4 March 2020 – Abu Dhabi: To mark World Obesity Day which is celebrated world-wide on the 4th of March of every year, Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women & Children, part of United Eastern Medical Services (UEMedical) aim to raise awareness through different communication channels on obesity risks, and the fight to prevent it in the community. This comes as part of its efforts to educate the public, and help reduce the prevalence of obesity and other chronic diseases, which comes in line with the Department of Health Abu Dhabi vision towards healthier communities.
Mr. Mariano Gonzalez, CEO of Danat Al Emarat Hospital said, “Our awareness effots are led by our highly qualified clinicians who discuss the risks and complications related to obesity, as well as the causes and the ways to prevent it and limit its prevalence through adopting healthy lifestyles, regular exercising and healthy eating habits. Our team are committed to spearhead in raising awareness on relevant health problems such as obesity. As a specialty hospital, we were keen in 2018 to launch a comprehensive Weight Management and Bariatric Surgery, which was accredited in July 2019 as Center of Excellence in Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery by the Surgical Review Corporation (SRC), a USA based internationally recognized patient safety organization.”
Dr. Sadoon Sami Sadoon, Chief Medical Officer at Danat Al Emarat Hospital, stated, “All departments involved in the prevention and treatment of obesity take part in our awareness efforts. This includes our internal medicine doctors, bariatric surgeons, anesthesiologists, endocrinologists, psychiatrists, dietitians, and a fitness and wellness specialist; all of which form our comprehensive Weight Management Center at Danat Al Emarat. The center provides patients suffering from weight problems with nutritional advices, exercise programs, psychological support, as well as medications, nonsurgical treatments for weight problems, and internationally approved bariatric surgeries in all its different types, of which more than 200 surgeries have been conducted at Danat Al Emarat in 20 months since the opening of the center. On this day, we should also praise those who have lost the excessive weight and became healthier.”
Dr. Hazem Al Momani, Head of the Surgical department and Consultant General and Bariatric Surgeon at Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women & Children, said, “We pay special attention to weight problems, and have established a comprehensive weight management center that provides preventive counselling and treatment methods, including all types of non-surgical treatments and surgical interventions.”
He explained that the requirements for performing bariatric surgeries in hospitals in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi was set and determined by the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi (DOH), and this has contributed significantly to improving its success rates, noting that some of the most important requirements is that the Body Mass Index (BMI) is above 35, or the patient suffers from a chronic disease related to obesity, and that’s after the failure of other treatment methods. He also indicated that some patients attending the Weight Management Center at Danat Al Emarat request to have surgery to help them lose weight, however they do not get offered this option due to the fact that they do not meet the qualifying criteria set by DOH for these surgeries, but rather they are offered other alternative treatments to help them in reducing their weight.
Dr. Al Momani further said, “Our Weight Management Center at Danat Al Emarat Hospital has successfully treated many cases of severe obesity through surgical laparoscopic interventions as well as non-surgical treatments following the latest international protocols. One of the cases was for an Emirati woman, who was married for 5 years, her BMI was over 36, and suffered from hypertension and infertility problems due to her obesity. After a 6-month plan, a gastric bypass surgery was carried out, and after several months her weight decreased significantly, her BMI returned to its near normal range, and her infertility problem was treated as she became pregnant.”
He mentioned another case of a 23-year-old Emirati female with a BMI reaching 48 and she suffered from severe obesity accompanied by severe psychological problems and complete social isolation. He said that after her case was assessed, she underwent a gastric bypass surgery, which resulted in a decrease of her BMI to 27 and a considerable improvement in her psychological status, as she stopped taking medicines for chronic diseases and returned to lead a normal life.
Dr. Al Momani warned against performing bariatric surgeries in non-specialized centers, explaining that one of the cases treated at Danat Al Emarat was for a 25-year-old Emirati female with a BMI of 32, and had a sleeve gastrectomy in a center abroad, although she didn’t need a surgery. He said, “The surgeon at this center where surgery was performed removed a large part of her stomach, which led to a decrease in her BMI to only 17 (the normal range is from 20 to 24), thus she suffered from other problems including malnutrition. She then visited us at Danat Al Emarat and a gastric bypass surgery was performed to fix the surgery that was performed abroad, and after several months, her condition improved significantly and her BMI reached 23 which is within the normal range.”
“There were patients suffering from severe obesity that resulted in having chronic diseases, as obesity is a direct cause for many chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and others. To treat these diseases in patients suffering from obesity, ideally bariatric surgery is advised. One of the cases we had was a 38-year-old Arab female patient, who weighed 195 kilograms. Her BMI was 62 (the normal range is from 20 to 24), and was suffering from hypertension and high cholesterol and taking medications on daily basis, but after assessing her condition in the hospital, she underwent a sleeve gastrectomy, and within 16 months, her weight decreased to 105 kilograms, and her blood pressure and cholesterol levels returned to normal. Luckily, she completely stopped taking medicines for both conditions,” Dr. Al Momani concluded.