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Metabolic Surgery

  • What is Metabolic Surgery?

    Metabolic surgery refers to surgical procedures used in the treatment of metabolic diseases, especially, type 2 diabetes.

    Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of disorders of metabolism that tend to occur together, and is caused by obesity, physical inactivity, increasing age and genetics. Metabolic syndrome greatly increases your risk of developing elevated blood sugar (diabetes), elevated blood pressure (hypertension), elevated blood cholesterol and lipids (dyslipidemia) leading to heart disease and stroke.

    There are two types of minimally invasive keyhole metabolic surgery operations:

    • Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy is a keyhole surgical procedure that coverts the stomach into a long narrow tube about the shape and size of a banana. This limits the amount of food the patient can eat and enhances the effect of intestinal hormones to bring down blood sugar.
    • Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass is also a keyhole surgical procedure which creates a small egg-shaped pouch in the upper stomach that is then connected to the lower part of the small intestine in a “Y” configuration. Food is diverted by this bypass and is only absorbed in a short segment of the intestines.
    • Diet and exercise remains the cornerstone in the management of diabetes. Many patients, however, are unable to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and this in turn can lead to poor control of blood sugar levels despite the use of multiple oral medications and insulin injections.

  • In Singapore, 1 in 3 diabetics are unaware that they have diabetes. Among the diabetics who are aware of their disease, 1 in 3 has poor control of their condition. Persistently elevated blood glucose levels lead to long-term end organ damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and peripheral vascular system. This in turn causes blindness, kidney failure, amputation, heart attack and stroke.

    Metabolic surgery should be considered for all poorly controlled diabetics, especially those who are overweight or obese. As a guideline for Asian patients we usually use a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 27 kg/m2.

    Diabetic patients who do not want to take lifelong medication and prefer a surgical procedure to reverse diabetes should also consider metabolic surgery.

    If you are keen to consider metabolic surgery, you will have to undergo screening procedures to see if you qualify. You must also be willing to make permanent changes to lead a healthier lifestyle.

  • At Parkway East Hospital, you can look forward to receive treatment in a warm and comforting environment. Our friendly staff and specialists are here to see you through each step of your journey towards recovery.

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