Overweight and obesity have become a very big problem over the last two decades. This problem is so significant that the experts of the World Health Organization (WHO) have qualified the obesity as the civilisation disease of the 21st century .
Contrary to widespread opinion, the obesity itself is a very serious disease entity. In addition, it may lead to the development of other diseases associated with obesity. Among these there are listed such diseases as: type II diabetes, gastrointestinal cancers, cardiovascular diseases or diseases of the bone – joint system. The obesity may also be direct cause of disability and shortened life expectancy. That is why for years doctors, researchers, and professionals have been looking for the best cure for this disease .
One of the innovative obesity treatment methods is surgical “turning off” the pleasure centre located in the brain. During the surgery two electrodes are placed in the brain of a person suffering from obesity. Their task is to block the signals sent by the so-called pleasure centre .
This is a completely new method. So far, this type of surgery was performed only in the United States for the treatment of heroin addiction. However, the Polish doctors decided to use this method of surgical “turning off” the so-called the pleasure centre in the battle against obesity. The first such operation took place in the Military Hospital in Bydgoszcz. The team of neurosurgeons managed by prof Harat implanted two electrodes in the brain of 19-year old woman fighting with obesity for years. This operation was not only the first surgery of this kind in Poland, but also in Europe .
Although we will have to wait about a year for the effects of surgery, the method itself carries a lot of controversy even now. Will a method of treating obesity by “turning off” the pleasure centre in the brain become one of the best ways to combat obesity? Or maybe it will become the method used only when all other methods fail? The next few months will probably provide answers to these questions.
Written by: Sandra Kryska, Anna Rej, Mateusz Grajek
1. World Health Organization: Obesity: Preventing and Managing the Global Epidemic (Who Technical Report Series,). World Health Organization.
2. Haslam D. W., James W. P., Obesity, Lancet, 9492 (366), p. 1197–209.
3. Majdan K., Otyłość i nadwaga – nadchodzi rewolucja w leczeniu? Pierwsza taka operacja w Europie, www.natemat.pl
4. Tarnowska A., Elektrody na apetyt, Gazeta Wyborcza, www.wyborcza.pl
Would You like to know more? Watch on MEDtube.net: Obesity Surgery – Laparoscopic Gastrectomy