Bariatric (weight loss) Surgery

The Center of Excellence for Bariatric Surgery which entails procedures such as gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass, offers a multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation and treatment of patients with severe obesity and associated health problems. Overcoming obesity involves a total lifestyle modification. The Program thus includes an extensive pre-operative evaluation and long-term follow-up by the medical team. The Laparoscopic Surgery care also includes a registered dietician, physical therapist, psychological aid and nursing staff who together ensure complete patient care.

Why should someone consider having bariatric surgery?

Obesity is harmful to a person’s health. Someone who is 40 percent overweight is twice more likely to die prematurely than an average-weight person. (This effect is seen after 10 to 30 years of being obese.) In the UAE alone the number of obese children and adults are growing every year. Obesity is a risk factor for many serious, life-threatening diseases, including:

  • Diabetes.
  • Cancer.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension).
  • Heart disease.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea .
  • Stroke.

Studies show that the risk of death from these conditions returns to normal after weight loss. Within the first six months of having weight loss surgery, patients usually no longer need to take medications for these conditions. In addition, women who were struggling with infertility before surgery find that conception is possible after surgery.

Who is eligible for bariatric surgery?

To be eligible for bariatric surgery, you must be between 16 and 70 years of age (with some exceptions) and morbidly obese (weighing at least 100 pounds over your ideal body weight and having a BMI of 40). A BMI between 35 and 39 also may qualify you for the procedure if pre-existing co-morbidities, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, or sleep apnea, are present.

If you are a woman of childbearing age and planning a pregnancy, it’s vital to know that you MUST NOT get pregnant within the first 18 months to two years following surgery. The rapid weight loss and nutritional deficiencies associated with bariatric surgery make pregnancy very dangerous for you and for a developing fetus.

A consultation with our bariatric surgeon is a mandatory step prior to surgery, and will help you screen for eligibility.

What bariatric procedures are performed by surgeons at Al Noor Hospital?
The restrictive procedure most commonly performed is called laparoscopic gastric banding. This method makes the stomach smaller, thereby restricting the amount of food that can be eaten. Gastric banding surgery is performed laparoscopically, which means the procedure doesn’t require incisions. Laparoscopic surgery generally offers a shorter operative time, less scarring and a faster recovery; patients generally can return to work after one week. One of the major benefits of the laparoscopic gastric band is the ability of surgeons to adjust the band to the individual patient's needs. In addition, the band can be removed through a minimally invasive procedure. Compared to gastric bypass surgery, the laparoscopic gastric banding procedure typically allows patients to eat a more varied diet.

What is the recovery time following weight loss surgery?

The hospital stay for patients who undergo the laparoscopic gastric banding procedure may stay one to two days.

How much weight loss can be expected?.

Most patients will lose between 66 and 80 percent of their excess body weight, most of which is lost 18 to 24 months following bariatric surgery.

What are the dietary restrictions following weight loss surgery?.

Is it possible to gain the weight back after surgery?
Bariatric surgery has an excellent long-term track record for helping morbidly obese individuals lose weight. However, there are no guarantees with any method of weight loss, even surgery. Success is possible only if you are committed to making lifestyle and dietary changes for the rest of your life.

What are the risks of bariatric surgery?.

All surgical procedures have risks, particularly when the patient is morbidly obese. Different procedures involve different risks, and depending upon your individual circumstances, your risks may be higher or lower than average. It’s also important to know that bariatric surgeons with more experience performing weight loss surgery techniques report fewer complications. Potential risks of surgery should be discussed with your surgeon so you can make an informed choice.

Can bariatric surgery be reversed?.

Laparoscopic gastric banding surgery is reversible in a minimally invasive manner. Gastric bypass surgery is potentially reversible. Reversal requires another operation of the same, or greater, magnitude with the same, or greater risks.

Will insurance cover bariatric surgery?

Many insurance companies now recognize obesity as a substantial health risk and are paying for bariatric surgery. Contact your insurance provider to find out if this surgery is a covered benefit under your insurance contract.

Why Choose Al Noor Hospital?.

Our board-certified bariatric surgeon meets the highest standard of qualifications and credentialing for bariatric surgery and has performed hundreds of bariatric procedures to date. Our surgeon emphasizes on minimally invasive or laparoscopic procedures for 90 percent of bariatric surgeries performed at Al Noor Hospital, consequently minimizing complications and speeding the patient’s recovery.