Bariatric metabolic surgery

N Scopinaro
Rozhledy V Chirurgii: Měsíčník Československé Chirurgické Společnosti 2014, 93 (8): 404-15
According to the WHO, the worldwide prevalence of obesity body mass index (BMI) 30 kg/m² nearly doubled between 1980 and 2008, with 10% of men and 14% of women and a total of more than half a billion adults (aged >20 years old) being classed as obese. At least 2.8 million people die each year worldwide as a result of being overweight or obese, usually from the inevitable related comorbidities. It has been reported that approximately 65% of the worlds population inhabits countries where overweight and obesity are responsible for higher mortality than underweight. The recently published Interdisciplinary European Guidelines on Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery note that despite the WHO stating that excess weight is considered the fifth leading risk for deaths worldwide, it has not yet been possible to successfully curb the obesity epidemic. Moreover, severe obesity (BMI>35 kg/m²) represents a rapidly growing segment of the epidemic in which the negative effects on health and disability are especially marked. Excess weight drastically elevates a persons risk of developing a number of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, dyslipidaemia, sleep apnoea, cancer, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and other serious comorbidities. The WHO emphasises that 44% of type 2 diabetes mellitus, 23% of ischaemic heart disease and around 741% of certain cancers are attributable to overweight and obesity. In the majority of European countries, overweight and obesity are responsible for about 80% of cases of type 2 diabetes, 35% of cases of ischaemic heart disease and 55% of cases of hypertensive disease among adults. Additionally, a range of debilitating conditions such as osteoarthritis, respiratory difficulties, gallbladder disease, infertility, and psychosocial problems, among others, which lead to reduced life expectancy, quality of life and disability, are extremely costly in terms of both absence from work and use of health resources. Noteworthy, the lifespan of severely obese individuals is decreased by an estimated 5-20 years depending on gender, age, and race. Weight loss and maintenance are the obvious aims of bariatric surgery. The ideal bariatric operation should be easy and quick to perform, with minimal perioperative and long-term complications. It should result in excellent weight loss and indefinite weight maintenance in the vast majority of operated patients, necessitating minimal follow-up care, and be equally suitable for all patients, independent of individual characteristics such as compliance, age, and different degrees of overweight. It is immediately apparent that such a surgical procedure does not exist, and therefore we must carefully evaluate all the different features and characteristics of each operation and of each patient to try to select the procedure that provides the greatest probability of long-term success for a particular patient, with the best cost/benefit ratio. Bariatric surgery has proven to be the most effective mode of treatment for morbidly obese patients, with recent long-term studies providing evidence of a substantial reduction of mortality in bariatric surgery patients, as well as a decreased risk of developing new health-related comorbidities. Furthermore, a reduction in the use of healthcare services and therefore a reduction in direct healthcare costs was also observed. Bariatric surgery is an established and integral part of the comprehensive management of morbidly obese patients.

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