Obesity – How surgery can help. Interview with expert Dr Köhler

We see on our streets – for instance on the way to the work, to nursery schools, schools, in shopping centres, doctors’ surgeries, in supermarkets, in our residential area (and of course in the media) – that obesity is now everywhere and that it is on the increase. We now talk of an epidemic of obesity. Not only older people are strongly affected, but ever more children and youngsters’ weight is going up.

Obesity is a problem that has reached Germany

One in five people is now overweight, which can lead to further concomitant diseases and health complications: joint problems, back problems, abdominal wall hernias, diabetes, also bowel disease, reflux (contents of the stomach flowing back up into the oesophagus), tumours – to name but a few diseases. Weight problems disrupt the intestinal flora and increase the risk of becoming afflicted with metabolic faults or with cancer.

For those suffering from very severe weight problems/obesity, surgical procedures have proven effective as a treatment method. What, for example, removal of the stomach can achieve (sleeve gastrectomy), you could read in the patient field report on this page.

Over 300 annual obesity procedures, tendency on the up

In the Leading Medicine Guide we introduce specialists who are experts in the field of obesity and abdominal surgery. This includes  Dr Hinrich Köhler, Head of the Thyroid Gland and Obesity Centre, dpt. Head of the Bowel Cancer Centre and Senior Physician of the Surgical Clinic of the Herzogin-Elisabeth Hospital Braunschweig. Physician Dr Köhler is a specialist in surgery and abdominal surgery and has particularly specialised in the treatment of bowel and reflux diseases (incl. also diverticulitis and achalasia), gastric, thyroid and rectal tumours, gall stones and thus also in obesity/adiposity. Every year he and his well-positioned team perform over 300 surgical obesity procedures.

Dr Köhler practises his occupation through passion and although he has already known since his study days how challenging and rock-hard work as an intestinal and thyroid surgeon can sometimes be, he has gone further along this path. „But only, or rather because I feel myself drawn to this particular activity, I can perform my job successfully and satisfyingly.” He has now been practising for over 20 years, which makes Dr Köhler an excellent and experienced specialist. The expert with auxiliary qualification as a rescue physician and proctologist shares his knowledge through numerous publications and in international professional societies and health studies.

Herzogin-Elisabeth Hospital Braunschweig – important and excellent centre

He, however, found his focus on abdominal surgery at that timerather by accident, when at a still young age he saw himself facing a very complex procedure and was allowed to accompany the surgical treatment of a patient weighing 150 kg. He was fascinated by the close and very good co-operation with neighbouring hospitals such as the Uniklinik Hannover and Uniklinik Magdeburg,  which moved him to better develop this specialist area at the Herzogin-Elisabeth Hospital, too. He now runs the obesity centre very successfully and ranks among the leading specialists in this area. The Obesity Centre is, for example, the only reference centre for obesity surgery in the state of Lower Saxony certified by the German Society for General and Visceral Surgery (DGAV), the very thyroid centre he runs, which makes the specialist very proud.

Dr Köhler is working on numerous clinical studies which scrutinise current and relevant topics for society such as cravings relating to obesity.

Thyroid problems? One in five people in this country exhibits abnormalities

In addition, Dr Köhler is also a specialist in enlargement of the thyroid gland – likewise a very frequent disease in Germany, although underestimated: 20% of the population have an enlarged thyroid manifesting hyperactivity (15%). Sufferers can receive very good advice from the Leading Medicine Guide on this problem, too.

Learn more about the expert from the physician’s profile and contact him directly here.

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