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Weight Loss Treatments in Gibraltar

Being overweight is something which can affect not only your health but your happiness. At the Specialist Medical Clinic, we understand that it is not that easy to lose weight and therefore we offer a multidisciplinary approach to weight loss from diet and lifestyle advice to surgical options, helping you every step of the way along the road to your target weight.

Obesity facts

Our westernised world of stressful jobs, limited time and unhealthy eating has led to over 60% of American and UK and more than 50% of Western European population being clinically obese. Obesity is deemed, after smoking, as the leading cause of preventable death.
With many medical advances and easy access to medical advice, effective treatment of obesity is not only easy but has a greater health benefit to the population of the world than any other treatment available.

Statistics show that 25% of the UK adult population are estimated to be severely overweight (have a BMI (Body Mass Index) >30). The World Health Organisation classifies anyone with a BMI greater than 25 as overweight and a BMI greater than 30 as obese.

The Gibraltar Public Health and Life style report has recently revealed that 60% of the population are overweight or obese, with three quarters of men aged over 45 or over are overweight. It was also noted that 75% of the population do not eat five or more portions of fruit and vegetable each day. This could be addressed with a diet and lifestyle change

What are the risks of being obese?

People who are deemed clinically obese are much more at risk of developing co-morbid diseases which would worsen if the BMI rises and often improve dramatically with weightloss/lifestyle changes.

More commonly associated with clinically obese people are diseases such as Impaired Glucose tolerance which leads to Type II diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), Cardiac trouble and Cancer. There are many other associated diseases – for women, infertility and pregnancy complications are a risk. Impaired mobility and arthritis are also commonly seen. Along with the physical effects, psychological health can also be dramatically affected, with depression, low self-esteem and reduced self-confidence being common.

Treatment Options

Diet and Lifestyle changes

An excellent starting point for anyone wishing to lose weight, is to begin with assessing their diet and lifestyle and making some small changes to these things can get patients on the road to a healthy happy target weight.

For those with a BMI of 25-35, lifestyle changes can assist with weight loss of around 10kg. These can include change in eating habits, exercise programmes, some pharmacological agents and behaviour modification.

Pharmacological agents should only be taken with the advice and guidance of a qualified person.

Surgical Options

For some patients, if changing diet and lifestyle does not give desired weight loss, then it may be necessary to proceed with surgical intervention.
Medically termed as Bariatric surgery, it relates directly to assisting patients who are deemed clinically obese and require for health and lifestyle reasons to reduce their weight.

Gastric Balloon

In people with a BMI of 30-35, an intragastric balloon inserted into the stomach is a viable option. It reduces the functional size of the stomach and therefore calorie intake.
If the patient has a BMI of greater than 35, surgery has become the gold standard of treatment in recent years. There are 2 main surgical options and the patient’s suitability for this will be decided on an individual basis.

Gastric Band

This is a restrictive surgery in which an adjustable band is placed around the top part of the stomach. This then creates a pocket, when the patient eats, this pocket fills up quickly and the food passes slower into the stomach. The patient then feels full after a shorter time with less food.

Gastric By Pass

A gastric bypass operation is where the surgeon creates a small stomach pouch and by passes part of the small intestine, making your digestive system shorter, without actually removing anything. This effectively means that the patient can only eat smaller meals and the body digests less food.