University Hospital Sharjah study reveals promising outcomes for adolescents treated for obesity using surgery

In-depth study, which included 70 adolescents, conducted to determine effects of ‘sleeve gastrectomy’ on weight loss

22 March 2021-The University Hospital Sharjah has announced that treating obesity with surgery in adolescents had shown positive results, based on a study of 70 adolescents conducted by the Obesity Surgery Center.

Obesity has been found to be quite common among the young generation with negative effects on mental and physical health, which potentially affects their lifestyle as well. As a result, the study examined the effects of ‘sleeve gastrectomy’ surgery and its impact on weight loss, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and fats, as well as the possibility of reducing obstructive sleep apnea. It also dealt with monitoring growth and the percentage of minerals and vitamins in the body after obesity surgeries.

Professor Dr. Tarek Ibrahim Mahdi, Head of Department and Consultant of General and Bariatric Surgeon, explained that the study assessed the responses of adolescents who were suffering from obesity and severe obesity. Majority of the cases were accompanied by effects that included type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and fat diseases with high probability of occurrence of obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Mahdi pointed out that the results were promising with regard to weight reduction and treatment of diabetes, with varying degrees in terms of stabilizing the blood pressure and reducing obstructive sleep apnea.

The University Hospital Sharjah uses latest medical technologies and an integrated approach to treat obesity, which potentially impedes physical movement and growth among adolescents. The condition becomes more severe especially as it is often accompanied by type 2 diabetes, stress diseases, or excess lipids in the blood, which can sometimes also result in sudden death.

“Traditional treatment plans in treating obesity, which include diet and regular exercise, prove ineffective and challenging as it requires commitment and understanding of the seriousness of obesity which the young generation usually does not have. Further, obesity surgery can be difficult as it may lead to growth inhibition in adolescence. However, the study found that ‘sleeve gastrectomy’ operation had no effect on the growth of children which remained normal even after the operation, in comparison to other surgery options”, Dr. Mahdi said.

“The study showed a remarkable improvement in the quality of life for adolescents and their ability to exercise easily, as obesity impedes movement and decrease levels of activity. We followed up with patients who underwent bariatric surgery two years or more after the date of the procedure, and in the majority of cases, there was no evidence of any weight gain or diabetes recurrence. The result speaks for itself that ‘sleeve gastrectomy’ is an appropriate solution for treating obesity among adolescents,” Dr. Mahdi added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ali Obaid Al Ali, Executive Director and Member of the Board of Trustees at the University Hospital Sharjah, said: “The University Hospital Sharjah is committed to offer surgical specialties which embody our vision to become one of the most prominent providers of tertiary health care. Recently, we focused on the Obesity Surgery Center, which hopes to fulfil the needs of locals and residents in treating severe obesity conditions affecting all age groups, especially the adolescents. We are pleased to provide this surgery as an option, which was previously conducted abroad. This initiative to provide the latest medical innovations also hopes to support the health and medical tourism of the country.”

The Obesity Surgery Center at the University Hospital Sharjah is one of the largest specialized centers in the UAE featuring an integrated hospital team with a qualified medical team of consultants to deal with all cases with equal importance. The departments at the center include Diabetes & Endocrinology; Pediatric; Cardiovascular; Plastic Surgery, Medical Diagnostic Imaging Services, Histopathology & Laboratory Medicine, as well as ancillary departments such as Dietetics and Patient education.