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Obesity

Obesity Surgery

If you are someone for whom non-surgical procedures have failed to provide sustained weight loss, you can be evaluated for, and if appropriate, undergo lifesaving weight loss surgery. This surgery is known as Bariatric Surgery (also known as Weight Loss Surgery or Obesity Surgery).

Bariatric surgery is a major operation and should be considered only after non surgical weight-loss methods have failed. If you’re considering weight-loss surgery, you must make a serious, lifelong commitment to lifestyle changes.

Bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery) includes a variety of procedures performed on people who are obese. Weight loss is achieved by reducing the size of the stomach with a gastric band or through removal of a portion of the stomach (sleeve gastrectomy or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch) or by resecting and re-routing the small intestines to a small stomach pouch (gastric bypass surgery).

There are a number of widely accepted criteria which make a patient suitable for Bariatric or Weight Loss Surgery:

  • Weight greater than 45kg above the ideal body weight for sex, and height
  • BMI > 37 with or without obesity illness
  • > 35 if there is an associated obesity illness, such as diabetes, sleep apnoea dyslipidemia
  • Reasonable attempts at other weight loss techniques
  • Age 18-65
  • No psychiatric or drug dependency problems
  • A capacity to understand the risks and commitment associated with the surgery.
  • Pregnancy not anticipated in the first two years following surgery

There is considerable flexibility in these guidelines. Patients as young as 12 have been offered surgery.

Important Considerations For Obesity Surgery:

  • Weight loss surgery is not cosmetic surgery but is done to decrease the health risks associated with obesity
  • The decision to elect surgical treatment requires an assessment of the risk and benefit to you and the meticulous performance of the appropriate weight loss surgery
  • Patient must understand every aspect of the weight loss surgery
  • Long term success of the surgery depends on the commitment of the patient to follow advise regarding the food habit, supplementary drugs, life style modification
  • Problems may arise after surgery that may require prolong hospitalization and re-operation

Indications:

If you have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 37.5 or more, or a BMI of 32.5 or more with illness related to excess weight, and have not been able to sustain weight loss through diet and exercise, you probably are a candidate for weight-loss surgery.

If you do not meet these guidelines, or we find that you are not eligible for surgery for health reasons, don’t despair. Through our intensive non-surgical weight management program, we can help you lose weight by helping you change your eating habits, modify your behaviour and increase your physical activity.

Many obesity related health conditions may be improved or resolved completely following a gastric bypass surgery. These include Type II Diabetes Mellitus, High Blood Pressure/Heart Disease, Osteoarthritis of weight bearing joints, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Infertility in women, Stress Urinary Incontinence, etc. The lifestyle of these morbidly obese patients improves significantly, especially in social/economic opportunities and physical functioning and appearance.

Risks:

Risks are usually categorised as immediate risks which include bleeding, Deep Vein Thrombosis, injury to neighbouring organs (like oesophagus and spleen), shoulder pain and delayed risks, such as Pneumonia, Abdominal Infections and Pulmonary Embolism. These risks are common to all abdominal laparoscopic general surgeries. The risks associated specifically with bariatric surgery are chest pain, abdominal hernia, constipation or diarrhea, stoma obstruction, stretching of the stomach and reoperation for various reasons.

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