Morbid obesity refers to individuals who are 50 - 100% above their ideal body weight which is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of between 18 and 25. BMI is calculated from weight in kg and height in metres. Anyone with a BMI greater than 35 is at risk from long term health problems and reduced overall life expectancy. The risks include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, angina (chest pain), sleep apnoea (breathing stops intermittently while asleep), infertility and osteoarthritis especially of the knees, ankles and lower back.

Obesity occurs when the amount of calories consumed exceeds those used up during each day. The excess calories are stored by the body in the form of fat.  There are many reasons why some people are more likely to become obese:

For patients with morbid obesity who have seriously tried to lose weight and are prepared to make lifestyle changes, treatment is available through our Obesity Service. Counselling is given before deciding if surgery is appropriate. There are three main surgical procedures:

Procedures that reduce the absorption of food generally result in a greater weight loss. Post operative complications are frequent such as bloatedness and diarrhoea after eating, leaks at the surgical site and infections. However, complications are significantly reduced if the operation is performed by an experienced surgeon in a dedicated bariatric (obesity) unit with specially trained support staff.