Obesity, an accumulation of excess body fat, can have a variety of causes. Eating too much of the wrong things can often play a part, as can a lack of exercise. Obesity can also result from a metabolic disorder, e.g. a malfunction of the thyroid gland. If a person is seriously overweight, they run a high risk of contracting further diseases, including cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, arteriosclerosis and degenerative spinal diseases.
Normally, the first step towards treating obesity is to make lasting changes to the patient’s diet. A comprehensive dietary plan is compiled, as is an exercise regime that involves increased energy expenditure to lower body fat. In addition, psychotherapy may support the patient in implementing these lifestyle changes.
If these treatment methods prove unsuccessful, surgery may be an option – typical procedures include gastric band, gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery. These reduce the size of the stomach so that it no longer holds as much food. Other procedures, such as biliopancreatic diversion, bring about weight loss as a result of malabsorption. Any kind of weight loss surgery requires long-term and regular monitoring of patients. After significant weight loss, many patients choose to undergo plastic surgery to tighten their skin. The most common procedures involve tightening the abdominal wall or the skin of the upper arms and thighs.