Weight-loss & GI surgeon Dr Abuchi Okaro provides some top tips on why you should consider bariatric surgery as an option for weight-loss.
Bariatric surgery is a term used to describe different types of procedures, which helps you lose weight by making changes to your digestive system. Some procedures of bariatric surgery make the stomach smaller, while some other change the small intestine to absorb calories and nutrients from foods and beverages.
Bariatric surgery is specifically suited for individuals who need to achieve an amount of weight reduction that non-surgical methods such as diet, exercise and medication cannot achieve. It has also been proven to positively affect the control of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease to resolution of diabetes, and many others.
Bariatric surgery requires a metabolic team for the procedure; ranging from cardiologists to anesthetist, pulmonologist, endocrinologist, bariatric nutritionist and a sleep specialist to ensure adequate pre- & post-operative care. The medical team usually take into consideration the BMI, age and also mental status of the patient before giving a go ahead for the procedure.
Like any other surgery, the procedure requires thorough understanding. Below are some of the things you need to know about Bariatric surgery.
What are the benefits of Bariatric Surgery?
Weight-loss is one of the many benefits of bariatric surgery. Other benefits include long-term remission for type 2 diabetes and hypertension, improved cardiovascular health, elimination of obstructive sleep apnea, improved fertility, overall lifestyle and not neglecting the psychological benefits.
When should a person consider bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery should be considered after conservative treatment of obesity including diet, exercise, drugs and behavioral modification has deemed ineffective. Surgery for obesity is the only successful method of long-term weight reduction, as well as, significant improvement or complete resolution of associated diseases – like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and cardiovascular disease.
What criteria determines whether a person is a candidate for bariatric surgery?
It is important to note that not everybody is qualified for bariatric surgery, each patient has to go through an in-depth consultation process to determine eligibility. Consultation has to be conducted by a multi-disciplinary team that takes into consideration medical and physical history.
Is there more than one weight-loss surgical option?
There are various procedures used in bariatric surgery. The procedures regularly performed by Dr. Okaro include Gastric balloon procedure, Sleeve gastrectomy and Single anastomoses bypass.
Gastric balloon procedure – This involves the insertion of a silicon balloon to the stomach by endoscopy. This balloon is designed to partially fill your stomach, giving you a feeling of fullness.
Sleeve gastrectomy – This procedure involves the removal of up to 75% of the stomach area which makes it smaller, hereby reducing appetite.
Single anastomoses bypass – Here, the upper part of the stomach is divided into a tube and then joined to a loop of intestine which reduces absorption of food by bypassing the intestines.
Where can bariatric surgery be carried out in Nigeria?
Euracare Multi-Specialist Hospital is one of the few hospitals in Nigeria to offer bariatric surgery. Euracare Multi-Specialist Hospital has a dedicated team of certified consultant cardiologist, endocrinologist, pulmonologist and sleep specialist and bariatric nutritionist who are all involved in a patient’s journey and further collaborate in order to ensure overall success of every procedure.
Are there risks with weight-loss surgery?
There is always a certain degree of risk involved with any surgery. However, risks are minimized when procedures are carried out by highly qualified professionals. At Euracare Multi-specialist Hospital, all bariatric surgeries are performed as minimally invasive, laparoscopic procedures which decrease risks and complication rates. This has the main advantage of resulting in less pain and less scarring. The average post-operative hospital length of stay is 1 – 2 days.
What happens after the surgery?
In-depth follow-up is required after this surgery to ensure overall success. This is why it is important to have a dedicated team that follows up at intervals. Follow-up is also provided by the bariatric dietician educator from Euracare Multi-Specialist as well as, physical and behavioural health therapists. Euracare also extends its reach to improve patient experience by establishing a voluntary patient driven support group which allows for direct patient to patient interaction.
Dr Abuchi Okaro is trained in the U.K. and in Tokyo, Japan. He is the Weight-Loss and Gastrointestinal Surgeon at Euracare Multi-Specialist Hospital, Lagos. He is a consultant surgeon at the Kent Oncology centre and the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, London.