Being morbidly overweight affects all areas of life – and makes everyday life very difficult for those affected. When diets from magazines no longer help and the realisation emerges that it is actually a chronic disease – it is at this stage that professional help is urgently needed. This is exactly what Dr. med. Sylvia Weiner specialises in. The head of the Obesity Centre is one of the best-known experts in this field. She became internationally known for her leading role in the development of one of the first validated measurement instruments for assessing the quality of life after bariatric surgery.
Obesity is a disease – more precisely: a chronic disease. Those who realise this for themselves are already on the right path. And severe obesity not only severely limits the quality of life, obesity is considered to trigger numerous secondary diseases that can only be prevented through timely intervention by medical specialists. This is because, if left untreated, morbid obesity leads to a significant reduction in life expectancy.
Anyone who comes to the Obesity Centre immediately senses this approach. Here, obesity is treated as a complex disease for which there are many reasons – and many treatment options. For Dr Weiner's expert team, it is also clear that surgery should only be considered when all other means have failed to show lasting success.
Taking that all-important first step into a new life: a comprehensive diagnosis
Even though Dr. med. Sylvia Weiner has an enormous reputation primarily as a bariatric surgeon – non-surgical and non-invasive procedures are deployed first. But it all starts with a comprehensive diagnosis that leaves nothing to chance. What is the general health status? How does the body mass index look? And what about genetic predisposition? What data does the basal metabolic rate of the body provide?
Diagnostics also include an individual risk analysis, which also helps to decide on the course of action. Here, it is also important to identify concomitant diseases or, ideally, to prevent them in advance. This is where Dr Weiner benefits from two key aspects. As a highly specialised consultant, her medical approach is determined by interdisciplinary cooperation with experts from other disciplines.
One key aspect that many patients praise is the high quality of medical care in all areas, a factor that enabled them to achieve permanent weight loss through Dr Weiner's team. The mere fact that people receive tailored advice, that their wishes and concerns are taken seriously and that concomitant diseases are recognised and treated at an early stage, gives them the feeling that they are in the right hands. And this knowledge motivates people to join in and stay with it all the way.
So at the Obesity Centre, everything is first done to reduce the weight without surgery. This is done by analysing eating disorders, which is followed by sophisticated nutritional counselling. When it comes to achieving success through a change in diet, professional guidance is imperative – and acquired nutritional knowledge must be implemented in a practical way. In the Obesity Centre run by Dr. med. Sylvia Weiner, this is even practised in cooking evenings that are as entertaining as they are instructive.
Exemplary: Multimodal obesity training concept
The use of medication can also be helpful in obesity therapy – whereby individual data is always determined that leads to sensible medication. Often, however, a personal programme comprising optimally applied physiotherapy and an active exercise programme – in which fun should not be neglected – can be of great help. Then, of course, there has to be the right mobilisation during movement therapy. This is often done by fitting everyday activities and even endurance training into normal life between work, family and leisure.
Everyone in Dr. Weiner's team knows that success can only be achieved with professional psychological support. Therefore, the new behaviour must be trained accordingly, patients need tangible motivation strategies – and effective prophylaxis to prevent any relapse. In order to lose weight without the yoyo effect, certain techniques must be learned.
An important module that can be used to successfully combat the chronic disease of obesity is the recognised MASK training programme. This multimodal obesity training concept possesses real exemplary character – among other things because it covers many areas. MASK can accompany conservative therapies, facilitate preparation for surgery and serve as aftercare following weight loss.
Innovative applications: surgical and non-surgical procedures
Before the stomach is actually operated on, Dr. med. Sylvia Weiner often uses endoscopic procedures – for example, the gastric balloon – which is installed without surgical intervention and ensures a much faster feeling of satiety. Dr Weiner and her team have also been able to help many people lose weight with the POSE procedure, a non-surgical treatment for stomach reduction that is still relatively new. This procedure also reduces the size of the stomach – without any incision. During outpatient procedures, Dr Weiner inserts endoscopic instruments through the oesophagus and folds the stomach in several places. This reduces the size of the stomach by about a quarter. Another advantage of this state-of-the-art method is that patients can usually take an active part in life again a few hours later – with a permanent and significant reduction in hunger.
Bariatric surgery: Weight reduction through stomach surgery
Even though the expertise of Dr. med. Sylvia Weiner is exceptionally broad, her actual speciality remains bariatric and metabolic surgery, i.e. classic bariatric surgery. This is used when all conservative options have been exhausted. As the experienced specialist in general surgery, emergency medicine and bariatric surgery began specialising very early on in operations on the stomach and is also a sought-after expert in reflux, she is familiar with all common surgical methods for obesity.
For example, she is considered the leading surgeon for the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, in which the stomach is separated below the entrance to the stomach. This leaves only a residual stomach that practically slows down the food fed into it. SADI-S, another laparoscopic procedure, interrupts the passage of food through the duodenum. However, Dr Weiner mostly uses this procedure when there is a renewed increase in weight after a tube stomach operation. In addition, the decision to have such operations is linked with lifelong consequences – such as the regular intake of vitamin supplements.
Innovative processes up to the overstitch
Occasionally, bypass surgery – including omega-loop gastric bypass – can result in accelerated emptying of the stomach into the small intestine, known as dumping syndrome. But Dr Weiner has a remedy for that too. Here again, an endoscopic procedure is used, the Overstitch system. In this way, the connection between the stomach and the small intestine can be reduced without surgery.
Another innovative surgical procedure in which Dr. med. Sylvia Weiner and her team possess immense experience is the sleeve gastrectomy. Although this highly effective surgical technique is now one of the standard interventions in bariatric surgery, it is important for you to rely on a specialist who is proven to be one of the best in her field.
Dr Weiner knows why this is so – because she has to deal with patients coming to the Obesity Centre time and again who have complications after surgery. So it's good that the head of the Centre also specialises in revision surgery.
Incidentally, she and her team also perform lifting operations later on. Because most of the time, the skin is not able to regress after significant weight loss – this is where the plastic-aesthetic talent of the studied general surgeon comes into play.
High-level expertise in aftercare
Dr. med. Sylvia Weiner attaches particular importance to follow-up treatment, which has to be of great importance in obesity in any case. But just what the quality of life is like after an operation for morbid obesity – she knows more about that than most specialists in this discipline. In fact, she was one of the pioneers of validated measurement tools for assessing the quality of life after bariatric surgery. Under the supervision of Prof. Neugebauer, she developed the "Bariatric Quality of Life Index" (BQL). This was also the topic of her doctorate at the University of Witten/Herdecke – and it accompanies her professional life to this day.
So anyone who is suffering from obesity and wants to break the spiral is in the right place at the Obesity Centre. Simply because Dr. med. Sylvia Weiner set her sights on tackling obesity early on, and she always stays on top of scientific developments and research into innovative surgical methods. Even though she has mastered practically all established techniques – bariatric surgery, in particular, is constantly changing. And since Dr. Weiner is very familiar with long-term processes, she can also assess delayed effects and risks almost perfectly – precisely because of her absolute specialisation.