The extent of morbid obesity
- 12% of the population suffer from morbid obesity, and this figure is rising fast. In just a few years it is expected to reach the levels in the United States - 25%.
- Many serious complications arise from morbid obesity: diabetes, cholesterol and tryglycerids in the blood stream, high blood pressure, cardiovascular acccidents and illnesses (chest anginas, infarctuses, gangrene of limbs), cerebro-vascular accidents (hemiplegias, comas), gallstones, cirrhosis and cancer of the liver, kidney failure, problems with joints, respiratory problems, psycho-social problems and the most serious of all: death.
- 60,000 deaths per year (twice as many as the deaths caused by smoking, and ten times the deaths caused by car crashes): morbid obesity dramatically reduces the life span of those who suffer from it.
The social cost
Morbid obesity is an illness for life, and represents an even higher cost to society:
- The medical costs arising from complications.
- The socio-professional cost arising from lower work capacity (professional recategorisation, sickness downtime, long-duration illnesses).
The contribution of coelioscopic surgery
- Surgery may only be contemplated after repeated dietary failure.
- The main method used is the adjustable gastric ring.
- This allows patients to lose weight progressively by restricting the amounts ingested, and restoring the sensation of fullness (after the operation, subjects eat very little and feel no further hunger).
- The operation is relatively non-aggressive: it involves a short stay in hospital (two or three days), and patients can return to normal activities fairly quickly.
- It is totally reversible by means of a coelioscopic ablation on the ring, if necessary. In most cases the ring stays inside the patient for life, due to the vulnerability of obese people, particularly older people.