S. P. Balasubrahmanyam recalls his journey through weight loss

‘Bariatric surgery is safe if we can’t reduce weight through routine methods’

June 12, 2019 01:37 am | Updated 07:45 am IST - CHENNAI

Playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam inaugurates the Bariatric Surgery Department at MGM Healthcare on Tuesday. Prashanth Rajagopalan, Director, MGM Healthcare, and Rahul Menon, CEO, are present.

Playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam inaugurates the Bariatric Surgery Department at MGM Healthcare on Tuesday. Prashanth Rajagopalan, Director, MGM Healthcare, and Rahul Menon, CEO, are present.

For an auditorium filled with people, a song rendered by playback singer S. P. Balasubrahmanyam could be nothing short of magical. But SPB, as he preferred to be addressed, went beyond music. He looked back at a time when he weighed 135 kg, and spoke on life after bariatric surgery, the importance of losing weight, and emphasised the need to conserve water like never before.

“In 2012, I weighed 135 kg. You would have seen me in several programmes on several stages and in photographs. You would know the difference from then and now. From 135 kg, I have come to 96 kg, and I am maintaining it. I would not say this is less but I feel it is enough for my age,” he told the audience at the inauguration of an Institute of Bariatrics at MGM Healthcare on Tuesday.

Weight should be reduced through routine methods, he said, adding: “But due to so many reasons, if we cannot, bariatric surgery is the safest procedure. There is no need to fear.”

He recalled how almost 25 years ago, he did what no playback singer would do — undergo a vocal cord surgery. “I underwent the surgery and I am better than ever. At 73, I am able to sing pretty well,” he said.

‘Not cosmetic surgery’

Noting that bariatric surgery was not cosmetic surgery, he said that he stood as an example. “My son and I underwent bariatric surgery and we are doing well. It is not to become heroes in movies. You can avoid diabetes that is the rootcause for so many diseases, he said. “Unfortunately, only in our country, many obese persons are portrayed as comedians,” he added.

Water conservation

He raised the need to conserve water. “There could be wars for water. Conserving each drop of water is essential. Let us not leave deserts for the next generation. If they give me a bottle of water, I never leave it half with water. A litre of water costs more than a litre of milk,” he said.

Deepak Subramanian, senior consultant and clinical lead, Department of General, Minimal Access (Gastro) and Bariatric Surgery, said obesity was increasing, and about 30% of women in Tamil Nadu suffer from obesity. The institute would offer endo-bariatric procedures.

Rahul Menon, chief executive officer and Prashanth Rajagopalan, director, MGM Healthcare, were present.

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