“People think that doctors, who have an insight into how bodies work, are better at staying healthy. But the truth is that everyone can easily be fit.”
Many of us grew up wishing we had superpowers like the heroes we idolised on television. But Dr Ganesh Ramalingam actually got his wish because his childhood hero was his family doctor. Impressed and intrigued by how the family GP could heal them when they fell ill, Dr Ganesh started on the path to gain these “powers” as well.
Today, his skills are applied as a consultant surgeon specialising in gastrointestinal, bariatric, advanced laparoscopic and endoscopic surgery at G&L Surgical @ PanAsia Surgery. His advice for staying in the pink can be summed up in one word: balance. “Eat everything in moderation and don’t let work take priority over rest and exercise. It’s a simple secret,” he shares. “People think that doctors, who have an insight into how bodies work, are better at staying healthy. But the truth is that everyone can easily be fit.”
It’s a philosophy he has upheld for most of his life. At 17, he represented Singapore in the 19th Asian Schools Football Tournament in China, then served as a Commando during National Service. These days, he turns to football, writing and spending time with his family as a way to ease work stress.
SMALL IS EFFICIENT
All of this helps Dr Ganesh stay focused at work, where he divides his attention between his speciality in laparoscopy (also known as keyhole surgery) and endoscopy. “We are fortunate to be living at a time with techniques like these, where surgery is now possible through a ‘keyhole’ instead of having to make large incisions,” he says. Laparascopy actually allows for better visualisation inside the body, and patients benefit from fewer complications and faster recovery.
He also recommends gastroscopy and colonoscopy for regular screening, and assures us that the process is far from unpleasant. “In reality, most patients report feeling relaxed from the mild sedation. It’s a simple procedure, with test results often showing no abnormalities.”
But Dr Ganesh is quick to point out that surgery isn’t a cure-all. The body is a delicately calibrated system and even if a surgery is successful, the recovery process varies for each person. One example is the myth that bariatric surgery is an instant fix for obesity. While it is useful for weight loss, it also requires the patient to start developing better diet and exercise habits. ““I’m a surgeon and a physician, but I believed in a balanced lifestyle for long term and sustainable weight loss,” he says.
Going forward, Dr Ganesh would like to continue volunteering medical aid and participating in overseas missions. “This is crucial to me as it reminds me of why I became a doctor. Once we reconnect with the ‘why’ of it all, passion becomes an antidote for any stress that arises.”
For more information, visit Dr Ganesh Ramalingam, Gastrointestinal , Bariatric, Advanced Laparoscopic and Endoscopic Surgeon and Director of G&L Surgical @PanAsia Surgery , 38 Irrawaddy Road, #05-23, Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre Singapore 329563. Tel: 9088 8313. www.glsurgical.com.sg
HEALTH SPECIAL – DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE