Did you know that obesity has recently overtaken smoking as the leading cause of preventable death in Australia?
A chronic disease associated with lower life expectancy and a range of health problems, obesity can lead to a greatly reduced quality of life.
Here’s what you should know about the condition, and how it can be treated…
What is obesity, exactly?
Obesity is a complex condition with a number of contributing factors. The disease is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more and occurs when you consume more calories than you are able to burn through exercise and general activity in the long-term. Some of the most common causes of obesity include having a sedentary lifestyle; eating a poor, high-calorie diet; poor sleep habits; and genetics, which can have an impact on how your body processes energy and stores fat. There are also a number of other medical conditions that can contribute to weight gain. These include osteoarthritis and other conditions that cause pain and, as a result, inactivity; polycystic ovary syndrome, which leads to hormonal imbalances; and hypothyroidism, which causes the thyroid gland to produce insufficient hormones.
What are the dangers of the condition?
While obesity leads to weight gain, which can have a considerable psychological impact, there are also a number of complications associated with the disease. In fact, the condition has been linked to a number of serious health issues, including heart disease; high blood pressure; some types of cancers; stroke; type 2 diabetes; gallbladder disease; infertility; arthritis; high cholesterol; sleep apnoea; and fatty liver disease.
What are the treatment options?
It’s important to remember that everybody is different. For this reason, we tailor our treatments to each individual patient’s needs. We specialise in four surgical options for weight loss
- sleeve gastrectomy
- gastric bypass
- gastric banding
- loop duodenal switch procedure (SIPS).
Here’s what each of these surgical options involves:
Also known as gastric sleeve surgery, a sleeve gastrectomy is a procedure in which a thin, vertical sleeve of stomach is created with the use of a special stapling device. Because the stomach is transformed from a pouch to a narrow sleeve, the procedure has a restrictive effect. This means that you will feel fuller on smaller meals and less hungry between meals. For more information about this procedure, have a look here.
Gastric bypass is a procedure in which the pathway of food from the stomach to the small bowel is altered. A new pathway is created, which results in a smaller pouch of stomach and a diversion of food from the first part of the small bowel. Because the stomach is smaller, the amount of food that can be eaten is restricted, and by bypassing the first section of the small bowel, the body’s absorption of nutrients and calories is reduced. Read more about what the procedure involves here.
During a gastric banding procedure, an adjustable band is placed around the top of the stomach by means of keyhole surgery. The gastric band allows you to eat much less than before and also controls hunger. Find out what you can expect from the procedure here.
During the SIPS procedure, the upper section of the stomach is removed, and the intestines are rerouted. This means that the size of the stomach is greatly reduced, and part of the digestion process is bypassed. To read more about how the procedure works, as well as to find out about the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of surgery, have a look here.
Are you a candidate for weight loss surgery?
If you’re not sure if surgery is the best option for you, complete our online medical survey to find out if you’re eligible for one of our procedures.
Also, it’s important to know that not everyone is suited to weight loss surgery, so the best option is to get in touch with us so that we can arrange a consultation with our surgeon, Dr Jordaan, and our team of bariatric nurses and allied health professionals.