History of Bariatric Surgery at the Sachsenhausen Clinic, Germany, Frankfurt

History of Bariatric Surgery

Back in the fifties of the previous century, doctors were engaged in surgical treatment of pathological excess weight. A number of effective surgical techniques were gradually developed, whereas in the initial years only mere removal of excess fatty tissues was possible. Strictly speaking, these techniques, according to their mechanism of action, can be divided into interventions that lead to malabsorption (a lower nutrient absorption rate) and those that are effective in restricting food intake (restriction). While gastric banding was the most common technique in bariatric surgery for only some period of time, now other approaches have gained acceptance.

In 2013, more than 500,000 bariatric surgeries were performed worldwide. A significant increase in the number of such operations was recorded in South America and Asia, while the number of operations in the U.S. remained at the same level and it was slowly increasing in Germany. It should be pointed out that a maximum of 1% of all potential patients can now be treated by using this technique worldwide.

In Europe, more than 112,000 bariatric surgeries were performed in 2011. This represents a 69% increase compared to 2008. In particular, there was a noticeable increase in the number of the so-called sleeve gastroplasty. Most often it is used in conjunction with gastric bypass surgery. In contrast, the technically easy gastric banding surgery has been increasingly overtaken by other techniques in recent years.

While bariatric surgery was an effective treatment for obesity in the past decades, it has been transformed into obesity and metabolic surgery over the last decade. Thus, operations have been very successfully performed on patients with diabetes mellitus, which has given rise to the concept of "surgical treatment of diabetes".

Prof., Dr. med. Plamen Staikov

Prof., Dr. med. Plamen Staikov

Medical Director, Head physician

Holger Bahn

Holger Bahn

Senior physician

Dr. med. Konrad Stubbig

Dr. med. Konrad Stubbig

Head physician of Anesthesia Department

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