Obesity can be treated in different ways – surgically or otherwise. Firstly, a patient can tackle obesity by following a strict diet developed by a nutritionist. When that change in eating and lifestyle (possibly combined with exercise) proves insufficient, weight loss surgery or a bariatric procedure is an option.
The doctor will assess whether the obesity is problematic and other surgical procedures may be considered. Patients are usually referred to a surgeon specialized in bariatric surgery or obesity surgery, who will then try to reduce the body weight and in particular the health problems associated with it.
Obesity surgery conditions
Health care may reimburse part of the costs, such as the hospital stay, the procedure itself, and the necessary equipment. The remainder is at the expense of the patient or reimbursed by their hospitalization insurance. To apply for the latter, Belgian legislation requires patients to meet certain criteria determined in 2007 and expanded in 2010:
- Minimum age of 18
- BMI of 40 or higher
- BMI of 35 with comorbidity (combined with two or more disorders or conditions):
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Earlier (unsuccessful) bariatric procedure
- High blood pressure (hypertension, > 140/90 mm Hg), despite the intake of three different types of medication
- Approval of a multidisciplinary team consisting of: a surgeon, a psychiatrist, or clinical psychologist, an internist (usually an endocrinologist) and a dietitian
- Notification form, that is sent to your health care
- The patient has made an attempt at dieting under the supervision of a dietitian and / or general practitioner for at least one year
- The patient is prepared to change their eating habits and lifestyle after the procedure