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Euracare introduces bariatric surgery to check obesity

A Lagos-based multi-specialist hospital, Euracare, has introduced bariatric surgery, a medical procedure that helps propel weight loss, in order to reduce obesity, and its accompanying health risks.

The bariatric surgeon at Euracare, Abuchi Okaro, stated this in a statement made available to BDSUNDAY.

The health risks of obesity (mainly defined as excess amount of body fat), have been captured in articles and medical journals replete on the internet.

Heart diseases and stroke are known implications of excess fat within the body. According to data, obesity accounts for 80-85 percent of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Also, based on the 2010 WHO global infobase, obesity prevalence in Nigeria was 11.0 percent and 4.3percent in Nigerian females and males respectively. A research by eight Nigerian authors, showed a significant increase in the prevalence of the health condition.

The study, published in 2012, found the prevalence of overweight and obese individuals to range from 20.3 to 35.1 percent and 8.1 – 22.2 percent respectively.

The researchers concluded that prevalence of overweight and obese individuals in Nigeria is of epidemic proportions. “There is a need to pay closer attention to combating these health disorders,” they said.

This backdrop has forced Euracare to come up with a solution described as evidence-based weight management options to solve the prevalence of obesity and diabetes in Nigeria, said Okaro, who is also the lead consultant laparoscopic, at the hospital.

“The hospital assembled an expert team of experienced and dedicated professionals that are focused primarily on delivering safe and predictable surgical weight loss or bariatric surgery outcomes central to the patient’s journey, which starts from the first consultation all the way through surgery to months and years after surgery,” Okaro said.

Explaining the procedure, Okaro said bariatric (also called metabolic) surgery was a rapidly expanding branch of Upper Gastro-Intestinal surgery around the world.

He said the surgery involves adjusting the upper digestive tract to cause weight loss in patients.

“The ability to surgically adjust the upper digestive tract and cause over time significant weight losses for the patient has transformational impact on weight which affect diseases like Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, sleep apnea etc, which is predicted that as high as 30 percent of Nigerian adults are obese,” he said.

Okaro further stated that the benefits of bariatric surgery can be both medical, like treating diabetes, improving fertility, and curing hypertension; and psychological issues like improving self-confidence and overall productivity.

“The major advances in Bariatric or weight loss surgery over the last 20 years have been to deliver weight loss results that are greater and more sustained than other non-surgical conventional treatment of diet and exercise alone. The benefits include marked improvements in quality of life and remission/resolution of such obesity related diseases like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnoea and many others,” he said.

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and American College of Endocrinology (ACE) recommend that all adults should be screened annually for overweight and obesity. Similarly, the American Diabetes Association and the AACE guidelines also recommend referring patients to high-intensity weight loss programs.

This is because they believe that modest weight loss can improve or prevent the health problems associated with obesity.

“The introduction of this surgery amidst many other services buttresses Euracare Multi-Specialist Hospital’s commitment in broadening the medical landscape and redefining standards of healthcare practice in Nigeria.

“The road towards healthy eating and living is more like a journey than a trip and requires all members of the team, surgeon, physician, anesthetist, dietician and nurses working together on a multi-disciplinary platform for the benefit of the patient and community,” Okaro said.

Desmond Okon
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