What does obese mean? How do I know if I am obese?

Obese is a term used for people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and above. BMI is a measure calculated based on a person’s height and weight. Obesity is a condition that carries serious health risks and can cause many diseases. To calculate BMI, a person’s weight (kg) is divided by the square of their height (meters).
BMI = weight (kg) / height x height (m) (kg/m2)

What are the health problems caused by obesity?

Cardiovascular Diseases: Obesity can cause various cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease.
Type 2 Diabetes: Obesity can cause type 2 diabetes, linked to factors such as insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels.
High blood pressure: Obesity can cause high blood pressure (hypertension), which can lead to heart and kidney problems.
Sleep Apnea: Obesity can cause sleep apnea problems such as respiratory arrest (apnea) during sleep.
Hyperlipidemia: Obesity is associated with high levels of triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
Joint Problems: Obesity can cause joint problems such as knee, back and neck pain.
Cancer: Obesity can cause many cancers, including breast, colon, prostate, uterine, ovarian and kidney cancer.
In addition, obesity can reduce self-confidence, cause psychological problems such as depression and anxiety, and negatively affect social life.

I can’t lose weight even though I’m on a diet. Am I eligible for bariatric surgery?

You are eligible for bariatric surgery if your body mass index is 35 and above, you are between the ages of 18-65, and you do not have a disease for which surgery is risky.

How is it decided which of the obesity surgery methods to be applied?

Health problems caused by obesity, especially metabolic problems such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, are determined by preoperative tests. As a result of these tests, your metabolic status and health characteristics are taken into account to decide which surgery would be more appropriate. These surgeries include options such as “Sleeve Gastrectomy” or “Gastric Bypass”.

In addition, non-surgical treatments such as “gastric balloon” and “stomach botox” can also be applied for people who are not suitable for surgery or who do not want to undergo surgery. However, it should be noted that surgical methods are more successful and have a longer duration of effect.

Can I get rid of diseases caused by obesity after surgery?

After the surgery, the need for medication is significantly reduced in metabolic disorders that are difficult to control with diet and exercise treatments, especially in cases that require medication such as diabetes and hypertension. In addition, many pathological conditions caused by obesity are significantly reduced after surgery.

Which surgical method is used in obesity surgeries? How does the preparation for surgery work beforehand?

Before the operation, a comprehensive examination and tests are performed at the hospital where the operation will be performed to assess the patient’s general health condition. These include blood tests, abdominal ultrasound, gastric endoscopy and necessary consultations. A detailed preparation process is carried out to take precautions against possible complications that may develop before, during and after the surgery. Surgeries are performed under general anesthesia and laparoscopically. The preparation process usually takes 1 day.

How long will the surgery take? How many days will I stay in the hospital afterwards?

The length of postoperative hospital stay may vary depending on the type of surgery performed, the general health status of the patient and the postoperative recovery process. Generally, surgeries such as sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass require a total of 4 days of hospitalization, 1 day before and 3 days after. On average, the surgeries last between 1-2 hours. In rare cases, the patient may need to be kept under observation in the intensive care unit after surgery, depending on their condition.

After how many days can I go back to my country?

Your controls are done on the 7th day after the surgery. Afterwards you can go back to your country.

What awaits me after the surgery?

The recovery process of patients after surgery is very important. Patients remain on bed rest for the first 6 hours postoperatively and are then gradually put on their feet. On the first day of surgery, patients are walked short distances every hour. On the second day of surgery, patients are tested for leakage. Then nutrition starts by switching to liquid foods. If patients tolerate liquid foods, their diet and postoperative medications are adjusted on the third day of surgery. After the patient is discharged, she is called for the 7th day control and the first process is completed. It is very important for patients to continue their walks and pay attention to their diet in the postoperative period.

What kind of nutrition plan will I have after the surgery?

In the first postoperative period, usually for 2-4 weeks, liquid foods (water, milk, soups) are preferred. Then, pureed soft foods (yogurt, vegetable purees, soft cheeses, etc.) are gradually added. Between the 4th and 6th weeks after surgery, normal food is gradually introduced in small amounts. However, depending on the patient’s condition, this process may change and a different plan may be applied by the doctor. Diet remains important after surgery and dietitian support can be obtained.

Will I need vitamin and mineral supplements after surgery?

According to the results of the blood tests, vitamin and mineral supplements should be taken as recommended by your doctor.

How many kg will I lose after the surgery?

The weight lost after surgery is usually 80% of the excess weight and this weight is expected to be reached within a year. A rapid weight loss is observed in the first three months, but in the following months the amount of weight lost decreases and continues at a slower pace.

How long after the surgery can I start exercising?

After the 15th postoperative day, you can start exercising with light brisk walks with the permission of your doctor. From the 2nd month, you can meet with a trainer to determine an exercise program based on your medical and metabolic condition. This exercise program is customized to take into account your body weight and physical condition and will help your recovery after surgery. Regularly following an exercise program will speed up your weight loss process and help you maintain your body health. However, it is important to consult your doctor and get her approval before exercising.

Are there any risks of the surgery?

Obesity surgeries are similar to other intra-abdominal surgeries and do not carry any extra risk. However, serious risks after surgery include the following:
Leakage: There may be leaks from the stomach or the gastrointestinal junction during the operation. This condition occurs in around 1% and early diagnosis is important.
Bleeding: After surgery, bleeding from the stomach cut area into the stomach or into the abdominal cavity may occur. The bleeding rate is less than 1%. While most bleeding stops spontaneously, some may require re-operation.
Stenosis: Narrowing of the stomach tube can occur, especially after sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve) surgery. This risk is 1-2% and can be treated endoscopically without surgery.
Embolism: In obese patients, deep vein thrombosis may occur in the legs due to prolonged immobility after surgery. This can result in blood clots breaking away from the blood vessels and traveling to other organs. To prevent this risk, patients are given blood thinners before and after surgery.

Will I gain weight again after the surgery? What should I do to avoid weight gain?

It should not be forgotten that obesity treatment is a process. This process starts with the decision to lose weight and continues with surgery. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular follow-up and controls after surgery is very important to maintain your weight loss. When you reach your target weight after about 1 year, you will have a new body with regular exercise and healthy eating habits. However, appreciating this body and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important for you not to go back to your old weight. Remember, it entirely depends on you!