Gut and Glory: Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road Marks World Digestive Health Day

BENGALURU, India, June 20, 2024 – In an effort to raise awareness about digestive health, Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road on June 9, 2024 hosted a series of informative talks and interactive sessions in honour of World Digestive Health Day under the banner of the ‘Know Your Doctor’ initiative. With the theme ‘Say Goodbye to Gut Problems’, the event aimed to educate the public, extend support to patients and families, and advocate for healthy lifestyle choices for improved digestive health and overall well-being.

The event featured two panel discussions with esteemed gastroenterology experts of Manipal Hospitals who provided invaluable insights regarding digestive health. Dr. Manish Rai, Hospital Director, Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road, welcomed attendees and emphasized the importance of promoting digestive health awareness and the hospital’s commitment to medical excellence. About 95 senior citizens attended the event and had the opportunity to learn about various topics ranging from understanding gut health to addressing common digestive issues like bloating and acidity as well as ask the doctors their concerns/queries about gut health.

Panel 1 had esteemed specialists – Dr. Raj Vigna Venugopal, HOD and Consultant – Medical Gastroenterology, Dr. Mohit P Shetti, Consultant – Medical Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Therapeutic, and Bariatric Endoscopy, and Dr. Sreenivasa D, Consultant – Medical Gastroenterology. Panel 2 featured Dr. Nagaraj Palankar, HOD and Consultant – Surgical Gastroenterology and Dr. K Hemanth Kumar, Consultant – Surgical Gastroenterology, GI Oncology & Hipato-Pancreato-Biliary, Robotic Surgery.

The audience actively participated in fireside chats with the panellists, asking questions about common digestive issues, weight loss strategies for senior citizens, and the role of gastroenterologists in patient care.

Explaining the essence of gut health, Dr. Raj Vigna Venugopal commented, “The gut microbiome is a complex and fascinating aspect of our health. It plays a crucial role in immunity, mood regulation, and even brain function. However, with the growing influence of ‘gut health’ amidst a lot of online information, it is possible to be confused as not all sources are reliable and what works for one person may not work for another. That is why we must view gut health through the lens of our own needs and seek guidance from professionals while also addressing diet, sleep, lifestyle, stress management, weight maintenance, and other factors that impact the delicate balance of our gut microbiome. The key is to stay informed, stay curious, and partner with trusted experts along the way.”

Talking about dietary requirements for weight loss, Dr. Mohit P Shetti commented, “Weight loss diets are a complex landscape for people of all age groups. While the Keto diet, with its focus on low carbs and high fat, might help some people lose weight, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Other factors such as age, co-morbidities, and individual health goals must also be considered. Senior citizens seeking weight loss should prioritize a holistic approach that combines a doctor-approved diet with safe exercise routines, keeping in mind potential limitations due to existing health conditions.”

Dr. Sreenivasa D remarked, “Patients are referred to gastroenterologists for a variety of concerns, like persistent abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, or blood in the stool. These symptoms can indicate various digestive issues, such as ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Through advanced diagnostics and consultations, we aim to diagnose the underlying cause of the discomfort and once we understand the root of the problem, we can prescribe the most effective course of treatment to restore the patient’s gut health and improve their overall quality of life.”

The event then shifted focus to the topics of surgical gastroenterology. Dr. Nagaraj Palankar and Dr. K Hemanth Kumar addressed topics like emergency situations requiring surgery, the use of laparoscopic and robotic techniques, and the decision-making process for surgical interventions. Another interactive session allowed the audience to engage with the surgical experts and clarify their doubts.

Emphasizing surgical emergencies, Dr. Nagaraj Palankar said, “There are certain emergency situations where surgery becomes the lifesaving option. Patients with internal bleeding, bowel perforation, or a strangulated hernia often report to the emergency department, require immediate intervention to prevent complications and mortality. Early diagnosis thus remains the key. If patients experience severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, or bloody stools, they should seek medical attention without delay. Advancements in anesthesia and minimally invasive techniques have dramatically reduced surgical stress and recovery time. Today, patients experience faster recovery due to a combination of factors: technology, pain management, and a more patient-centered approach.”

Talking about minimally invasive procedures, Dr. Hemanth K Kumar said, “Laparoscopic and robotic surgery offer minimally invasive approaches to various surgical procedures. Compared to traditional open surgery, they result in smaller incisions, reduced pain, faster recovery times, and better cosmetic outcomes. When deciding on the surgical approach, we consider factors like the complexity of the procedure, the patient’s anatomy, and their medical history. Robotic surgery offers enhanced precision and dexterity, particularly for complex procedures. Ultimately, the goal is to choose the most effective and least disruptive surgical technique for optimal patient outcomes.”

The event concluded with a fireside chat aimed at summarizing key takeaways and expressing gratitude to all participants for their valuable contributions towards advancing digestive health awareness.

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