Health experts suggest bariatric surgery to treat obesity – Newspaper

PESHAWAR: Experts have called for promotion of bariatric surgery for effective treatment of obesity, one of the major causes of diabetes, arthritis, infertility, hypertension and other health issues.

“The obese people are prone to major illnesses than non-obese ones. Obesity has become a major public health issue but the people are yet to fully benefit from the latest form of surgery already started in public sector hospitals,” Dr Ghulam Saddique of Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad, told participants of a workshop here on Tuesday.

The two-day event has been organised by Pakistan Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons (PSM&BS) at Khyber Teaching Hospital where senior surgeons performed live surgeries to impart new techniques to the doctors from the public and private sector hospitals of the province.

Dr Ghulam Siddique said that lack of awareness was the major obstacle to bariatric surgery owing to which the number of obsess people was increasing. He said the surgical procedures protected people from obesity and related issues.

Speakers say obesity major cause of diabetes, arthritis, infertility and hypertension

Dr Farooq Afzal of Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS) Lahore said on the occasion that obesity-related diseases could be controlled in the country through laparoscopic surgeries, the result of which were highly encouraging.

“Our trained doctors conduct surgeries as per international standards and people feel change in their lives after undergoing the procedures,” he said.

Dr Maazul Hassan of Shalimar Medical and Dental College (SMDC) Lahore also pointed towards lack of awareness due to which the obsess people faced host of health issues.

“We need to hold sessions with doctors, media and civil society organisations to inform them that obesity is completely curable if the people contact the right surgeons,” he said.

Dr Mumtaz Maher, a surgeon at the City Services Hospital Karachi, said that PSM&BS was trying to promote bariatric surgeries due to which many public sector hospitals were carrying out the procedures and hundreds of people were treated in all the provinces.

“Now, surgeons at Hayatabad Medical Complex and Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar and teaching hospitals in Abbottabad and Swat are performing these procedures but the number of the people opting for it is very low,” he said.

The secretary of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter of the society, Dr Mohammad Zarin, said that obesity was spreading like pandemic and Pakistan was ranked 8th worldwide which could be overcome through surgeries.

“People in their young age are dying of obesity which is alarming. For the past 25 years, bariatric surgery has been practiced globally, which has led to putting brakes on many illnesses,” he said.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, bariatric surgeries are conducted in Khyber Teaching Hospital, Hayatabad Medical Complex and Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar and teaching hospitals in Abbottabad and Swat.

Khyber Medical College Dean Prof Mahmud Aurangzeb said that bariatric surgery not only resolved the weight-related issues but also played a vital role in treating other health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, joint pains, sleep apnea and infertility in women.

The live operations conducted in the province’s first modular operation theatre at KTH were watched by 200 doctors on big screen sitting in the auditorium.

The chairperson of surgery department, Prof Mah Munir Khan and former dean of KMC Prof Rohul Muqim also spoke on the occasion. They said that bariatric was not a cosmetic surgery but it was performed to reduce weight and cure other related problems.

They said that several procedures were available but three were most common to reduce stomach capacity and minimise food absorption.

Published in Dawn, July 20th, 2022