The morbid obesity unit covers cases of morbid and severe obesity. Obesity as defined by the World Health Organisation is the excessive build up of energy stored as fat, which has harmful effects on health and shortens life expectancy.

Bariatric (obesity) surgery

How do we know if someone is overweight?
Assessment of whether an individual is overweight is based on the calculation of the body mass index (BMI), which divides kilos by the patient’s height in square metres. Any ratio over 40 is considered morbid obesity.

What happens if someone is suffering from morbid obesity?
Morbid obesity is a chronic condition that is associated with a long list of complaints that appear over time, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Sufferers may experience hypertension, dyslipemia, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA), heart disease, poor circulation, gallstones, esophageal hiatal hernias, liver problems, complications with fertility, urinary incontinence, arthritis and more chance of getting cancer. This all leads to a poorer life quality and expectancy.

It is normal morbid obesity sufferers are able to lose weight, but end up putting it back on again. This is why diets, physical exercise, behavioural therapy and treatment with drugs all tend to fail.

The rise in morbid obesity in the past 20 years has been over 200%, leaving some 2% in the category with a BMI above 35, and about 0.6% with a BMI over 40. There are now about 42,000 patients with morbid obesity in Spain.

Bariatric surgery at Clínica Diagonal
Concern with the rise of this condition has led the Clínica Diagonal, to create a multidisciplinary team headed by Dr. Masdevall to tackle this problem.

Dr. Carles Masdevall, a specialist with over 25 years in the field, is currently President of the Sociedad Española de Cirurgia de la Obesidad y Enfermedades Metabólicas Associadas, (Spanish Society for Obesity Surgery and of Associated Metabolic Diseases).

Bariatric surgery combines a series of surgical techniques and procedures looking to change a patient’s physiology to ensure consolidated and long-lasting weight loss, while getting to grips with other collateral diseases present. This is why an exhaustive pre-op study is performed to determine the most suitable procedure in each case. Taking an example; if a patient has type 2 diabetes mellitus, it is best to perform a “metabolic” gastric bypass, which proves successful in 5 out of 6 cases.