Bariatric Surgery Specialists Medical Directory Australia
Obesity and Bariatric Surgery – On the Rise in Australia
There’s no denying that obesity is on the rise in Australia. This is not good news for Australia, with major implications on our health care system. But most importantly, if you are obese, it’s not good news for you. Carrying excess weight can have a huge impact on your long-term health, so now is the time to act. Bariatric surgery is becoming increasingly popular to combat obesity. It’s a great option if your efforts to lose weight using non-surgical methods are just not getting the results you want and need.
- According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey 2014-15, the rate of obesity in 1995 was 53%.
- In 2015, it was a staggering 63%.
That’s about SIX out of every TEN adults – or 11.2 million adults. Obesity is also increasing amongst younger individuals and it’s reached the point of being a national health crisis in Australia.
Why is being severely overweight or morbidly obese harmful?
- Obesity increases the risk of a range of health issues, including cardiovascular problems and Type 2 diabetes.
- It may also increase risks for some musculo-skeletal conditions, cancers and chronic disorders.
- Back pain is also a serious disability and a leading cause of sick-leave in Australia and chronic back pain can be related to being overweight
Bariatric Weight Loss Surgical Procedures
There are a range of bariatric surgical procedures available all designed to create and reshape the new you. All procedures follow the Australian standard of practice as outlined by the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Clinical Practice Guidelines. Procedures include the following:
- Gastric Bypass – This operation splits the stomach into two parts, one of which becomes a small stomach pouch that is connected to the small intestines at a much lower point. This both decreases food volume intake while also minimising the amount of nutritional absorption done by the small intestines.
- Gastric Sleeve Surgery (Sleeve Gastrectomy) – Reduces the volume of the stomach quite considerably through actually removing parts of the stomach. This of course results in a fixed restriction and it’s not adjustable like the gastric banding option.
- Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass – A less invasive form of the gastric bypass that instead of large incisions being made, several smaller incisions are made for inserting thin tools in order to complete the surgery.
- Gastric Roux-en-Y Bypass – Involves the creation of a small stomach or pouch, with the lower part of the stomach and some sections of the small intestine being ‘bypassed’ effectively restricting kilojoule intake.
- Gastric Banding – In this type of surgery, a band is placed around the upper end of the stomach with a resulting small pouch created. It effectively restricts food intake and the band can be loosened of tightened over time to suit the patient.
- Gastric Lap-band® Surgery – a gastric banding surgery that spesifically uses uses the Lap-Band® gastric band.
- Gastric Balloon – an inflatatble balloon that is inserted into the stomach non-invasively before being inflated with saline in order to reduce the available volume for food/digestion.
- Revisional Surgery
How effective is Bariatric Surgery to help people who are obese to lose weight?
The effectiveness of bariatric surgery for weight loss is well-documented.
Bariatric surgery produces results that most other non-surgical options, such as lifestyle and diet changes, simply can’t create on their own or in a time frame that will reduce the patient’s obesity-related health risks.
It is important, however, to recognise that having surgery isn’t a ‘set and forget’ solution to weight control. Surgery may need to be part of an overall plan for your health if you are obese. However, your lifestyle and diet post-surgery are going to be important factors in your overall health and the safety, sustainability and effectiveness of your post-Surgery results from Gastric Bypass or Gastric Sleeve surgery and related Bariatric Procedures.
Am I a good candidate for Bariatric surgery?
The best possible thing to do, if you’re considering surgery, is to discuss your own personal circumstances with a medical professional. This could be your GP in the first instance or a bariatric specialist.
Because every procedure has certain health restrictions it is important that you get into the best shape possible BEFORE your surgery, including losing weight on your own and exercising with a physiotherapist or obesity-trained exercise professional.
Changing your lifestyle BEFORE Surgery is good PREPARATION for life after gastric bypass or gastric sleeve or gastric banding Bariatric procedures. Not only can learning to eat a good diet and getting fitter by engaging in regular exercise helpful to increase your chances of having a better longer term surgery outcome, it’s often a necessary step to reduce your chances of surgical complications.
You’ll also be encouraged to maintain a special liver-shrinking diet because if you’re obese, you are likely to have a ‘non-alcohol related’ fatty liver condition, which is highly detrimental to your overall health.
Your post-Bariatric surgery body
Bariatric surgery can result in massive weight loss in a short period of time.
With that, invariably, you will also be left with some excess skin (redundant skin).
Where the redundant skin will show up, exactly, often depends on where you tend to have carried your excess weight. For some people this is around the tummy or hip area; for other people it’s around the upper thighs or upper arms.
While you may be lighter, you do need to be prepared for the possibility you may still not love your new body 100%. Remember, excess skin rolls on your body after rapid weight loss are a very common problem facing nearly all bariatric surgery patients.
You won’t be alone in dealing with such an issue, and a qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon can help you to re-contour your body, reduce redundant skin, and attain the more natural-body shape contours you’re looking for and may not get with bariatric surgery on its own.
Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey 2014-15
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
National Health and Medical Research Council’s Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, Adolescents and Children in Australia