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Surgery is the most effective treatment for obesity

Information event at MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital to mark European Obesity Day on 20 May
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(Vienna, 10 May 2017) There are already more than 671 million people in the world suffering from obesity. Morbid obesity leads to many secondary diseases such as diabetes and statistically shortens life expectancy by seven years. Often surgery (gastric bypass) remains the last resort after an odyssey of unsuccessful diets and slimming cures. Studies show that surgery has the best long-term weight-reducing effect. An information day being held at MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital on 20 May 2017 is intended to inform those affected about possible treatments.

If you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30, you are considered to be obese. This not only affects your well-being but also constitutes a huge health risk. Obese people also have to contend with secondary diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Particularly in urban areas, the number of obese people is rocketing. 2.1 billion people are already overweight, 671 million of these being in the obese category.

Surgery is the remedy of last resort and the most effective
In many cases sufferers have battled with their weight all through their lives with diets, slimming cures and fitness programmes … but without success. MedUni Vienna's out-patient obesity clinics (Department of Medicine III, Department of Surgery) are the contact points for patients who have already tried "everything". Surgery in the form of a gastric bypass reduces the amount of food people can eat and quickly leads to successful weight loss. "However, this procedure isn't a free ticket for the rest of your life," warns surgeon Gerhard Prager, Head of the Obesity Clinic at the Department of Surgery," It is also essential to take additional vitamins in the form of food supplements. Regular exercise is a must, especially weight training, so that it is fat that is lost and not muscle mass."

As far as Gerhard Prager is concerned, this operation is the best way to treat obesity: "Our studies show that the long-term effects make gastric bypass the most effective treatment for more severe obesity. Even ten years on from the operation, most patients are considerably lighter than they were before it."

Women are more likely to go under the knife
Although there are more obese men than women, 80% of those who have the operation are women. Gerhard Prager believes that this is primarily due to cultural reasons: "Women suffer much more from being fat than men do. They are more likely to want to change at an earlier stage. But the men who do eventually end up on the operating table are already quite ill."

Event: European Obesity Day on 20 May 2017
The experts from MedUni Vienna are inviting people suffering from obesity and interested parties to European Obesity Day on Saturday, 20 May 2017 (10:00 – 15:00 hrs) in the lecture center within Vienna General Hospital (Level 8, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna). The event will be entitled "Successfully treating obesity – Avoiding secondary diseases". In addition to expert lectures, there will be information stands and a progress report with "Science Buster" Werner Gruber.
There will also be an opportunity to visit an operating theatre and to "operate" using simulators. For information: