Is Obesity A Problem in Singapore?

Yes.  While it is not as prevalent as it is in many western countries, if nothing is done on a nationwide level, the obesity problem will only become harder to manage. Left alone, Singapore could skyrocket to a 15% obesity rate in the next 7 years. This would prove disastrous, considering this was the rate the U.S.A. reached when obesity rates rose further to epidemic levels.

It is imperative that obesity and weight conditions are managed across Singapore as soon as possible. This means greater awareness of the importance of nutrition and exercise, as well as proper treatment of conditions leading to obesity.

What types of procedures can you perform?

Doctor Ganesh performs 4 Types of Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery:

  • Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy
  • Laparoscopic Gastric Banding
  • Laparoscopic Roux En Y Gastric Bypass
  • Endoscopic Intragastric Balloon Insertion

Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy involves removing about 60 percent of the stomach, reducing the volume of food that can be present in the stomach at once.

Laparoscopic Gastric Banding is a procedure wherein a laparoscopic gastric band (lap-band – hence the popular name ‘lap-band surgery’) is placed around the top part of the stomach to form a small pouch, slowing the rate of food entering the stomach to a slow trickle.

Laparoscopic Roux En Y Gastric Bypass entails bringing the small bowel up to the stomach.  After this procedure, food from the stomach is rerouted directly into the small intestine, bypassing the liver-pancreas complex. When this weight-management procedure is used as treatment for Type 2 diabetes, it is known as metabolic surgery, because it almost instantly cures the trio of diseases associated with metabolic syndrome: Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Endoscopic Intragastric Balloon Insertion helps you lose a few kilograms over a maximum of six months. The intra-gastric balloon allows you to eat only small amounts of food, slowly, to get you accustomed to eating smaller, healthier portions.

Exactly how does a laparoscopic gastric bypass cure diabetes?

Diabetes is when your pancreas ‘burns out’, and is no longer able to supply sufficient insulin to control blood sugar levels. Surgically bypassing the liver-pancreas complex relieves the stress on the pancreas and reverses the diabetes immediately, even without weight loss.

Effective laparoscopic gastric bypass helps with the management of early Type 2 diabetes. Some of the major medical insurance companies are even starting to pay for it, though they have not paid for weight-loss surgery in the past. That’s because the high cost of a one-off surgery like this is much lower than the long-term medical costs of managing diabetes and all its potential complications.

What is the age limit for metabolic surgery?

The G &L team along with a team of health professionals – usually including a doctor, dietitian, psychologist and surgeon – will evaluate whether metabolic surgery is appropriate for you. Although there’s no specific age limit for gastric bypass surgery, the risks increase if you’re over age 65.

Which metabolic surgery procedure is best for me?

There are several options for metabolic surgery. Finding the right one for you is a combination of personal preference and specific health factors, as well as the opinion of your surgeon. Surgeries to research include gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, ballooning and gastric banding.

This article was written by Dr Ganesh Ramalingam.