Certificate of quality for obesity surgery at University Hospital Leipzig

The section for bariatric surgery received the certificate as ‘competence center for obesity surgery’.

In January 2014 the section for bariatric surgery at the University Hospital Leipzig received the certificate as ‘competence center for obesity surgery’ – the only one of its kind in the region. With the certificate the German Association for General and Visceral Surgery (DGAV) underlines the profound expertise of the specialists at the IFB AdiposityDiseases and the University Hospital in the surgical treatment, the pre-operative and the aftercare of obese patients. The DGAV assessed especially the quality of treatment, structures, training and of the accompanying research and evaluation by the IFB to be very good. These quality certificates are important since bariatric surgery is becoming more and more important due to the growing number of obese people.

Many experts see the main reason for the increase of obesity in an ever growing obesogenic environment with supernutrition and lack of exercise. Besides these environmental factors also genetic, biological, or psych-social factors contribute to adiposity. Mostly, a combination of factors cause overweight in an individual. The treatment programs at the University Hospital and the cooperating IFB take these factors into account so as to treat every patient individually.
“Bariatric surgery can be an option for patients who have already gone through these programs but have not been able to lose enough weight, and who have already developed obesity related diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure or fatty liver,” explains Dr. Arne Dietrich, head of the Section for Bariatric Surgery at the University Hospital Leipzig. Every individual patient case is being discussed by the physicians, nutrition specialists, and psychologists. Their agreement and the health insurer’s meeting of the costs are prerequisite for bariatric surgery.

Different operation methods are being used, which reduce the amount of food that can be eaten, e. g. via a sleeve gastrectomy. Other methods additionally reduce the amount of nutrients which can be absorbed by bypassing parts of the small intestine. At the University Hospital Leipzig about 100 patients per year undergo bariatric surgery. Apart from a big weight loss, associated diseases like diabetes are alleviated or in full remission. The patients report that they gain in quality of life in the months after surgery. “Studies have shown that these effects are lasting, and that they lead to extending the otherwise limited life expectancy,” so Dr. Dietrich.

Germany-wide there are 39 centers with the certification for obesity and metabolic surgery. “The advantage of Leipzig is the interdisciplinarity of the treatment. All conservative treatment options are realized before surgery is taken into account. Patients are being accompanied for several months. Adults and adolescents are being treated here as well as patients with very high body-mass-indexes. Particularly, the long term after care of bariatric patients is ensured,” explains Dr. Tatjana Schütz, who has coordinated the scientific studies of the IFB in the research area of bariatric surgery until spring 2014. The insights of these studies will help to further improve the treatment via bariatric surgery.

Doris Gabel