Image Credit: Supplied


Dr Hussam Al Trabulsi, General & Bariatric Surgeon at Medcare Hospital Al Safa, talks about the rise of obesity in the country and how it can be dealt with surgery

To what do you attribute the growth of obesity in our population?

It can be attributed to several factors, including an increase in sedentary lifestyles, easy access to high-calorie foods, increased portion sizes, genetics, and underlying health conditions. Additionally, environmental factors such as socioeconomic status, cultural norms, and lack of access to healthy food options and physical activity facilities can also contribute to the rise of obesity.

How have you seen the childhood obesity landscape change over the years, thanks to the work of advocates and others in the healthcare community? What can we do better?

The childhood obesity landscape has seen some improvements recently. Initiatives such as improved school nutrition programs, increased physical activity opportunities, and public education campaigns have helped raise awareness and promote healthier lifestyles for children. However, there is still much work to be done to combat childhood obesity, and continued efforts are needed to address the root causes of the issue.

Dr Hussam
Dr Hussam Al Trabulsi, General & Bariatric Surgeon at Medcare Hospital Al Safa Image Credit: Supplied

How can bariatric surgery help with reversing or management of hypertension/diabetes?

Bariatric surgery is a proven method of treating uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension. In one study on hypertension, after 12 months, 38 per cent of the patients maintained controlled blood pressure while reducing their total number of anti-hypertensive medications by 30 per cent or more. For diabetes, 60 to 80 per cent of the bariatric surgery patients with Type 2 diabetes showed improvement in diabetic symptoms and a reduction in the medication they were taking. In general, we can say that bariatric surgery can help reverse or at least easily control newly diagnosed hypertension or diabetes of less than five years’ duration. However, for patients who have been suffering from diabetes and hypertension for more than five years, the impact of bariatric surgery is less, but there is still a significant improvement in controlling and reducing medication.

How do you decide if a person is a candidate for surgical weight loss?

The criteria for surgical weight loss candidates can vary, but typically includes individuals with a body mass index (BMI) over 40 or a BMI over 35 with comorbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea. Additionally, candidates for weight loss surgery should have attempted traditional weight loss methods without success and demonstrate a commitment to making significant lifestyle changes.

Please take us to the procedure followed by Medcare to prepare a patient for metabolic weight loss surgery?

Medcare follows a comprehensive approach to preparing patients for metabolic weight loss surgery. The process includes a thorough medical evaluation, nutritional counselling, mental health assessments, and preoperative education to ensure patients are fully informed about the risks and benefits of the procedure.

Do you think preoperative weight loss is beneficial?

Preoperative weight loss can be beneficial for some patients, as it can help reduce the size of the liver and make the surgery safer and easier to perform. However, not all patients will require preoperative weight loss, and the decision will depend on the individual patient’s medical history and body composition.

What bariatric innovations are transforming the obesity care industry? What does Medcare offer patients in terms of technology?

Bariatric innovations such as minimally invasive procedures are transforming the obesity care industry, and Medcare offers patients access to the latest technology and surgical techniques. Additionally, Medcare provides ongoing support to patients after surgery through regular follow-up visits, nutritional counseling, and support groups.

What is the importance of physical exercise after surgery?

Physical exercise is crucial for maintaining long-term weight loss after bariatric surgery. Regular exercise can help patients build muscle mass, increase metabolism, and improve overall health and well-being. Medcare works with patients to develop personalised exercise plans to help them achieve their weight loss and fitness goals.

For further information or appointments, call 800MEDCARE(6332273) or visit