Over one third of Australians are obese. People who are severely obese are at greater risk of disability or premature death. Obesity related co-morbidities include; type II diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, stroke, congestive heart failure and heart attacks.
Health concerns such as sleep apnoea, asthma, severe acid reflux (GORD), depression and infertility in women can occur or be exacerbated as a result of increased weight.
Body size can be measured by 'Body Mass Index' or BMI. BMI is calculated, using the formula:
BMI = Weight (kg)/[ Height (m) ] 2
Initial treatment of choice is improving eating habits, food choices and engaging in exercise. Patients who are morbidly obese may struggle to achieve long-term success through these methods.
In general surgery for obesity is an appropriate choice for patients with;
- BMI >40,
- BMI >35 with related illness
- Those who have attempted non-operative weight loss without long-term success
- In certain circumstances patients with lower BMI may be candidates.
Currently, surgical therapy, as part of a multi-disciplinary approach to obesity, offers patients a tool to maintain long-term weight loss, improved quality of life and reduced obesity related health problems.
The keyhole surgeries available include;
- Sleeve Gastrectomy (‘Gastric Sleeve’)
- Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
- Single anastomosis gastric bypass
- Adjustable Gastric Banding