An Increasing Health Concern
Obesity is emerging as a health epidemic around the world. Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnoea, osteoarthritis and some cancers. People who have obesity can also suffer from psychological problems such as depression and low self-esteem which significantly impact their quality of life. In Australia, 3 in 5 adults are overweight or obese, and the incidence is increasing over time.
Body Mass Index (BMI)?
You can check whether your weight is in a healthy range by calculating the BMI. The BMI is calculated by your body weight in kilograms and dividing that by the square of your height in meters. If for example your weight is 80 kg, and your height is 1.8m; BMI = 80 ÷ (1.8 x 1.8) = 23.15
Who is a candidate for surgery?
Any person who wants to have a healthy change to their lives can benefit from surgery! Although weight loss through dieting and exercise is the most natural way of weight loss, studies have shown thatit isvery difficult to sustain long term weight loss with these methods. People are candidates for operation if they have a BMI of more than 35, or BMI of 30 and obesity related diseases like hypertension. There are exceptions to this rule so we are more than happy to discuss these matters with you and there is no obligation to go through with surgery.
What happens before surgery?
We have a team approach to getting you healthier! We will get you to see the dietician, bariatric physician, and exercise physiotherapist. The dietician will talk to you about healthy foods and eating habits. The bariatric physician will screen for and take care of any obesity related diseases. The physiotherapist will recommend exercise programs. We generally recommend you to go on Optifast and stop smoking prior to surgery so the surgery will be safer. You will also get blood tests and an endoscopy organised to check the state of the stomach before going in for surgery. This process will usually take 6-8 weeks. Seeing our team will motivate you to have a lasting positive effect on your health that goes beyond simply weight loss.
Types of Obesity Surgery
We offer a diverse range of surgery that is tailored to your needs. There are pros and cons with each method, so not one method suits all. As an example, if you suffer from severe reflux or a hiatus hernia, then a sleeve gastrectomy may make the symptoms worse; in this case we may recommend a different procedure.
Sleeve gastrectomy is becoming the most popular form of bariatric surgery in Australia. In this procedure, 80% of the stomach is removed so that you feel full only with a small amount of food. The operation is done by keyhole surgery, making pain levels low and recovery faster. With the sleeve gastrectomy you will expect to lose 60-70% of excess weight.
In Gastric Bypass surgery, the upper part of the stomach is divided and joined to the small bowel. The smaller stomach restricts the amount of food you can consume, and the food ‘bypass’ much of the intestine involved in absorption. Gastric bypass procedure has the longest track record and is the best procedure in terms of long term weight loss and treatment of obesity related diseases – in particular type 2 diabetes. It is also the best procedure in revisional surgery where other procedures such as the Lapband and Sleeve Gastrectomy has failed to produce weight loss. Gastric bypass surgery is the most common weight loss procedure in the world, but is less common in Australia because it is the most difficult to perform. Surgeons need special training and experience. People worry about nutritional deficiencies with the bypass but because it has a long track record, these are predictable and can be managed by your local doctor.
The Lapband puts a silicone expandable band around the top of the stomach. The band is connected to a port underneath your skin, so the band can be inflated. Inflating the band causes a narrowing that restricts food from entering the stomach too quickly. As a consequence, you feel full with only a small amount of food. Initially, the band will have to be adjusted frequently, so you will need to be prepared to have regular check-ups. With the Lapband, you will expect to lose 50-60% of excess