Sydney hospital ‘centre of excellence’ for weight-loss surgery

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As more and more Australians suffer with obesity issues, private hospitals are working hard to provide solutions.

Though diet and exercise are the first things people should look at, surgery can also be an option for tackling related problems such as diabetes, sleep disorders and depression.

“Recent research shows that obesity now outranks smoking as the most preventable cause of early death,” said Dr Brendan Ryan of Westmead Private Hospital, which is the third in Australia to receive a prestigious international recognition for weight-loss treatment.

The Sydney hospital has been accredited as a Centre of Excellence in Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery by the Surgical Review Corporation (SRC), joining St George Private Hospital and The Wesley Hospital in attaining the recognition.

“This centre will be an extremely valuable resource for the people of Western Sydney,” Dr Ryan said.

“In decades past, people often worried about the risks of undergoing weight-loss surgery but patients need to realise that today, with modern bariatric surgery, the risk of a complication is extremely low.

“And this needs to be compared with the much greater risk of not having the surgery and continuing on with the complications of obesity, including for example crippling arthritis, diabetes, sleep apnoea, hypertension and a life of pain and depression, and often sleeping in chairs just to breathe,” the bariatric surgeon added.

Australia is now the fifth-most obese country, according to a 2017 report by the OECD, with 28 percent of adults being overweight. This figure is expected to increase to 35 percent by 2035, according to a report by Sydney University.

Westmead will deliver a “comprehensive, patient-centric weight-loss program to help patients achieve long-term success with weight loss surgery,” Dr Ryan said.

He added that more than 80 percent of diabetes patients will either no longer have the disease or will dramatically reduce medication within a few weeks of undergoing bariatric surgery.

Along with fellow bariatric surgeon Dr Caroline Jameson, he helped the hospital through the SRC's rigorous audit process.

Westmead Private CEO Mike Flatley said the SRC accreditation recognised the hospital's ability to consistently deliver the safest, highest-quality care to patients.

“Commitment to this process has focused our team on exceeding clinical benchmarks and guidelines,” he added.

Brisbane's Wesley Hospital has also been named a Centre of Excellence in metabolic and bariatric surgery, as well as being the first in Australia to be recognised by SRC for robotic surgery.

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