March 3, 2022
Medicine has advanced into the realms of treating metabolic disorders with surgical options. If you have battled to maintain a healthy weight, despite your efforts, chances are high that you have metabolic syndrome and that you could be a candidate for Bariatric surgery.
Dr. Constantinos Sofianos is a specialist surgeon doing metabolic surgery at Busamed Private Hospital in Modderfontein. His special areas of focus are laparoscopy, gastroenterology and obesity. According to Dr. Sofianos, metabolic surgery fills the gap where traditional weight management tools (like diet and exercise) have failed. He says in these cases, surgical intervention will help with weight loss and prevent further obesity-related organ damage.
“A lot of conditions related to metabolic syndrome improve with metabolic surgery. These include diabetes, hypertension, liver problems, arthritis, thrombosis, embolisms, sleep apnoea and so on.
He says with the right motivation, medical aids are known to cover metabolic surgery.
Typical candidates for Bariatric Surgery are:
Patients with a BMI of 35-39 and significant health problems
Patients with a BMI of 40 or more
Lower BMIs are acceptable for procedures such as the Intragastric Balloon
Dr. Sofianos says if a patient has metabolic disease screening it will most likely reveal problems with the patient’s endocrine system which will prevent them from maintaining their goal weight. “Patients using appetite suppressants are not able to take the medication for prolonged periods due to the side effects and if they don’t adopt a total lifestyle revamp, they will put on the weight they have shed.”
He adds that most people with metabolic disease will also gain back their weight after they stop their diet and exercise programs. “It’s not an exception… It’s the rule.”
If surgical intervention is not an option, then a balloon that could be inserted into the patient’s stomach endoscopically could be the answer. The balloon makes the person feel fuller, quicker, causing weight loss. All patients are advised that they must retrain their thought patterns on food consumption, while they have the balloon because intervention without compliance will not help them in the long run.”
Dr. Sofianos says that a patient cannot expect the procedures to do all the work. He says, portion control will still need to be adhered to, lifestyle changes and exercise will also be required of the patient. “Bariatric treatment requires a ‘team-mentality’ approach. We work with endocrinologists, physicians, personal trainers, dieticians and of course your surgeon.”
Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy are the Surgical options that we offer to patients with metabolic disease. “We have come a long way in understanding obesity. This is why we have corrected the term “weight loss surgery” to “metabolic surgery.”
Dr. Sofianos maintains that prevention is better than cure and people who are overweight need to address this problem before they start having metabolic problems.
For more information contact The Obesity Unit South Africa or visit their website on the following information:
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