can swap those high-calorie French toasts with low-fat wholegrain waffles. Doesn’t seem to be boring, right?
We shall see some a flotilla of food swaps for your meals as well as drinks that will help you in cutting down those extra calories.


Being the first meal of the day, breakfast should be filling, albeit healthy, to keep you energised for the rest of your day. Here are a few simple and easy food swaps that are high on that nutritious value with comparatively fewer calories:

Milk and Cornflakes
Replace your ‘milk and cornflakes’ breakfast with a healthier alternative. Cut down the calories by swapping to skimmed milk with a wholegrain cereal. The skimmed milk has lower fat percentage (5%) and the wholegrain cereal helps in cutting down the sugar intake.

Anything teamed up with bread makes for a delicious breakfast option. Swap your regular bread with either wholegrain or gluten-free ones. The latter are high in protein (30%) and fibre as compared to regular bread.

Flavoured Yogurt
Swap the flavoured low-fat yogurt with a fat-free alternative. Ditch the flavour for Greek yogurt which has just 100 calories (serving of a bowl) compared to 221 calories in a flavoured one.


The mid-day meal is the trickiest. A heavy meal makes you sluggish for the rest of the day and starving yourself would result in binging during snack hours. Here are a few food swap options that will provide the required amount of nutrition and energy to get along for the rest of your day:

Love your parantha too much to let it go? Simply swap a lachha parantha with a methi ki roti cooked with olive oil. It is likely to reduce calories by 240.

Swap your bowl of white rice with brown rice. Brown rice has higher nutritious value than the white rice which is imbued with a high content of carbs.

Parting with cheese is a tall order for many. The simple solution is to swap cheddar and mozzarella cheeses with goat cheese or hard cheese. This will help you cut down the calorie count by at least 57 without starving taste-buds.


More often than not, one can give up snacking with little effort but if you still feel the urge to binge on something between lunch and dinner hours, make sure it to be something healthy for this is the hour of the day when the calorie count takes a steep rise.

  • Swap your salty roasted nuts with plain uncoated nuts. A handful of salted peanuts alone contain 170 calories, whereas a handful of mixed plain nuts have 160 calories.
  • Ditch the regular milk chocolate for dark chocolate. It not just helps in cutting down calories but the dark compound is known to have a good effect on mood.
  • Control your sugar rush by swapping sugary snacks and juices with fruits. The natural sugar and fibres in fruits is a healthier alternative.


Dinner has to be the lightest meal of the day because post dinner you seldom have any physical activity to carry out; hence you end up piling on dinner calories rather than burning them.

Swap your large chunks of meat with leaner pieces during dinner. If you can’t do that, then opt for grilled meat at night. Grilled meat is filling yet has lesser calories.

Mashed Potatoes
Swap the calorie-laden butter and milk for skimmed milk and low-fat butter while preparing a serving of mashed potatoes. This will help you keep around 45 calories at bay.

Mixed Vegetable
Replace the mixed vegetable gravy with stir fried vegetables. This will cut down the calorie count by at least 120 along with higher nutritious value than the former.


Ever paid heed to the calorie count in your favourite cocktail? Ditch your regular high-calorie cocktail for these low-cal ones:

Long Island Iced Tea
Who doesn’t love LIT? You will certainly stop loving it after knowing that one typical serving of LIT contains approximately 800 calories! Swap this evergreen cocktail with Raspberry Lemonade Martini. A simple cocktail prepared with one part (shot) of gin and Triple Sec in Raspberry Lemonade. This simple swap could save you at least 600 calories!

Grasshopper Martini
A single serving of Grasshopper Martini has around 550 calories. Swap it with Apple Martini which has approximately 150 calories.

Mai Tai
If you are the one who enjoys their rum, then swap Mai Tai with Rum & Diet Coke. The latter has the lowest calorie amongst the varied options of cocktail available.

Staying healthy is a road with no destination. It is an everyday task. Back-up your strenuous workout gym sessions with these healthy food swaps to keep a check on your calorie count. Imbibe these simple recipes in your daily gastronomical activities and move towards a healthier and fitter living.