IMPROVING THE STANDARD OF CARE FOR TREATING OBESITY
OCT 2, 2019 @ 10.45PM
Obesity has become a growing concern in Malaysia. The national prevalence of obesity stands at 30.6%, signifying that three out of 10 Malaysians suffer from this condition. It is in fact a disease that requires preventive or treatment measures as it can contribute to more than 40 other diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Committed to improving the standard of care for treating obesity, Johnson & Johnson Sdn Bhd through the launch of its Reclaim Life with Bariatric Surgery campaign, is assisting patients lose weight and keep it off.
The surgery works by either reducing the size of the stomach with a gastric band or removing a portion of the stomach.
Globally, over 184 million people are medically eligible for bariatric surgery. However, less than a per cent proceed with this procedure, despite it being the most effective and durable treatment for severe obesity.
Weight loss challenging
During the campaign launch, Associate Professor Dr Norlaila Mustafa, Consultant Physician & Endocrinologist, Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM), said, “Weight loss can be rather challenging for many individuals suffering from obesity, even with an exercise and diet regimen. There is an interplay of factors that may cause obesity, such as genetics and hormones, which then make it more challenging for patients to reduce their weight and consequently their body mass index (BMI).”
A person is considered eligible for bariatric surgery if they have a BMI of 40 or greater. Individuals suffering from at least one or more obesity-related comorbidities with a BMI of 35 or higher can also undergo this procedure.
Bariatric surgery patients have shown to live longer compared to adults with severe obesity, have fewer heart attacks and strokes, are at a lower risk for developing certain cancers and have less type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and heart disease.
Not the easy way out
Dr Mustafa Mohammed Taher, Consultant General & Bariatric Surgeon, said, “It is important to note that bariatric surgery is not the ‘easy way out’ as some may presume. In fact, patients have to commit to a complete lifestyle change. The surgery initiates the weight loss process. However, it is up to each individual to maintain and continue the journey of reclaimed health.
“Typically, patients who undergo bariatric surgery achieve a weight loss of about a third of their weight during the first year of surgery and tend to keep it off in the long-term. The postoperative success rate depends heavily on the patient’s dedication towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”
Bariatric surgery benefits go beyond weight loss – real world studies illustrate a reduction of healthcare costs, hospitalization and less reliance on medications for diabetes, dyslipidemia and hypertension. This comes as a positive consequence of weight loss that leads to disease improvement or remission.
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