Specialised care for patients who struggle with obesity

The practice of Dr Etienne Swanepoel, is accredited as a Centre of Excellence with the South African Society for Surgery, Obesity and Metabolism and offers bariatric surgery at Mediclinic Durbanville. Dr Swanepoel is an experienced general surgeon with a keen interest in metabolic and advanced laparoscopic procedures, including gastric sleeve procedures and bypasses.

What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery can broadly be defined as surgery of the stomach and intestines which changes the digestive system, assisting patients to lose weight. The benefits of weight loss may include:

  • cosmetic and aesthetic improvements in appearance
  • improvements in metabolic and general health
  • improvements in mental wellbeing

Why does the practice at Mediclinic Durbanville offer bariatric surgery?

The high incidence of obesity has necessitated the establishment of programmes for the management of obesity and associated health complications. According to research, obesity has increased exponentially over the last few years. South Africa has the highest obesity rate in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nearly 70% of women and 39% of men are considered overweight in South Africa.

Health risks related to obesity:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Some cancers (breast, colon, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, and liver)

Do you qualify for surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a major procedure and you need to meet certain medical guidelines to qualify for the surgery:

  • A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher;
  • A BMI of 35 or greater with co-morbid health conditions (like diabetes Type 2, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, osteo-arthritis or sleep apnoea);
  • Proof that your attempts at dietary weight loss have been ineffective; or
  • To demonstrate serious motivation and a clear understanding of the extensive dietary, exercise and medical guidelines that must be adhered to for the rest of your life after having bariatric surgery.

Medical aid and bariatric surgery:

The cost of bariatric surgery is covered by many medical schemes, but only if such procedures are deemed necessary for medical purposes and if it is seen as vital in preserving the health of the member. It is best to communicate directly with your scheme upfront to confirm what cover they provide.

Contact details:

Contact the practice of Dr Etienne Swanepoel to learn more about bariatric surgery. If you are a candidate for bariatric surgery, significant weight loss could be achieved created and serious illnesses associated with morbid obesity resolved. Patients who have severe metabolic diseases such as high blood pressure and arthritis could be good candidates, and these ailments which may improve after weight loss surgery. A metabolic procedure can potentially be a curative treatment for some patients with Type 2 diabetes and helps reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.