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Surgical treatment for obesity (bariatric surgery)

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General infos

People who are morbidly overweight usually suffer from it during their entire lives. In early childhood and adolescence, this often causes reduced self-esteem and isolation. Various diets are desperately experimented, often with no or only short-term success. Obesity is not a rare condition. According to the FOPH (Federal Office of Public Health) 42% of the adult population is overweight, of which 11% are obese (i.e., BMI of 30 or more kg/m2). The WHO declared obesity as a disease as early as 2008. Since society unfortunately still does not accept obesity as a disease, it is tainted by a sense of shame by the patients, which in turn often leads to frustration. It is a vicious circle that must be broken, especially in view of the possible late effects and concomitant diseases (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.), which can be completely or partially eliminated by weight reduction. I strongly advise patients who are struggling with their weight to seek medical support as early as possible. If, despite all efforts and conservative measures (dietary adjustments, exercise, etc.), no sufficient and lasting weight reduction is achieved, surgical therapy (bariatric surgery) can be discussed after the SMOB criteria have been met. 

In many cases, metabolic surgery is an effective and lasting solution in the fight against obesity and its accompanying diseases. The indication for surgery must always occur carefully despite the positive experience. 

Studies indicate that, on average, a 60-70% reduction in excess weight is achieved 2 years after gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy. Concomitant diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnoea syndrome etc., are also positively affected and often even disappear completely. 

Each patient is subjected to a detailed preliminary assessment. He/she must be physically and mentally able to manage the procedure. The procedure is paid for by the health insurance company, provided all guidelines are fulfilled according to the SMOB.

If you require additional information or would like to know whether you qualify for weight-loss surgery, you are welcome to make an appointment at my medical practice. I am a member of the Bariatric Centre Hirslanden Zurich (a reference centre for bariatric surgery recognised by the FOPH).

SMOB (Swiss Society for the Study of Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Disorders) criteria, prerequisites for bariatric surgery with assumption of costs by the health insurance company:

  • Sufficient knowledge regarding nutrition and weight reduction and unsuccessful attempts to implement it

  • A good understanding of the necessary post-operational lifestyle and eating behaviour adjustments

  • A BMI of at least 35kg/m2

  • A BMI of at least 30kg/m2 and diabetes type 2 which is difficult to control

  • No contraindications (previous severe physical or mental illness, lack of understanding of the requirements, drug use)

  • Written consent to the commitment to lifelong follow-up care

  • The operation is performed in a SMOB-recognized centre


All necessary preliminary clarifications are initiated and coordinated at the Bariatric Centre Hirslanden.

Standardised preliminary clarifications throughout Switzerland according to SMOB: surgical intervention can occur 3 months after initial contact in our Bariatric Centre Hirslanden, at the earliest. The following clarifications are performed during this period:

  • Nutritional advice

  • Gastroscopy and ultrasound of the gallbladder

  • Psychiatric consultation

  • Internal status (clarification of previous illnesses with possible therapy optimisation), including additional examinations, if necessary

  • Heart and lung function examination

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