Obesity Surgery

What is obesity? Why should it be treated?


Obesity is a health problem that is becoming more prevalent both at home here in Turkey and abroad. Obesity is defined by the World Health Organization as "abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health". It is caused by an imbalance in the body's energy balance and an increase in body weight to levels that harm health which is caused by energy intake being higher than energy expenditure. Obesity is accepted as 30% or more of the total body weight of mature women being fat, and 25% or more in mature men. More than being a problem in of itself, obesity is a condition that needs to be treated as it is the most important risk factor leading to cardiological and blood pressure diseases, diabetes, kidney diseases, joint diseases and sudden strokes and paralysis. Obesity is a chronic condition that negatively affects a person's quality of life and increases the risk of death.


How often is obesity seen?

Approximately 2.3 billion people are overweight and 700 million are obese according to World Health Organization data. According to the same data, excess weight and obesity are responsible for 80% of diabetes, 35% of cardiological and 55% of hypertension cases in Europe and causes the death more than 1 million people per year. It is known that 150 adults in Europe today are obese. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute's data, the obesity rate in Turkey rose to 19.9% in 2014, up from 15.2% in 2008. Women accounted for 32.3% and men 24% of this increase over six years. According to Ministry of Health data, one of 3 women and one of 5 men have levels of obesity that need to be treated. Unfortunately, Turkey's obesity rate means it is 3rd in the world after the USA and Iceland.


How is obesity treated?

Obesity is a condition that affects many of the body's organs. It is for this reason that treatment needs to be planned and carried out with a “multidisciplinary” approach where different branches work together in step with each other.

These methods are used in obesity treatment:

  • Medical nutritional (diet) therapy

  • Drug Treatment

  • Endoscopic treatments

  • Gastric balloon

  • Laparoscopic Procedure



Who can undergo an obesity operation?

Closed obesity operations are effective treatment methods that have been used recently in both Turkey and abroad. According to international criteria, obesity operations are recommended for all patients whose body mass index (BMI)* is over 32.25 and have another serious condition (diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, joint disease) or who has a BMI of 40 and above.


What are obesity operations?

Obesity operations are effective treatment methods that have been used recently in both Turkey and abroad. These operations not only ensure slimming and getting an aesthetic appearance but also increase lives expectancy. One of the most important goals of obesity operations is to reduce the stomach's volume by reducing the amount of food eaten, that is energy consumed. Gastric sleeve operations are the most commonly performed of all volume restriction operations. Another aim of obesity operations is to reduce food absorption. There are also obesity operations that aim to create hormonal changes in the gastrointestinal system as well as reducing volume and absorption. Operations for diabetes can be given as examples of these operations.


What is the most commonly performed sleeve gastrectomy?

The sleeve gastrectomy operation is a surgical procedure with a low risk of complications (unwanted developments post-operation) and few side-effects. During the sleeve gastrectomy operation, which is also known as a stomach reduction operation, a large portion of the stomach is cut away and a stomach in the shape of a tube with a volume of 60-120 ml (1 teacup). As a large portion of the stomach that secretes the hunger hormone is removed and its volume is reduced, appetite is lowered, it is more quickly filled and weight can be lost.


What are the advantages of sleeve gastrectomy operations?

  • Stomach functions are not disrupted even though it is smaller in volume. Everything can be eaten, but small portions fill you up.

  • The area of the stomach that secretes the hunger hormone is removed. The reduction of the hunger hormone is an important factor in making sure hunger isn't felt for long and in ensuring weight-loss is permanent.

  • As the muscle located at the exit of the stomach is not touched and is actively used, nausea, vomiting, throbbing or fainting are not caused.

  • The formation of ulcers is almost never seen.

  • Malabsorption is not caused because the small intestine is not touched. Blocked or injured intestines, anaemia, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, osteoporosis, malnutrition and diarrhoea are not observed after sleeve gastrectomy operations. Sleeve gastrectomy operations are the first choice for patients who don't want the encumbrance brought about by operations that lead to absorption problems caused by removing a portion of the small intestine. Don't require the life-long or long-term use of medicines.

  • It is the first treatment option for patients who are extremely overweight (BMI>50 kg/m2).

  • It is the most preferred option as the main treatment option for people who are below the
    threshold for being excessively overweight (BMI 30-50 kg/m2 ).

  • It is the first option in cases where the liver has become extremely fatty.

  • As it can be performed quickly and easily via a laparoscopy, it confers the advantages of a shorter operation time and quick recovery for patients who have serious heart and lung
    problems due to being extremely overweight.


Frequently asked questions about the sleeve gastrectomy operation


What things do I have to do before the operation both at home and at the hospital?

You should stop taking alcohol, smoking and the use of anticoagulants at least 2 weeks before the operation. Necessary examinations, blood tests and endoscopies are carried out before the operation.


Why is the sleeve gastrectomy operation so effective in weight-loss? Will I feel hungry after the operation?

As the portion of the stomach that secretes the hunger hormone is removed and its volume is reduced, the feeling of hunger is prevented and the stomach becomes much more easily filled leading to a high level of weight-loss.


Is the sleeve gastrectomy operation safe? Does it have risks?

Even though all operations carry a measure of risk, operations performed with the laparoscopy (closed) method are in the medium-low risk group. The complication rate seen in sleeve gastrectomy operations are around 1%, in other words, very low.


When can I eat normally after the operation and will there be medicines I will always have to take?

You can begin to eat normally after 3 weeks. You won't have to use medicines for a long time after the operation.


When will I be able to get up after the operation?

You will be able to go on short walks 4 hours after the operation.


How long will I stay at the hospital after the operation?

You have to stay in the hospital for two days after the operation.


When do I have to go to a check-up after the operation?

You will be called in for a check-up 1 week after being released from the hospital. The purpose of this check-up is to observe that the body is healing itself without any issues.


When will I stop losing weight after the operation?

You will stop losing weight when you reach your ideal weight.


Will I regain weight after the operation?

Gaining weight after the operation is not often encountered situated. One of the most important factors that can cause weight to be regained after the operation comes from the operation not being performed properly (such as an insufficient amount of the stomach wall being removed). You won't regain weight if you follow a diet programme recommended by specialists and experienced doctors when you have the operation done.


Will there be scarring or sagginess after the operation?

Generally, scarring is not left as the operation is performed with a laparoscopy (closed method). At most, a 1cm scar will remain as the surgical incisions made are small. Sagging won't occur with your doctor's recommended diet and exercise programme.


When will I be able to travel after the operation?

You can travel 1 week after being released from the hospital.


When can I begin exercising after the operation?

You can actively do sports (like pilates, swimming, bodybuilding) 6 months after the operation.