Bariatric Surgery in Cebu, Philippines: Current Status and Initial Experience With Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

Cureus. 2021 Oct 21;13(10):e18953. doi: 10.7759/cureus.18953. eCollection 2021 Oct.


Background The prevalence of obesity in the Philippines has increased more than three-fold over the last two decades. However, bariatric surgery has not been widely adopted yet in the country. Local data mainly on laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) are limited as well. We report for the first time our experience with laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) and present the current local status of bariatric surgery in Cebu, Philippines. Patients and methods This is a retrospective study of all patients 18 years old and above who underwent LSG in a single, private, tertiary institution during the period 2009 - 2019. Our primary endpoint was weight loss after LSG. Secondary endpoint was postoperative complications. Results Thirty-three patients (mean age 40.9 ± 14.5 years) underwent LSG. Baseline weight and BMI were 112.6 ± 29 kg and 41.3 ± 8.6, respectively. The mean operative duration was 201 ± 72.9 minutes. The were no open conversions with minimal morbidity. Mean hospital stay was 3.7 ± 0.9 days. The postoperative mean weight and BMI after one year were 68.9 ± 17 kg and 26.6 ± 6, respectively. Overall, mean excess weight loss (EWL) was 61.9 ± 44.1 % at a median follow-up of 5.4 months. Significant weight loss was noted after the third month. Conclusion LSG is a safe and effective method in producing weight loss. It can be a definitive treatment option as local prevalence of obesity is increasing in the Philippines. However, access to and the practice of bariatric surgery remains limited in the country. A collaboration among private and government stakeholders is essential.

Keywords: bariatric surgery; developing country; laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy; obesity; philippines; weight loss.