New weight loss procedure performed in Malta

Saint James Hospital has announced the first implantation of a gastric band in Malta, during an operation performed at St James Hospital on 5 October.

This procedure is the latest surgical treatment to help morbidly obese patients achieve sustained weight loss, resulting in reduced mortality and an improved quality of life.

Obesity, defined as a disease of excess fat storage sufficient to harm health, is now recognised as a global public health problem, with an estimated 135 million people in Europe alone classified as obese (six million of these are classified as morbidly obese). It is now the second-highest preventable cause of death, after smoking. Obesity is a complex disorder, not solely caused by over-eating. Genetic, environmental, physiological, and physical factors can all predispose a person to excessive weight gain.

Obesity is classified according to an individual's Body Mass Index (BMI). The BMI is calculated by dividing a subject's weight (in kg) by the square of their height (in metres). The normal range is a BMI of 18.5 to 25. An individual with a BMI of more than 30 is considered to be obese, and a BMI of 40 or more is classified as morbidly obese.

Morbid obesity is associated with a range of debilitating and life threatening disorders (including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancer, gastrointestinal diseases, arthritis and infertility) which both shorten the life expectancy of the individual and impact upon their quality of life.

Obesity has a negative impact on mobility, productivity, employment and psychosocial functioning, with many obese people left feeling depressed, defensive and unwilling to live life to the full.

Conventional non-surgical treatments for obesity include changes in diet, changes in physical activity, behaviour modification and drug therapy. However, for morbidly obese patients, these treatments are not successful in achieving long-term weight reduction. Weight loss (or bariatric) surgery is the only treatment proven to maintain weight reduction over the long-term.

The implantation of an adjustable gastric band is defined as a restrictive procedure, in which the size of the stomach is restricted, ensuring that the patient feels “full” after eating a small amount of food and for a longer period of time. Thus, the patient’s calorific intake is considerably reduced, and their energy expenditure exceeds their food intake.


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This page contains a single entry by ID Admin published on October 22, 2006 10:36 AM.

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