Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss or metabolic surgery, is a recommended surgical treatment for morbidly obese patients if they are managed within the context of an accredited centre by a multidisciplinary team of medical and paramedical specialists.
Obesity is a complex disease and therefore our specialised multidisciplinary team at the Cape Town Bariatric Clinic are able to treat and manage our patients medically, physically and psychologically, and together decide on the best course of treatment for each patient according to their individual needs.
Bariatric surgery (we offer the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and the Sleeve Gastrectomy) is often a misunderstood treatment by many, and surprisingly by some healthcare professionals too. It may be seen as ‘an easy way out’ instead of trying to lose weight by being ‘disciplined’ with diet and exercise. We will explain why it eventually becomes virtually impossible to lose weight or sustain that weight loss in further posts.
Unfortunately, this stigma often prevents patients from seeking the help they need. The risk of developing life-shortening diseases associated with obesity increases exponentially as ones BMI rises above 30. BMI is not the only factor determining health risk. Risk also depends upon where one carries weight i.e. those who have excess fat distributed predominantly in and around the abdomen are at a higher risk of serious cardio-metabolic disease.
The classification of obesity is based on health risk groupings defined by levels of BMI:
It often takes much courage for patients to finally make contact and ask for help in treating their obesity, and by the time patients make contact, they have often done months of research on various platforms. We will build on the information researched, but also discuss and remove any myths one may have about the surgery, which one also hears from well-meaning family or friends who are concerned about this ‘drastic decision’. We welcome you to bring supportive family or friends with you to certain appointments so that they also feel comfortable about you going ahead, armed with the correct facts.
Our team have extensive knowledge regarding obesity and bariatric surgery and the management thereof. Each team member and their staff are dedicated to managing our patients, so they are in as optimum condition as they can be before surgery, to ensure the best possible outcome post surgery. However, not all patients are candidates for surgery for various reasons, and we will manage each patient according to their needs, with some only seeing our endocrinologists, dieticians, biokineticist and psychologist/psychiatrist, who together will assist patients towards their best possible outcome.
Obesity is a chronic illness and generally needs lifelong management, whether one has bariatric surgery or not.