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Weight loss surgery prevents non–communicable disease, improves life expectancy specialists brainstorm on scaling up surgical care in Nigeria

Chronic non-communicable diseases related to diet and nutrition is presenting the greatest public health burden to Nigerians and medical experts are advocating surgical procedures to manage weight and improve healthy living.

Bariatric or weight loss surgery comprises a number of gastro-intestinal procedures. The surgery is specifically most suited for those individuals who need to achieve an amount of weight reduction that diet and exercise only cannot provide.

However, the benefits of weight loss extend widely from positively affecting control of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease to resolution of diabetes, and many others.

“In broadening the medical landscape and redefining standards of healthcare practice in Nigeria, the need to offer the evidence based weight management options solve the prevalence of obesity, diabetes and should not be overlooked,” said Abuchi Okaro, a surgeon, who works as consultant at Laparoscopic Upper GI and Bariatric Surgeon.

He said obesity predisposes people to cardiovascular diseases, which are the leading cause of death, type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, cancers, infertility, erectile dysfunction, sleep apnea, low quality of life, mental illnesses, such as clinical depression, anxiety and other mental disorders.

Okaro added that to create local demand for bariatric surgical procedure in Nigeria, there is a need to create awareness in order to reduce demand from western country and reduce the direct cost to medical tourism.

The Team of local and international clinical professionals from Euracare Multi-Specialist Hospital’s in Lagos offers services to patients in Nigeria which comprise Bariatric surgeon and anaesthesiologist, endocrinologist, cardiologist, pulmonologist and Bariatric dietician.

However, this highly qualified and motivated team are central to the patient’s journey, which starts from the first consultation all the way through surgery to months and years after surgery.

Speaking on the importance of Bariatric surgery in preventing cardiovascular diseases, Tosin Majekodunmi, Medical Director and Chief Cardiologist, said it helps to control blood pressure in the heart, reduces hypertension, pains in the body and prevents mortality.

“Hypertension is a major problem in Nigeria. One in two adults suffers from hypertension and its complications. Bariatric surgery serves as a key component in solving these problems,” he said.

The weight loss and Bariatric service has extended its reach to improve patient’s information and experience by establishing a voluntary surgical weight loss patient driven support group. This allow for direct patient to patient interaction with the potential benefit this offers.

Glenn de Villiers, managing director Euracare Nigeria, who spoke on the role of their weight loss/Bariatric service said, “As the leading multi-specialist hospital in Nigeria, we are committed to providing excellent healthcare to our patients. We continue to develop and refine our services so that the complex operations we offer such as Bariatric Surgery are available and delivered to the highest possible quality and standard right here in Lagos Nigeria.

“Already, we have successfully completed over 75 major bariatric procedures at Euracare, I am pleased to say with no death or serious post-operative complication,” he added.



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