Quick BMI calculator for the health conscious

The new BMI calculator from the Centre for Bariatric Surgery (ZfbC) and swiss1chirurgie combines a high level of convenience with the best tips for any treatment needs.

If you want to know your weight, you stand on the scales. But if you want to know a little more about your physical condition, you can now use the new BMI calculator from the ZfbC/swiss1chirurgie. Without long calculations, the digital BMI calculator determines the body mass index quickly, reliably and with only a few entries, which provides important information about whether the body weight is a health risk.

Just by stating the current weight, height and age, conclusions can be drawn as to whether the values are within the norm or above it. These personal details can be supplemented by the desired weight, details of physical activity and any efforts to achieve weight loss.

The more information is provided, the more concrete the calculations and also the statements on whether there is an urgent need for action and how and under what time frame the weight can be positively influenced under the given conditions.

The new BMI calculator of the Centre for Bariatric Surgery Bern is available on the website of the ZfbC https://www.zfbc.ch/bmi/   and swiss1chirurgie https://www.swiss1chirurgie.ch/bmi/ as well as in the newly developed app https://m.swiss1chirurgie.ch#/module/5784837 and can be used immediately. In this way, health-conscious people can in fact check their current status at any time and from anywhere, even with their smartphone, and make decisions to optimise their body weight in terms of health. The link between the BMI calculator and the medical tips for the prevention and treatment of morbid overweight (obesity) is extremely interesting. Causes, correlations and effects are presented here just as comprehensibly as the treatment approaches of the ZfbC.

The BMI calculator of the ZfbC/swiss1chirurgie has the potential to cause a sensation not only in Switzerland but also internationally. The new BMI calculator will therefore also be presented by Prof. Dr. Jörg Zehetner at a congress to be held soon in the USA, CHINA, MIDDLE EAST, EUROPE and ASIA. There, the digital BMI calculator will be able to show directly what it can really do. The interest of the experts is just as great as the need of the population. After all, the USA is one of the countries in the world where morbid obesity is one of the main causes of secondary diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, musculoskeletal disorders and diseases, heart attacks and strokes due to obesity. This also includes the psychological and social impairments that are often associated with being significantly overweight.

With the convenient BMI calculator of the ZfbC, the way to an easy digital calculation of the Body Mass Index is opened for medical laymen as well as for medical specialists. Although BMI alone is not a definitive measure of treatment options, it is an important indicator of whether treatment is needed and under what circumstances the best treatment outcomes can be achieved.

To the swiss1chirurgie BMI calculator

Current: Focus on bariatrics

The success of obesity treatment is decided after the operation

Severe obesity with all the possible secondary diseases such as type 2 diabetes is one of the widespread diseases in the developed industrialised countries and the number of cases is increasing. Not only in the USA, but also in Europe, morbid overweight (obesity) is rampant. Both in Germany and Switzerland, more and more clinics are specialising in the medical and, above all, surgical treatment of heavyweight contemporaries. Accordingly, surgical procedures are performed more frequently in obesity surgery than they were a few decades ago. Stomach reduction, tube stomach or gastric bypass are the keywords for operations related to obesity. While in Germany, according to current surveys, there is an almost complete lack of professional aftercare, in Switzerland, for example, the Centre for Bariatric Surgery (ZfbC) also sets a good example in the aftercare of patients.

Without lifelong follow-up, the success of bariatric surgery is at risk

A stomach reduction, in whatever form, is the only way out of the vicious circle of obesity, secondary diseases, lack of exercise and even more obesity for many obese patients. In Germany, but also in Switzerland, clinics have specialised in surgical interventions for obesity and provide patients with at least short-term hope for change. However, in Germany in particular, this hope remains a mere expectation. Because even more important than the success of the actual surgical intervention is the subsequent aftercare. And in most cases, this will be necessary for a lifetime. Postoperative care for obese patients is by no means limited to the control of small scars or wound healing in the gastrointestinal tract. More importantly, after such an operation, patients have to change their whole life decisively. This starts with a new form of nutrition, continues with controlled nutritional supplementation, for example with vitamins, trace elements and protein, and ends with a new way of learning sensible exercise. Only a corresponding change in lifestyle habits can ensure the success of bariatric surgery in the long term and thus make the lives of overweight patients better.

All experienced medical specialists, nutritionists, physiotherapists and psychotherapists agree on this. However, there is a lack of concrete implementation of such follow-up treatment and further care in Germany. As the Norddeutscher Rundfunk NDR recently revealed in a contribution to the health magazine “Visite”, the concept of follow-up treatment is poorly neglected in Germany and virtually not established at all. One of the reasons for this is that the health insurance companies neither include such a lengthy to lifelong care for patients in their cost catalogue, nor do they seem to be interested in it. Anyone who has managed to get an overweight operation financed by German health insurance funds at all is often left alone and downright to fend for themselves afterwards.

Accordingly, few patients then find their way to nutrition counselling and further care. Until the body again sounds the alarm and all short-term successes of bariatric surgery are acutely endangered. Those who are financially well off will treat themselves to the necessary aftercare if they have sufficient insight and self-discipline. Those who are less well-off or do not even know how important further care is, do not act at all at this point due to ignorance or lack of financial mass and thus endanger not only the success of the overweight operation, but their health in general.

The German health system clearly has a duty here and must find ways to ensure that bariatric surgery does not turn into an odyssey through the clinical pictures of accompanying secondary diseases.

Switzerland sets a good example

It’s different in Switzerland. Here too, medical centres such as Swiss1Chirurgie, together with the Centre for Bariatric Surgery in Bern, have dedicated themselves to surgical interventions for morbid obesity. Unlike its German neighbours, however, the focus here is on the protracted nature of such interventions from the outset. Only patients who are willing to receive lifelong counselling and support are even considered for bariatric surgery. This is already addressed in the initial talks and is also consistently enforced after the interventions. Of course, always with the cooperation of the patients and all the professionals needed for this.

This methodology is also supported in principle by the Swiss health care system. Here it is clear that anyone who has to undergo bariatric surgery will need the support of the relevant specialists such as internists, nutritionists, physiotherapists and psychotherapists for a long time afterwards, if not permanently. This is the only way to ensure the long-term success of obesity surgery, which ultimately not only benefits the health of the patients, but also significantly minimises the follow-up costs due to a lack of follow-up care.such as internists, nutritionists, physiotherapists and psychotherapists.

It remains questionable whether this insight will be reached in Germany in the near future. While the health care system there mainly works on apparent undesirable developments and deficiencies, most obesity patients remain on their own, with or without bariatric surgery.

We have provided more information on the “Visite” report by NDR here http://bit.ly/ndrnachversorgung.

Dr. med. Michèle Gasser
Dr. med. Claudia Meier
Dr. med. Yvette Ottiger
Dr. med. Stefan Schäfer
Dr. med. Rudolf Steffen
Dr. med. Jörg Zehetner

Seilerstrasse 8
3011 Bern
Tel.: +41 31 310 15 99
Fax: +41 31 310 15 98
E-Mail: bc@hin.ch

Dr. med. Jörg Zehetner
Professor (USC)
MMM, FACS, FEBS (hon.)

PD Dr. med. Rudolf Steffen
Specialist FMH for Surgery

Dr. med. Alejandro Metzger
Specialist FMH for Surgery

Schänzlihalde 1
CH-3013 Bern
T +41 (0)31 312 61 12
F +41 (0)31 312 61 11

Saudi doctors learn in Bern

After Dr Jörg Zehetner was able to familiarise a total of five surgeons from Saudi Arabia with the LINX Reflux Management System, a special reflux surgical technique, in the summer of 2019, the next five medical professionals from Saudi Arabia now stood together with the Swiss specialist at the virtual operating table. In a special workshop on the LINX Reflux Management System, the Saudi surgeons were trained in the modern techniques of the procedures. While the summer was spent teaching and training in Saudi Arabia, the November workshop took place in Bern.

Johnson & Johnson had once again selected Dr Zehetner as an expert, who now conducted the workshop lasting several days directly in the Swiss1Chirurgie clinic at Schänzlihalde 1 in Bern. In addition to other special facilities, a meeting room with state-of-the-art presentation and video technology is also available there. In this way, it was possible to clearly and comprehensibly demonstrate and try out how the LINX Reflux Management System is to be applied to patients in need of treatment. Dr. Jörg Zehetner was supported by his colleague Dr. Karl Miller, with whom he has already worked as J&J Faculty at several clinics in Saudi Arabia.

After Dr Jörg Zehetner was able to familiarise a total of five surgeons from Saudi Arabia with the LINX Reflux Management System, a special reflux surgical technique, in the summer of 2019, the next five medical professionals from Saudi Arabia now stood together with the Swiss specialist at the virtual operating table. In a special workshop on the LINX Reflux Management System, the Saudi surgeons were trained in the modern techniques of the procedures. While the summer was spent teaching and training in Saudi Arabia, the November workshop took place in Bern.

Johnson & Johnson had once again selected Dr Zehetner as an expert, who now conducted the workshop lasting several days directly in the Swiss1Chirurgie clinic at Schänzlihalde 1 in Bern. In addition to other special facilities, a meeting room with state-of-the-art presentation and video technology is also available there. In this way, it was possible to clearly and comprehensibly demonstrate and try out how the LINX Reflux Management System is to be applied to patients in need of treatment. Dr. Jörg Zehetner was supported by his colleague Dr. Karl Miller, with whom he has already worked as J&J Faculty at several clinics in Saudi Arabia.

EMEA trainings bring regions together

EMEA is the grouping of Europe, the Middle East and the Americas that Johnson & Johnson has put together specifically to further develop treatments and surgical techniques for reflux disease. At the same time, these are the regions where reflux diseases requiring treatment are becoming more frequent.

As with the training sessions in the two German cities of Speyer and Wiesbaden, the focus of the training sessions was once again on the LINX magnetic ring, which brings decisive advantages for the new treatment technique.

Reflux diseases on the rise

The number of new cases of reflux disease continues to increase in the EMEA regions. Reasons for this include a changed lifestyle with sumptuous food and a corresponding increase in obesity. Even though this is a rather new form of affluent disease in the Middle East, it is still on the rise. Accordingly, it is important to already familiarise the appropriate medical professionals with the current expertise on the LINX Reflux Management System.

Typical signs of chronic reflux disease are frequent acid regurgitation, heartburn and burning in the stomach. The decisive factor here is not the occasional occurrence of such complaints, but a continuous and/or frequent observation of such symptoms with the corresponding sequelae, which can manifest themselves primarily in damage to the oesophagus due to constant contact with stomach acid. Subsequent changes in the mucous membrane of the oesophagus can be the first signs of oesophageal cancer. It is therefore advisable, especially for reflux patients over the age of 50, to have a preventive check-up, which should also be combined with a gastroscopy.

For 20 percent of the Swiss population, this is not an unknown disease, while in the countries of the Middle East, however, similar accumulations can already be predicted now. If you want to learn more about reflux disease, we recommend studying the relevant specialist articles on the Swiss1Chirurgie website or in the Swiss1Chirurgie APP.

More quality in reflux treatment through improved education and training

For Dr. Jörg Zehetner, a faculty member of Johnson & Johnson, it is clear that quality in reflux treatment is primarily a question of the appropriate surgical techniques. Continuing education is also seen as correspondingly important, always focusing on the latest and most successful methods in reflux treatment.

Dr. Jörg Zehetner is one of the most experienced surgeons in this field, both nationally and internationally. Accordingly, it is also the right decision to continue to promote the training and further education of colleagues in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but also in the USA and in Saudi Arabia, for example, with this professionalism.

Together, J&J and Dr Zehetner are planning about two to three English-language EMEA workshops per year in Bern. In addition, there will be four to five further LINX workshops for German-speaking colleagues, also in Bern. This offer is completed by two to three further training series in Hamburg (at the J&J Institute Norderstedt, the J&J training and development centre) including a masterclass training series. This could at least meet the first major demand for specialised training series on the LINX Reflux Management System.

04 March is World Obesity Day

Every year at the beginning of March, there is a day dedicated to the topic of obesity as World Obesity Day. Certainly, this is not a holiday for those affected, but at least it is the day when there is a good reason to think about obesity in general and the stigmatisation associated with it in particular.

This year the focus is “Male Obesity”. This cannot simply be categorised as “gluttony” or “self-indulgence”. Male obesity has as many causes as it has manifestations. It primarily affects men from middle age onwards, who (like women) are undergoing a particular type of metabolic change.

Particularly as we get older, the body strives to store food reserves as fat reserves for developmental reasons, in order to provide for possible shortages. Especially for men who consume fewer calories than they take in due to their occupation or limited exercise, this quickly leads to unwanted excess weight. Organic processes in particular play an important role here, which cannot be “switched off” so easily.

In a special video, I personally addressed the importance of World Obesity Day. This is also due to the fact that obesity is now more common worldwide than malnutrition. The actual problem is mainly to be observed in the western industrialised countries, since it is precisely here that there is an ever-increasing surplus of food – practically at all times.

The obesity rate in the USA, for example, is around 35-40 percent of the population, which is a fact that should not be underestimated. This means an overweight of at least 20 kilograms, or a BMI of 30 or more. This is also the case despite the surgical intervention options, although these methods in particular can now be classified as very safe and successful. Nevertheless, the rate of surgical interventions needed in this particular area is far too low.

World Obesity Day is not simply about informing the public and professional colleagues accordingly. Rather, I see it as important to educate people about the modern treatment options of bariatric surgery. The primary aim is always to help patients according to their individual starting situation.

Information on the topic of obesity

It is important to understand that obesity is always associated with concomitant diseases. Diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnoea, high cholesterol – all these manifest themselves in the environment of obesity. But there is also another aspect that has emerged, especially in recent years. The point is that people who are overweight are simply stigmatised. At school, at work and even in private life, overweight people are described as lazy, fat, greedy, careless and lazy about exercise. This puts additional stress on those affected and does not help to tackle the problem in a targeted and conscious way. Significant overweight has been defined as a disease since 2013 at the latest. This puts morbid obesity in the same category as diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and many other chronic diseases.

The stigmatisation of obesity is extremely dangerous for patients, as they then withdraw and cannot address their actual problem in a targeted and active way. Professional treatment, counselling and support is the surest way out of obesity.

World Obesity Day can help break down prejudices

Everyone is challenged to exercise some restraint in their contact with morbidly obese people, both in their choice of words and in their behaviour. To this end, World Obesity Day can create better awareness. The problem should not only be addressed on this day of the year. But such a day can help to create more sensitivity for the problems of overweight people instead of leaving them to their fate with stigmatisation and devaluation.

Why specifically “men who are overweight”?

Yes, women also suffer from morbid obesity. But men do it in a special way. There are now “curvy models” for women, but not for men. And men by nature already tend to eat the slightly larger portions, even if that seems to be gradually declining. The world view was and still is such that a belly is always subconsciously associated with prosperity. Also in modern industrial societies. The dangers are usually conscious, but are only realised when they are actually there.

In addition, after a certain stage of life at the latest, men do not have this special view of their appearance that many women have. The actual problem is not recognised, or is recognised only very late, and is then gladly accepted as natural. This means that they don’t have to go to the doctor and the obesity surgeon is an unknown quantity for many of those affected. Therefore, men in particular must be sensitised to actively face this problem. World Obesity Day provides an excellent opportunity to do this.

The first Swiss1Chirurgie magazine is here

With its first magazine, Swiss1Chirurgie addresses all patients and those hungry for information who want to learn more about the topics of morbid obesity or about reflux disease.

We work our way forward in interesting articles on these topics and also provide interesting information about our clinics and the Centre for Bariatric Surgery (ZfbC).

You can find out more about the magazine itself and the contents in detail in the detailed article.

You can pick up a printed copy of the magazine in the Swiss1Chirurgie clinics. Those who can no longer get a copy or prefer to read online can obtain the magazine via the following link: https://v.calameo.com/?bkcode=006115199635078f16024&mode=mini&clickto=embed&autoflip=4

We hope you enjoy reading and look forward to your feedback or meeting you in person at one of our locations in Brig, Bern or Solothurn.

Your Swiss1Chirurgie

Dr. Jörg Zehetner

The first edition of the Swiss1Chirurgie magazine is out. The magazine is now available as a printed copy in our clinics in Brig, Bern and Solothurn. For those who prefer to read the first Swiss1Chirurgie magazine online, it is also available for download via the Swiss1Chirurgie app or on the Swiss1Chirurgie website.

To the contents

We are happy to inform you now, more or less in advance, about the thematic focal points of the magazine in the March 2020 edition.

Morbid obesity, a widespread affliction

A major focus is morbid obesity. From stigmatisation to treatment options, you will learn a lot in the magazine that is worth knowing, new, interesting and particularly informative for those affected. In this way, we do not simply want to disseminate scientific findings, but above all to show the individual path to change. In an easily understandable yet correct form.

To this end, we have approached this still very difficult topic in the magazine with various articles, statements, reports and testimonials. We hope that this will pave a new way for overweight people in particular to get informed and ultimately take the right steps to treat their morbid obesity.

At this point, the reports by and about Sina Gossweiler, also known as Sina Lark in the music scene, should be of particular interest. The young woman is not only known from the show “Deutschland sucht den Superstar” (DSDS), but has also been fighting against morbid obesity for a long time. Obviously with success.

Reflux – When acid regurgitation becomes a torment

Another main topic in the first Swiss1Chirurgie magazine is reflux disease. Persistent, chronic acid regurgitation is not only unpleasant and annoying, it can also have real medical significance. Especially when the oesophagus is attacked by the constant confrontation with stomach acid. Consequential symptoms can extend to oesophageal cancer.

Here we also take the opportunity to present different medical and surgical procedures for the treatment of reflux disease in a little more detail.

Portrait of our locations

The first issue of the Swiss1Chirurgie magazine also gives us the opportunity to present our locations in Brig, Solothurn and Berne in more detail. You will not only learn interesting facts about the clinics themselves, but also about the doctors who are there for you every day.

We will also focus on the Centre for Bariatric Surgery Bern (ZfbC) and show you how the scientific work is being further developed there. A number of different specialist papers and support for bariatric surgery worldwide shows the expertise with which this centre is equipped.

New app makes access to specialist medical services more tangible

We would also be pleased to introduce you to the new Swiss1Chirurgie app. Many people already know them and may also use them to read this article. Anyone who is not yet familiar with the new Swiss1Chirurgie app is expressly invited here to download and use it free of charge.

A wealth of information, a direct line to the medical specialist and support before, during and after treatment are just some of the many benefits that you can enjoy with the Swiss1Chirurgie app.

Take advantage of this opportunity and simply pick up your print copy of the Swiss1Chirurgie magazine in the clinic or download the online version to your device.

I hope you enjoy reading

Your Swiss1Chirurgie
Dr. Jörg Zehetner

The COVID19 virus and obesity – a dangerous combination

Since the beginning of 2020, and probably even before, the COVID-19 virus, which is considered dangerous, has been rampant throughout the world. The pandemic development summarised under the collective term Corona crisis has far-reaching consequences for all life in the world – also in Switzerland. Even if the infection figures and the number of deaths caused by COVID-19 are currently declining, the virus has not gone away. It is still there. And in many countries there is and growing fear that a second high wave of infection can be expected in autumn at the latest.

Evaluate risk groups correctly

In principle, it can be assumed that almost anyone can be infected by the Corona virus. Across age groups, social boundaries and income groups, the virus can affect anyone. Protective measures such as social distancing, wearing mouth and nose masks and maintaining good hand hygiene can significantly reduce the risk of infection, but not eliminate it.

With the statistical collection and evaluation of data on the course of the Corona pandemic and its spread, certain risk groups have been defined whose risk of infection is clearly and measurably above average. Currently known risk groups include

  • in principle, all persons aged 65 and over
  • People with high blood pressure
  • Adults with chronic respiratory diseases
  • Diabetics of both levels
  • Men and women with diseases and therapies associated with a weakened immune system
  • all people with cardiovascular diseases and
  • Cancer patients.

Many of these diagnoses also apply to severely overweight people who have a BMI of over 40 and are thus classified as severely obese.

Obesity and corona form a dangerous combination

Interesting and at the same time worrying is the combination of obesity and an infection with the COVID-19 virus. After all, chronic obesity is often associated with risk factors such as high blood pressure, fatigue, diabetes, a weakened immune system, cardiovascular problems and a lifestyle that is accompanied by little exercise in the fresh air.

In this constellation, very overweight people are particularly often found in the risk groups for corona infection. This means that significantly obese adults in particular are at substantially greater risk of infection.

What we recommend to patients with obesity

In the dangerous connection between obesity and the risk of corona infection described above, we recommend that people who are significantly overweight receive accompanying advice and care from a specialist, for example from the obesity surgery doctors in the Swiss1Chirurgie and Centre for Bariatric Surgery (ZfbC) clinics. Here, people are aware of the entire problem of obesity, especially in connection with the COVID19 virus, and can give the decisive tips.

In addition, affected patients are advised to seek treatment at the Swiss1Chirurgie obesity centres before the expected arrival of the second wave of infection. In addition to thorough diagnosis and advice on individual treatment options for morbid obesity, the specialists at Swiss1Chirurgie and ZfbC offer comprehensive advice on preventive options for sufferers with regard to possible COVID-19 disease.

Focus on dietary and lifestyle changes

Given the particular vulnerability of overweight people with a BMI of 40 or more, it is strongly advised that they immediately change their entire diet and lifestyle to a healthier option. What is so easy to put into words here poses great challenges for most of those affected.

Therefore, specialist counselling and care is an option that should definitely be used, not only with regard to the risk from the COVID19 virus. This is because overweight people in particular often have an accumulation of risk factors that favour both infection with the corona virus and a comparatively more problematic course of the disease.

Irrespective of the current corona pandemic, we strongly advise overweight people to seek specialist advice, treatment and care, for example in the Swiss1Chirurgie obesity surgery clinics. Not only does this effectively counteract the risk of a severe course of COVID-19 infection, but it is also a promising first step towards a healthier future overall.

Grade III obesity as a risk factor for a more severe course of COVID-19

is officially on the list as of today: Annex 6 of COVID Regulation 2, adaptation of 14 May 2020, item 7.

Communication from: Eidgenössisches Departement des Innern EDI Bundesamt für Gesundheit BAG Direktionsbereich Öffentliche Gesundheit Sektion Prävention in der Gesundheitsversorgung

Medical expertise and expert advice on Radio Bern1

People are more interested in their health and use different sources to inform themselves about healthy lifestyles but also about diseases and their symptoms as well as treatment options. Especially widespread diseases such as obesity (morbid overweight) or reflux diseases (for example chronic acid reflux) are moving further into the focus of public interest and thus also opening the doors to media such as radio or television.

Swiss1 Surgery, led by Prof. Jörg Zehetner, has long been committed to professional public relations and welcomes all measures and ways to promote social awareness of such diseases. Jörg Zehetner sees the stigmatisation of affected women and men as a problem that prevents many patients from undergoing appropriate medical examinations. Ultimately, this leads to a vicious circle, which is associated with a long path of suffering and rarely leads to an improvement in the lives of those affected, usually not at all. Old but also new widespread diseases are not only a problem for those affected themselves. The economy and society as a whole are also affected when rising case numbers lead to more incapacity to work, occupational disability, disability to work and, ultimately, rising health insurance costs.

With a lot of commitment, Jörg Zehetner has therefore now spoken out on the radio as part of his efforts to be heard more in public. On 17 August 2020, as part of the podcast series “Medical Knowledge”, the topic of oesophagectomy (resection of the oesophagus) was a focal point on which the specialist physician at the Hirslanden Klinik Beau Site positioned himself. When and why an oesophagectomy may be indicated was explained very clearly by Jörg Zehetner in just two minutes.

The very next day, 18 August 2020, Jörg Zehetner could be heard again on Radio Bern1. This time on the topic of obesity, which is becoming more and more important as a disease in Switzerland and all other highly developed industrialised countries in the world. Here, too, Jörg Zehetner took a clear position on those affected and, with his many years of experience as a visceral surgeon, spoke about the classic methods of treating morbid obesity.

Here too, Jörg Zehetner impresses with his ability to present the essential treatment options in just two minutes.

Listen to the two podcast contributions from Radio Bern1 in full length here:


It should be noted that these short podcasts cannot replace a comprehensive and thorough diagnosis and counselling. If you think you are confronted with one of these two problems, contact one of the Swiss1Chirurgie clinics. A visit to the website www.swiss1chirurgie.ch can also be helpful. Extensive content on the subject areas is offered here. In addition, all contact details for Prof. Jörg Zehetner and the Swiss1Chirurgie clinics can be found there.

A threat to humanity

Morbid obesity is increasing rapidly worldwide

Go directly to the self-test: https://ch.run/20sekunden

Life always comes with particular challenges and some of them we like to think of as a threat to our own existence. Epidemics, pandemics, forces of nature, cancer, accidents, other serious illnesses and, last but not least, violence instil a good deal of fear and anxiety in each of us.

Yet there is a modern widespread disease that is much more dangerous and deadly in the long term than anything already listed here. We are talking about morbid overweight, which is also called obesity in different stages in professional circles. Far more people are affected by morbid obesity, including its accompanying symptoms and secondary diseases, than we generally realise. Trend: Rapidly increasing!

Oversupply of food and lack of exercise

Obesity is particularly rampant in the developed industrialised countries, for example in Europe, but also on the American continent. However, more and more regions in Asia are also affected, and obesity does not even stop at the African continent.

An overabundance of constantly available food, wrongly learned eating habits passed on to one’s own children, lack of exercise and a fast food culture that is often far too rich in fat and sugar are certainly partly responsible for obesity.

Know what is happening

But first and foremost, it is the people themselves who fall into the obesity trap due to lack of knowledge, lack of contextual thinking and out of convenience. And they often do so with their eyes open, but without a keen awareness of the consequences of poor nutrition. Liver disease, joint problems, circulatory problems, disorders in fat metabolism, shortness of breath, stroke and psychological impairments due to subsequent stigmatisation are only a sample of a wide range of concomitant and secondary diseases that can ultimately be traced back to morbid obesity. This is accompanied by a significant impairment of the quality of life and sometimes the only way to get a grip on the situation is to have surgery. And even that alone is not the solution to the actual problem, but only a last resort for people who are particularly severely affected by morbid obesity.

Obesity as a widespread disease threatens existence

From the medical view of the overall situation, it can indeed be concluded that in the longer term, humanity’s existence is threatened by the widespread disease of obesity. This may be an unimaginable scenario now, but it gains in threat potential when we consider the development of obesity on a global scale.

It is up to each individual to decide how to influence his or her diet and physical constitution. Provided there is a firm will to do so and the insight that the blessing of always having enough food in the existing abundance may not be a real blessing at all.

Determine your own score

We have presented a quiz at https://ch.run/20sekunden that everyone can use to determine their very own overweight risk score. Valuable conclusions for necessary action can be derived from the results. From the experience of decades of research and practical medical and surgical work with severely overweight people, we know that only timely action can offer a way out of morbid obesity. And often it is the early realisation that a change in lifestyle and eating habits can be the best step towards a healthier and ultimately happier life.

In view of the threat that morbid obesity actually poses, our recommendation is to use the simple quiz to determine one’s personal score with regard to possible medical conditions related to obesity. For many, this can be the first important step towards a more conscious approach to their own lives. And even if life itself always seems to be threatened by serious illnesses, accidents, worldwide pandemics or unavoidable forces of nature, we should never underestimate the dangers to which we voluntarily expose ourselves every day through too much and the wrong diet with a simultaneous lack of exercise.

With our quiz at https://ch.run/20sekunden you can quickly and easily determine your risk score and at the same time receive important information on what you can do now or should do urgently. Because there is nothing more precious than life.

Aftercare in the focus of obesity surgery

Interview with Dr Steffen, ZfbC

In an in-depth interview, Dr Steffen from the Centre for Bariatric Surgery ZfbC discusses the importance of follow-up care for overweight patients. In addition to the actual bariatric surgery, structured aftercare is of enormous importance. Only if those affected are actively involved in the process throughout their lives is sustainable success possible. A detailed article on the interview and the interview with Dr Steffen himself can be found here.

New information page for patients: www.nachsorge.ch

Aftercare in the focus of obesity surgery

Anyone who talks about bariatric surgery, such as stomach reduction or the formation of a tube stomach, must also talk about professional aftercare and further treatment for patients.

This is exactly what Dr Steffen from the ZfbC, Centre for Bariatric Surgery, does in the featured video interview. With over 30 years of experience and 3,600 stomach operations performed himself in the field of obesity surgery, Dr Steffen is one of the leading luminaries in this medical speciality in Switzerland.

Evaluation of the risks

Whether gastric banding, gastric bypass, stomach reduction or other techniques, there is always a certain risk of relapse for the treated patients. It is precisely the reduction of the recidivism rate, ZfbC, when it comes to professional aftercare following obesity surgery. Dr Steffen makes this unmistakably clear.

Obesity treatment is a lifelong process

It should also be clear that after an initial operation for the majority of those affected, there will be further interventions to ensure the success of obesity surgery. At the same time, this means that in the majority of cases, surgery alone will not be enough for the rest of one’s life. Accordingly, it is important to accompany and care for the patients continuously and individually in the aftercare.

Children in obesity surgery

According to Dr Steffen, children are not excluded from the problem of morbid obesity. Fat children usually also become fat adults, so that early intervention can make sense if there is an appropriate indication. It is important to note that the rules and regulations for bariatric surgery must also be observed for minors.

Follow-up care is the decisive success factor

Dr Steffen believes that ongoing follow-up care is more important than the timing of the surgical intervention. From experience, he knows that many patients do not take proper care of themselves after an initial overweight operation has been performed. However, it is also the professional colleagues who must be held accountable, as they do not always focus on special aftercare in their further care. Here, the ZfbC can definitely fill treatment gaps. One should understand morbid obesity similarly to an incurable disease, so that a good strategy for lifelong aftercare must be presented here as well. What Dr. Steffen cannot understand is the fact that he repeatedly encounters patients who are left alone in their problem situation after obesity surgery and are not sufficiently perceived.

Accordingly, the ZfbC would also like to open up to patients who have not been treated in a Swiss1Chirurgie clinic or an affiliated clinic. Here, anyone who complains about a wide range of problems after bariatric surgery should get a sympathetic ear and professional support. What definitely does not work is that patients are simply left to their own devices after obesity surgery with reference to their diet programme. This contradicts every ethical and medical claim.

It should also be clear in this context that anyone who cannot successfully deal with their excess weight before an operation will not be able to do so without help even after the operation has taken place.

Understanding aftercare as a standard

For Swiss1Chirurgie, structured aftercare is part of the standard in obesity surgery. Even though this is unfortunately not the case everywhere, the experts at Swiss1Chirurgie, together with the ZfbC, attach great importance to professional and structured aftercare in the best interests of the patient. This is the only way to ensure initial success, to identify problems in time and to build on the long-term success of the therapy. Anything else doesn’t make much sense.

It is also worth noting that deficiency symptoms can always occur due to the way the different treatment methods work. Such processes must of course be monitored and controlled to show patients how to compensate for certain deficiencies such as calcium deficiency or vitamin deficiency.

Follow-up care for overweight patients is a team effort at ZfbC. In addition to Dr Steffen himself, other specialist colleagues also devote themselves to the patients’ problems in special aftercare consultations. Around 8,000 patients are now being cared for. In the regulations, the Federal Office of Public Health requires follow-up over five years. However, the experts at Swiss1Chirurgie know that, in fact, lifelong follow-up of patients is sensible and necessary. Here, the legislative requirements obviously fall short.

Complications can occur at any time

The problems of the individual patients are very different. The aftercare must be correspondingly individualised. Some of the problems are real complications such as chronic abdominal pain, persistent diarrhoea, deficiency symptoms, vomiting or other functional problems. In principle, every affected person must expect that some kind of problems will occur over a short or longer period of time. Even if this ultimately does not affect everyone, it is still a clear proportion of patients who have to deal with certain problems after obesity surgery.

Alcohol and obesity

As Dr Steffen clearly explains, alcohol has a special effect on obesity and even more so on patients treated accordingly. In his opinion, alcohol has just as high a caloric value as pure fat, in addition to the typical symptoms of intoxication. Accordingly, it makes little sense or is even counterproductive for overweight patients to consume alcohol beyond a low level. The best thing would be to abstain completely from alcohol. This is also the aim of good aftercare.

With every intervention, the risk increases

Regarding the general risks in obesity surgery, Dr Steffen emphasises that laproscopic surgery as such is first of all extremely safe and associated with only a few risks. The first operation is always less risky than every subsequent one, although it also depends on how experienced the surgeons are in the respective clinics. Much more common are the complications that can occur after the procedures. First and foremost are deficiency symptoms, digestive problems and problems in the area of the oesophagus. This must always be expected after obesity surgery, which is why lifelong aftercare is also sensible and recommended. This must also be clear to the general practitioners and is already addressed in the first educational discussion.

Obesity and Corona

Currently, the corona virus plays a significant role in society as a whole. Those who are overweight must expect a more severe course after an infection due to their physical constitution. If overweight people already have breathing problems, these will certainly be even greater with COVID disease, even more so with assisted or artificial ventilation. It is difficult to decide not to operate on overweight people now, as they will then be much more affected in the event of an infection later on.

The role of general practitioners

The first way for overweight people who want to improve their situation is always to see their family doctor. The latter will then make a referral to the specialists in the given case. Here, the Swiss1Chirurgie clinics are recommended as competence centres for bariatric surgery. The family doctor could also be the first point of contact for appropriate information to the patient. In addition, we as Swiss1Chirurgie offer a comprehensive information service for all those affected. This ranges from our special consultation hours to the detailed and extensive information on the internet and via our app. However, information about any site or place on the internet is always associated with the risk of getting the wrong information. Here, Dr Steffen likes to refer to the pages of Swiss1Chirurgie, which, in contrast to any forums or chat rooms, provide extremely professionally correct, comprehensive and structured information.