Morbid obesity: weight loss is possible

Written by: Dr. Ernest Bombuy Giménez
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Morbid obesity (OM), is a type of obesity rebellious to medical treatment of any kind, which compromises health and predisposes to serious diseases. Despite being a chronic and incurable disease, it is a pathology that can be controlled although in the worst cases it can cost even the lives of patients. The best way to quantify the degree of obesity is the Body Mass Index (BMI). We talk about morbid obesity when the BMI ≥ 40.

Many diseases are associated with morbid obesity, and can worsen the prognosis and decrease the patient's life expectancy (up to 10 years in the most extreme cases). In addition to suffering associated pathologies such as diabetes, dyslipidemia or hypertension, people with morbid obesity suffer from problems of self-esteem , mobility or social, work and sexual relationships.


USA, 'leaders'

The incidence of the number of people affected by obesity has increased exponentially in the USA, including also the infantile population. With an estimate of 350,000 deaths per year due to the disease.

According to the Spanish Society for the Study of Obesity , 14% of our children are obese (0.6% of them are morbid), and foresee a considerable increase in the next 10 years. The economic impact of obesity is strong in Spain, since it represents 6.9% of health spending, slightly below the forecasts that place between 7% and 8% the economic cost of the disease in the US.

A complex treatment

The treatment of obesity is generally medical. Includes aspects such as dietary measures and drugs, psychological support to create new eating habits and physical activity. In patients with a lower degree of obesity, medical treatment has an acceptable percentage of success. This is exceptional in OM. OM surgery or Bariatric Surgery is currently the only resource in a very high percentage of patients (> 85%) to achieve significant excess weight losses (> 40%) and sustained (> 10 years.). For these reasons it appears as the only effective treatment of long-term morbid obesity.

Bariatric Surgery includes a series of procedures whose purpose is to search for the decrease in body weight. There are three types of surgical techniques: restrictive techniques such as vertical gastrectomy, malabsorptive and mixed ones such as gastric bypass. The criteria for the inclusion of patients in OM surgery programs are well established with a broad consensus of different Organs and Scientific Societies.

The postoperative after a vertical gastrectomy or a gastric bypass is similar and relatively placid. He will usually stay in the hospital between 2 and 3 days. After a few hours of the intervention you will be asked to get up with help and sit in a chair so that progressively begins to walk. You will be given medication for pain, which usually must be mild. The first day will begin the intake of small sips of liquids and / or smoothies. Continue with a liquid / puree diet upon arrival at home, as directed by the dietitian, until 3-4 weeks. We advise in a progressive way the reincorporation to normal life from the first moment, which is usually achieved between the second and third week, sports activities and great efforts should be avoided during the first two months after surgery.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Ernest Bombuy Giménez

Dr. Ernest Bombuy Giménez is a specialist in General Surgery and Gastroenterology. He has extensive experience in bariatric surgery (obesity surgery). Today is part of Assistència Surgical team Barcelona.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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