News Obesity: More surgery than the way out

News Obesity: More surgery than the way out

More and more obesity patients go under the knife. The more frequent surgeries of obese people increase the effort and costs, and the consequences and problems are devastating for the health system.

After numerous unsuccessful diets and therapies, people who suffer from obesity – that is, pathological obesity – often have no other way out than to undergo operations. For example, a gastric band can be used or the stomach can be surgically made smaller. Afterwards, however, lifelong medical follow-up is necessary. In Germany there are more and more people suffering from obesity and its secondary diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems and high cholesterol levels. If you have had a body mass index (BMI) of more than 40 for at least ten years – this corresponds to a weight of around 115 kilograms and a height of 1.7 meters – and have already tried everything seriously to lose weight – from diets and dietary changes to exercise and behavioral therapies – you can try surgery to get your weight problem under control. Apparently, this is the case for more and more people, especially women with obesity are opting for surgery. This does not mean that more women are obese, but rather that obese women are more likely to see a doctor with their weight problem and seek help. Berlin and Hamburg in particular are developing into strongholds for obesity surgery. The DAK-Gesundheit states as statistics: “In 2012, there were 41 and 33 operations on XXL patients for every 100,000 insured people in Berlin and Hamburg, while there were only 12 operations nationwide.” Obesity surgery, so that many sufferers from the surrounding area go there. The costs for the health system increase significantly due to the large number of obese patients. Because not only are obese sufferers sick more often, the hospitals also need special equipment in order to be able to admit and treat obese patients. Extra-wide beds and wheelchairs as well as special surgical instruments must be purchased for this. In addition, even those who are previously obese will have to receive medical care for the rest of their lives after an operation.

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