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Weight Loss Surgery

Obesity is a major cause of death as well as several serious health conditions including chronic heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is considered only in patients with extreme obesity. It is a treatment option for obese patients who have not succeeded in achieving a normal healthy weight following measures such as dieting, medication and exercise. The criteria for weight loss surgery include:

  • BMI of 40 or higher
  • BMI of 35 to 40 with health problems such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure

Bariatric surgery promotes weight loss by decreasing the amount of food your stomach can hold and limiting absorption of nutrients.

You will know that it's time to consider weight loss surgery if:

  • You are ready for a new change in your lifestyle after surgery, such as following a carefully controlled diet and regular exercises.
  • You are fit enough to undergo a surgery under general anaesthesia.
  • You are aware of the risks and benefits of the surgery.

Your doctor will also consider factors that will contraindicate you undergoing bariatric surgery. These may include serious illnesses such as liver disease and advanced cancer. As your compliance to post-operative lifestyle changes is critical to the positive outcome of the surgery, your doctor also considers factors such as alcohol or drug abuse, mental health condition, or previous history of non-compliance, which may impede this long-term commitment.

The common weight loss surgeries include:

  • Gastric Bypass Surgery is often the most effective treatment for patients suffering from morbid obesity and have had no success losing weight through non-surgical means. The size of the patient's stomach is decreased so that only small portions of food can be consumed and part of the intestines are bypassed meaning that less kilojoules and nutrients are absorbed.
  • Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band (Lap-Band) Surgery is a reversible procedure where an adjustable silicon band is placed around the upper section of the patient's stomach. Adjusting the size of the band slows down the eating process and restricts the amount of food that can be consumed by the patient, facilitating weight loss.
  • Gastric Sleeve Surgery is a viable alternative for patients who do not qualify for gastric bypass surgery. In this procedure part of the stomach is removed, restricting the amount of food a patient can consume and helping them to lose weight. Due to a reduction in ghrelin, a hormone that affects appetite, patients are also less likely to feel hungry between meals.
  • StomaphyX Surgery is a relatively new procedure which involves re-tightening a gastric bypass via the mouth, without need for incisions. Previously patients who wanted to reduce the size of the stomach pouch would need to go undergo high risk, open surgery. Stomaphyx is a safer and simpler procedure.
  • Revision or Failed Weight Loss Surgery - Bariatric surgery is successful tool for combating obesity and weight gain. However, some patients may need a secondary, or revisionary, procedure. There are several reasons that a patient may need revision surgery which include inadequate weight loss, weight regain, persistent comorbid health conditions and complications after weight loss surgery.
  • Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency: AHPRA
  • Australian Medical Association: AMA
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons: RACS
  • General Medical Council (UK)
  • Ramsay Health Care - St George Private Hospital
  • St George Hospital, Sydney, Australia
  • Australia & New Zealand Gastro Oesophageal Surgery Association: ANZGOSA
  • St Luke's Care - St Luke's Private Hospital
  • Center of Excellence
  • Award of Bariatric Excellence
  • Master Bariatric Award
  • Inselspital
  • University of Beme
  • Kauno Medicinos Universitetas - Kaunas University of Medicine
  • The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
  • Obesity Surgery Society of Australia & New Zealand: OSSANZ