Postgrad Med J 85:678-681 doi:10.1136/pgmj.2009.082271
  • Review

An overview of the management of morbid obesity

  1. S J W Monkhouse,
  2. J D T Morgan,
  3. S E Bates,
  4. S A Norton
  1. Department of Surgery, Southmead Hospital, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr S J W Monkhouse, Department of Surgery, Southmead Hospital, Bristol BS10 5NB, UK; sjwmonkhouse{at}
  • Received 14 April 2009
  • Accepted 15 August 2009


Obesity is a modern-day epidemic with serious physical, psychological and economic implications for the patients. Tackling obesity is now a priority for most healthcare providers. Managing such patients can be complex, emotional, time consuming and often frustrating. Obesity surgery, in its various forms, has revolutionised this struggle. With appropriate selection of patients, adequate resources and a multidisciplinary team involvement, obesity can now effectively be “cured”. It is vital that those who deal with obese patients know how to access these services and understand the processes involved in the journey from initial assessment to postoperative follow-up. Obesity surgery has a major impact in reducing obesity-related comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension and contributes to society by returning patients to work. Prevention must be at the heart of any strategy to manage obesity, but, for established cases, surgery is taking centre stage and will continue to flourish as new techniques and procedures are developed.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.