Bariatric surgery: epidemic of the XXI century.

Amélia Tavares, Fernando Viveiros, Cassilda Cidade, Jorge Maciel


Obesity is a chronic and endemic disease in developed countries, there is an inverse relationship between the socio-economic level and the prevalence of this disease. Their costs are responsible from 2 to 7% of the total health costs. The prevalence of obesity in the world is so high that the World Health Organization considered this disease as the global epidemic of the XXI century. In Portugal it's estimated that around 16.5% of the population aged over 18 years, has obesity, and due to the morbidity and mortality associated with this pathology, this constitutes a serious public health issue. There are several ancient references to obesity and its consequences, with descriptions of different therapeutic attitudes. But only in 1965 the term bariatric was introduced and consequently the term bariatric surgery. Mason, the father of bariatric surgery, started its history in 1966. Several surgical techniques were subsequently developed, but currently the most used are the gastric bandoplastia, a restrictive surgery, and the gastric bypass, a combined surgery. Today, the bariatric surgery is not limited to the treatment of obesity, but the treatment of a syndrome associated with obesity, allowing a significant improvement in Quality of life of these patients. Thus, it's licit to think that the surgery that allows addressing the epidemic of the XXI century is the surgery of the century, with curative rates, of obesity and their comorbidities, which were never achieved by any other pharmacological treatment.

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