The time to have a less conservative approach to the current obesity treatment is now

In his lecture in this year’s Brazilian Bariatric Surgery Congress, Dr Karl Miller stated the importance that a more modern medical and surgical approach against the current rise of obesity number in the world and their economic consequences for patients and health operators

Karl Miller

In Miller’s view, with more than 200 known disorders that are a direct consequence of obesity, such as diabetes, cardiovascular and nephrotic diseases, the tried and tested methods to help obese patients to lose weight and fend the consequences have been proven ineffective. Studies show that only 10% of patients that are subjected to this medical route are capable of maintaining the weight loss experienced after the surgery.


According to Dr Miller, most developed countries failed in keeping the numbers of their obese population under control, entailing a hefty cost in their health system. In Europe, for type 2 diabetes only, the cost could be - in average - around 9%.


Miller remembers that 26% of obese patients are in risk of developing diabetes and 3/4 of the diagnosed type diabetics are susceptible to obesity.


Studies show that T2D patients subjected to gastric bypass have a significant reduction in their demand for insulin. Most of them have a very low need for it in the first 5 years after the surgical intervention and approximately 2% will need it after this period, but at a much lower dosage.


For Miller, as the costs of insulin keep rising at a fast pace every year, the use of metabolic surgeries to reduce its necessity is the most cost-efficient course of action to patients and health providers, that in 3 to 4 after the procedure will regain the costs of it for obese patients and 1 to 2 years as for diabetics.


As for resolution of comorbidities, Miller makes a point to show that the approach of the metabolic surgery proves to be a great resource, with the decrease of mortality for coronary heart disease to 56%, cancer to 60% and diabetes to 92%.