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Medical Procedures an Option for Severe Obesity

Medical Procedures an Option for Treating Severe Obesity

WELLINGTON, May 11 /MediaNet International-AsiaNet/ --

Embargoed to 12am Wednesday 11 May 2005

People who are severely obese rarely find diet, exercise and medication
alone are effective in the long term and may need to look to medical procedures
as an effective treatment, according to Dr Richard Stubbs from the Wakefield
Gastroenterology Centre in Wellington. Dr Stubbs is speaking at the RACP Annual
Scientific Meeting today in Wellington.

“Severe obesity (body mass index of over 35) drastically impacts on an
individual’s quality of life and length of life. Severe obesity is becoming a
huge burden for society and the health system in both direct and indirect
economic terms,” Dr Stubbs said.

“Dieting and exercise rarely work alone for severely obese individuals and
if they do work the results may not endure. While medication is moderately
successful and improving it is not capable of achieving the degree of weight
loss required in these severely obese individuals (the sentence grammar is
odd). Therefore, we need to look to medical procedures as one of the best
method of long term weight loss for the severely obese.”

“Medical Procedures for obesity have dramatically improved in terms of
safety and results since its beginnings in the 1950s. New Zealand doctors use a
mix of gastric bypass procedures and gastric banding procedures. In Australia,
the simpler gastric banding procedure has been preferred and is more commonly
used,” Dr Stubbs said.

“With the Fobi pouch gastric bypass the operation provides substantial and
enduring weight loss together with a cure for some 85% of patients with type 2
diabetes and around 60% of patients with hypertension. Like all surgery, there
are risks involved but the operation can now be achieved with high levels of
safety and success.”

“As the safety of these procedures and its effectiveness has improved, more
people should look to it as a viable treatment for severe obesity. Evidence
shows that after a procedure a patient’s life is extended by as much as 10 to
15 years. Furthermore, considerable medium and long term savings can be made by
the Government and health sector as a result of patients' decreased reliance on
health services.”

The RACP is responsible for training, educating and representing over 9,000
physicians in Australia and New Zealand. The RACP represents 23 medical
sub-specialities including paediatrics, public health and occupational
medicine. Physicians are often called specialists and are doctors who have
completed an extra six years or more of training after their initial medical
training and choose to specialise in a particular area of medicine.


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