Zulekha Hospital Dubai distinguished as Centre of Excellence by IFSO
A multidisciplinary hospital and one of its foremost surgeons have been listed among the very best in the MENA region to achieve accreditation from the leading international bariatric surgery certification as a specialised centre for surgery of obesity and diabetes.
Having facilitated more than 400 successful bariatric surgeries, Zulekha Hospital Dubai has been recognised for its surgical weight loss programme and outstanding management of morbidly obese patients by the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO).
The IFSO endorses institutions and surgeons as Centres of Excellence (CEO) worldwide to improve the overall quality of management for patients undergoing bariatric and metabolic surgery, has so far recognised five medical facilities across the MENA region.
Dr Hussam Albatrusi, Specialist General Surgeon – Advanced Laparoscopy and Bariatric Surgeon at Zulekha Hospital Dubai, who has performed more than 1,000 successful bariatric surgeries throughout his 14 year career, has also been acknowledged by IFSO.
According to 2015 World Health Organisation figures, obesity rates are on the rise with more than 2.1 billion people considered overweight or obese which amounts to 30 per cent of the global population. In the UAE alone, 70 per cent of men and 67 per cent of women aged 15 and older are thought to be overweight.
Taher Shams, Managing Director of Zulekha Hospitals, said: “The obesity rates among women in the UAE position the country in 7th place on a global scale which highlights the rising need for specialised healthy lifestyle management programmes and weight loss surgeries.
“Being distinguished as a Centre of Excellence brings us both an international recognition as well a responsibility to provide best practice, conduct valuable research and act as an ambassador of the programme to encourage existing bariatric institutions to upgrade to standards set by IFSO and contribute to the promotion of medical tourism in the region.”
To earn the certification, each applying institution must undergo a rigid accreditation process and demonstrate they have the resources, qualifications, and experience to provide high quality perioperative and long-term follow-up care to their patients.
Dr Hussam Albatrusi said: “I am very proud of this achievement as it is a great privilege to be recognised by the leading international body in my field. I take this opportunity to acknowledge the support of our multidisciplinary team of experts and state-of-art facilities.
“Over the past two years we have treated almost 1,500 individuals; 27 per cent of those patients are Emirati nationals. More than 80 per cent of the surgeries we completed were gastrectomies – gastric sleeve surgeries – which are very straightforward procedures that guarantee a weight loss over 18 months as opposed to laparoscopic band that extends this period to about three years.
“While most of the weight loss surgeries we perform are uncomplicated and result in patients being 1discharged from the hospital on the same day, we have also successfully treated 224 challenging cases on morbidly obese patients with a BMI above 70.”
Dr Zia ur Rahman Shah, Director Administration at Zulekha Hospital Dubai, said: “The recognition is gratifying for the team of bariatric surgeons at Zulekha Hospital and serves as a testimony to our pursuit of creating centres of excellence across all specialities.
“It strengthens our drive to provide all our patients with the highest standards of safety and quality care in bariatric surgery.”
While bariatric surgery is considered a very effective means of reducing weight, with 80% of excess weight loss experienced within 9-12 months, doctors add it is often recommended to alleviate medical conditions associated with obesity, including diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Statistics compiled by Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) show that in 2015 there were over 1 million cases of diabetes while CVD accounted for 34.9% of all death cases in the UAE.
Zulekha Hospital Dubai is a 79-bed hospital established in 2004 which offers both inpatient and outpatient care covering a wide range of medical and surgical specialties. The facility employs more than 900 personnel, including qualified doctors, staff nurses and a host of paramedical staff.
The bariatric team of surgeons includes Dr Uday Shankar, Dr Aws Khidir Jassim, Dr Murtaza Pithawala and Dr James Zachariah Pulimuttil. The hospital has a dedicated website for education and support of obese patients who are looking for professional guidance – http://obesity.zulekhahospitals.com/.