Bariatric / Weight Loss Surgery

At the American Hospital Dubai, we offer bariatric (weight loss) surgery in order to help people with morbid obesity, especially those who already have tried but struggle to lose weight, those who have difficulty exercising due to obesity and those whose quality of life is seriously compromised due to weight-related complications.

Through bariatric surgery in Dubai, patients are able to regain control of their health by minimizing the amount of food that their stomachs can hold. Our specialized doctors have performed countless numbers of weight-loss surgeries using minimally invasive techniques known as laparoscopic surgery. American Hospital Dubai offers a variety of surgical options, including laparoscopic Vertical Sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve), laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (Lap Band) and laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (gastric bypass). Each of these surgeries offers its own benefits, and the patient’s individual health condition will be evaluated in order to choose the most appropriate procedure.

A person is considered obese if their BMI (Body Mass Index) measures 30 or more, whereas a patient who is morbidly obese will have a BMI of 40 or above – roughly equivalent to 45kg over their ideal body weight. The BMI highlights the relationship between a person’s weight and his or her height. Typically, weight loss surgeries are performed on patients who are morbidly obese or have a BMI of 35 or above. However, patients who suffer from a comorbid condition, such as diabetes or hypertension, are also viable candidates for weight loss surgery in Dubai.

There are numerous obesity related conditions, both physical and mental, that can be cured or resolved through weight loss surgery. These include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart failure
  • Hypertension
  • Gallstones
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Infertility
  • Depression
  • Sleep apnea
  • High cholesterol

  • Before a patient can be accepted for surgery, they are required to undergo a thorough medical evaluation in order to rule out any other potential causes of their weight gain, such as genetic, metabolic or endocrine causes, as well as to assess their suitability for surgery. Various other vital tests, such as blood work, an electrocardiogram (ECG) and anesthesia evaluations, are also carried out before surgery.
  • It is important to note the expectation that patients looking to undergo surgery will have already tried weight loss through a determined effort of diet and exercise. If this is not the case, doctors will advise that patients first see a nutritionist to obtain professional dietary advice. Additionally, sleep studies will be undertaken to rule out sleep apnea. Patients will also attend bariatric support group meetings to understand the whole process and share their own experiences.


The American Hospital Dubai offers three types of weight loss procedure. Your surgeon will help you decide on which is your best option through a detailed discussion and evaluation that will concern a variety of individual factors, including your age, BMI, medical history and other related conditions.

Laparoscopic Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy 

This operation involves medical stapling to create a smaller sleeve of the stomach, thereby reducing its size by around 80%. Due to the smaller and more restricted nature of the stomach pouch, the volume of food that can be consumed is greatly limited, although digestion and absorption continues as normal. Naturally, this change helps to reduce weight because there is an overall decrease in the calories that can be consumed.

As well as reducing stomach size, this surgery has a significant effect on gut hormones. This impacts a variety of features, including fullness, hunger and blood sugar level control, which is why vertical sleeve gastrectomy is an effective measure against type 2 diabetes.


  1. Short recovery period
  2. Induces desirable transformations regarding gut hormones
  3. Effective step against obesity and other health related diseases


  1. Potential for vitamin deficiencies
  2. The operation is non-reversible

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band

This operation involves the insertion of a band in the uppermost part of the stomach. This creates a smaller upper pouch, leaving the remainder of the stomach below as the larger pouch. This procedure is commonly referred to as the ‘lap band’.

The procedure works because the patient feels satisfied after eating a comparatively small portion of food. Of course, patient hunger satisfaction depends entirely on the size of the gastric band, and our doctors will progressively reduce the size of the gastric band over a period of time. The surgery is reversible, with digestion and absorption taking place as normal.


  1. The procedure is reversible
  2. Decreases the amount of calories consumed by reducing the amount of food the stomach can hold
  3. Due to the minimally invasive nature of the procedure, patients can leave hospital within 24 hours.
  4. The smallest chance of vitamin and mineral deficiencies


  1. Complications can arise if the patient overeats
  2. Weight loss can be slow and ineffective
  3. The procedure requires a foreign object to exist within the body
  4. The chance of success relies on the patient observing a strict postoperative diet


Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

This operation involves the use of medical stapling to create a smaller upper pouch, which restricts the amount of food the patient is able to consume. The procedure is commonly referred to as a ‘gastric bypass’. Essentially, a large portion of the small bowel is bypassed, thus delaying food from mixing with digestive juices and avoiding complete calorie absorption. This leads to malabsorption which, in turn, leads to a significant weight loss.

Much like the other procedures, this method significantly reduces the overall size of the stomach pouch which, in turn, equates to a reduction in calories as less food in consumed. Furthermore, similar to the vertical sleeve gastrectomy, the ‘gastric bypass’ facilitates a transformation of gut hormones, which stimulate appetite suppression and helps to neutralize the threat of type 2 diabetes.


  1. A proven and effective method of significant long-term weight loss in a vast amount of patients
  2. Successfully restricts the amount of food
  3. Induces desirable transformations regarding gut hormones
  4. Very high success in curing type 2 diabetes


  1. Likelihood of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, particularly vitamin B12, calcium and iron
  2. The procedure demands a longer recovery time
  3. Patients are obliged to follow strict dietary recommendations, as well as a long-running dependence on supplementary vitamins and minerals

Patients are typically discharged from hospital the day after either a lap band or a gastric sleeve procedure. Those who undergo a gastric bypass will spend on an average two nights in the hospital. Regardless of the type of surgery patients undergo, they will be placed on a post-operative bariatric liquid diet for the first two weeks.

Every surgery comes with its own set of risks and complications. Some are unique to the type of surgery you may be contemplating, whilst others will be particular to your individual disposition. A variety of factors, including your weight, age and medical history, will play a significant role in determining your specific risks for bariatric surgery. Risks include:

  1. Abdominal hernias
  2. Deep vein thrombosis
  3. Dehydration
  4. Enlarged heart
  5. Infection
  6. Gallstones
  7. Adhesions
  8. Nausea and vomiting
  9. Stretching of the stomach

  • Patients must remember that weight loss surgery is not cosmetic surgery!

  • However, it is the most effective way to lose weight and maintain that loss
  • The success of weight loss surgery is largely dependent on a long-term commitment to lifestyle changes, including diet, exercise and behaviour modification. A successful and healthy outcome depends on how strictly you follow your surgeon’s guidelines and recommendations.
  • The ball is in your court!

American Hospital Panel of Doctors

Ali Al Dameh

Consultant Surgeon and Surgical Oncologist

Arabic, English

Imran Ul Haq

Consultant General Surgery

English, German, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu

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