Obesity is a major issue in the north east - the region has some
of the highest rates of obesity, amongst adults and children, in
Now for the first time patients who need weight loss surgery
will be able to have this surgery at Darlington Memorial
With the additional skills of specialist bariatric consultant Mr
Akeil Samier County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is
able to offer a full range of weight loss surgery at the hospital
including Gastric banding, Gastric bypass and Sleeve
Mr Samier joins consultant surgeon Mr Andrew Gilliam to lead the
service which begins on Tuesday 4 October with an educational
seminar for potential weight loss surgery patients.
The seminar is the first step in a patient's journey with the
hospital towards weight loss surgery. Patients will be referred to
the seminar either from their GP or a weight loss programme where
they will have tried many times to lose weight but have been
unsuccessful and have failed with conservative
The Trust already has four patients registered for the seminar
which will take patients through the whole process from before
surgery to the follow up required post surgery.
Mr Akeil said: "I am delighted to have joined County Durham and
Darlington NHS Foundation Trust and be part of delivering this
service to the communities of County Durham and Darlington for the
"I am looking forward to meeting with our first cohort of
patients at the seminar. The seminars are really about explaining
the whole process step by step, by this point patients will have
received a patient information leaflet and we'll have taken a full
medical history, so it is about explaining the different types of
surgery, providing an opportunity to answer any questions and it is
a multi disciplinary approach so there will also be dieticians
available and other support services. Some patients will decide
from the seminar that they do not wish to proceed with the surgery
but we follow up with each patient a few days after the seminar to
discuss their options and decision.
"We'll be providing three different types of surgery, all of
which are done as a key hole surgery procedure so that the recovery
time is much shorter.
"There is a strict criterion for patients to meet for example
patients surgery is a possible treatment for patients with a BMI of
over 40, or over 35 in the presence of other medical risks such as
high blood pressure. These patients will have tried everything
beforehand and will have failed with conservative methods and they
must be committed to the follow up and to changing their lifestyle
and eating habits after the operation.
"We expect to carry out around 300 procedures a year which will
average about two a week."
The Trust will perform the following procedures:
Gastric banding artificially reduces the amount your stomach can
hold and makes you feel fuller quicker. When the band is
sufficiently adjusted the expected rate of weight loss is around
1-2lbs (0.5- 1.0kg) / week. The gastric band is viewed as a
permanent procedure and removal of the band would only occur if
there is a medical problem. The band can be adjusted without
Gastric (stomach) bypass artificially reduces the amount the
stomach can hold and helps decrease appetite and also the food
passes through the bowel at a quicker rate decreasing the calorie
intake by malabsorption. This type of surgery is more invasive.
Weight loss can be rapid in the first few months after surgery.
Overall it is hoped that a patient will lose 70% of their excess
Sleeve gastrectomy is a permanent procedure which converts an
expanding stomach into a tube by removing a large part of the upper
stomach. It cannot be reversed. Weight loss results from volume
restriction and risks associated with this surgery are similar to
the bypass operation. A sleeve gastrectomy achieves weight loss by
two main mechanisms. The stomach is narrowed significantly
restricting the amount of food you can eat. It is also associated
with a reduction of appetite as the portion of the stomach that is
removed produces a hormone responsible for hunger. Sleeve
gastrectomy is a permanent procedure.
Published: 3 October 2011
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community