Weight loss surgery: the long-term effects

Written by: Mr Majid Hashemi
Published: | Updated: 19/06/2019
Edited by: Laura Burgess

Being unable to socialise or take part in any physical activities can leave someone feeling miserable and desperate to make a positive change with their overall health and wellbeing. Many patients have longer-term concerns about their health and the long term implications for them and their loved ones.

Who better to explain the benefits of bariatric surgery for those struggling with obesity than leading London bariatric and gastrointestinal surgeon Mr Majid Hashemi himself. 

Why would someone consider bariatric surgery?

The main reason that a person would consider bariatric surgery is to improve their immediate and long term health. Bariatric surgery will also improve mobility. This, in turn, increases opportunities both socially and professionally.

There is a huge improvement in associated illnesses. If a patient is diabetic there is over a 70% chance that they can come off medication. If suffering from hypertension, the patient can reduce their high blood pressure medications. If a person has sleep apnoea, it is likely that they can come off their Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (a nasal mask worn during sleep for positive air flow) treatment.
 

What are the long-term effects?

Following bariatric surgery, weight loss is sustainable as opposed to cases of dieting alone, where over 90% of people regain the weight. After surgery, the weight loss is maintained. Alongside an improvement in existing illnesses, there is a lowered risk of developing new ones such as knee osteoarthritis and heart disease.
 

Is it true that bariatric surgery significantly changes your hunger levels and metabolism?

The gastric bypass reduces appetite in patients and they will even find that some foods no longer taste or smell the same. It may influence types of food cravings, for instance, someone may crave apples rather than chips. The sleeve gastrectomy changes hunger levels too.
 

How does it compare with weight loss pills?

Weight loss pills don't work and the weight that is lost is regained.
 

Do you think bariatric surgery should be offered to more patients?

It should definitely be offered to those with a BMI over 35 and to those who are diabetic. A person with a BMI of over 40 will develop diseases if they do not reduce their BMI. For patients in the BMI range 35 – 40, or those who have diabetes, family history of diabetes or heart disease surgery will reduce long-term risks.

It makes no sense for a high-BMI diabetic to be struggling with diabetic control and its complications while there now exists a safe, tried and tested remedy in the form of the gastric bypass.
 

What is LINX surgery?

I have also performed the first LINX on top of sleeve gastrectomy in the UK. It has proved to be extremely effective.

Sleeve gastrectomy is a very good operation for fast weight loss. One side effect of a sleeve, however, is bad acid reflux symptoms. Patients who have had good weight loss but might still be unhappy because they are suffering from reflux. The LINX implant is a one-hour operation that places a small magnetic ring at the top of the stomach and this stops the reflux.

 

 

If you're considering weight loss surgery, do not hesitate to book an appointment with Mr Hashemi for a first consultation. 

By Mr Majid Hashemi
Surgery

Mr Majid Hashemi is a prolific London-based consultant surgeon, specialising in anti-reflux surgery and laparoscopic (keyhole) bariatric surgery. As one of London's most esteemed surgeons, he has wide experience in a range of surgical treatments, including surgery for hiatal hernia, anti-reflux surgery, bariatric surgery, and oesophageal & gastric cancer surgery. Mr Hashemi holds a notable safety record, with over 3,000 stomach and oesophagus operations performed at a zero mortality rate. Mr Hashemi has performed a range of 'firsts' in surgery, including the first laparoscopic gastric bypass and first laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy in North London in 2004 and the first LINX implant for reflux in London in 2013. In 2017, he performed the first ever implant of a LINX device on top of a sleeve gastrectomy.

Mr Hashemi is one of the only 12 surgeons in the UK who can currently offer the LINX procedure as a method of treatment for acid reflux. His significant experience allows him to give a focused, patient-centred approach, tailoring treatment for each individual and their specific needs.

Through his dedication to innovation in surgery, Mr Hashemi established and chaired one of the country's first bariatric surgery services with a multidisciplinary approach, providing patients with 'one-stop' care, diagnosis and treatment from a range of specialties. The establishment of the first bariatric surgery team in North London allowed Mr Hashemi to develop surgical approaches, and provide training for many of today’s bariatric and upper GI surgeons.

He currently is Chair for the National Achalasia Patient Support Group, and has one of the longest and most extensive experience in the surgical treatment of achalasia in the capital. Mr Hashemi is also an active researcher, and maintains a strong interest in education, having previously held tutoring and lecturing positions at University College and the Whittington Hospital. He is published extensively and is regularly invited to speak at conferences both on a national and international level. He continues to be involved in training for laparoscopic and bariatric surgery, and acts as supervisor for a number of research projects.

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