Evangel completes 100 weight reductions

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 March, 2011, 12:00am

Evangel in Kowloon City says it is the first private hospital to complete more than 100 weight reduction operations, after just two years.

The hospital's specialist centre said yesterday that it had successfully undertaken 106 such operations since it began offering the service in 2009. Although it is not the only private hospital to perform weight reduction surgery, it says it has probably treated the highest number of morbidly obese patients.

Dr Wilfred Mui Lik-man, director of Evangel's metabolic and obesity surgery centre, estimated that there were about 120 operations in the city every year.

One patient, Lee Lok-hang, a 24-year-old Lingnan University graduate, does not regret having part of his stomach removed four months ago.

Known as a gastrectomy, the operation reduces the stomach to 20 per cent of its original size and is the most common surgical option. The hospital said about 75 per cent of its patients underwent this operation.

'After surgery I felt like something was missing from my stomach, but it is fine now,' Lee said.

At 163.5kg, he used to eat two bowls of rice at every meal; since surgery, he has lost 40kg and halved his food portions.

Before the surgery, he found it hard to look good at job interviews. 'Some of them asked whether my big build would affect my work, and I would be too embarrassed to even answer,' he said.

Another patient was Wong Kwok-pun, 41, who is self-employed. He needed weight reduction surgery in April last year due to diabetes. Since being diagnosed three years ago, Wong had struggled to manage the condition, which led to an infection. He had one toe amputated and a quarter of another was removed.

After surgery, his 104.2kg frame was reduced to 77.8kg, his glucose levels returned to normal and he no longer relied on diabetes medication.

Of Evangel's 106 patients in the past two years, 72 were female. Patients, who were aged 15 to 72, went from an average weight of 93.5kg to an average of 74.7kg.Three patients had complications after surgery. One bled in his stomach and another had an inflammation in his gut.

Centre for Health Protection data showed that last year, about 20 per cent of Hong Kong adults had a body mass index higher than 25, a sign of obesity. The rate was 16.7 per cent in 2005. Mui said that rising obesity had led to more weight reduction operations.

Weight reduction surgery costs HK$20,000 to HK$110,000 at the hospital, depending on the equipment required.

City expands

In 2005, 16.7 per cent of Hongkongers had a body mass index over 25. Last year, it was about: 20%