Overview of the Bariatric Surgery Program

Bariatric surgery refers to a variety of surgical and non-surgical procedures performed to help people with obesity lose weight. The Bariatric Surgery Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Digestive Disease Institute specializes in the surgical treatment of obesity and weight-related health complications.

The Bariatric Surgery Program is ​run by Western-trained bariatric surgeons who are experts in surgical and advanced endoscopic (non-surgical) procedures. Their expertise ranges from first time  bariatric operations to complex revisional bariatric surgery for patients who have had weight loss operations in the past, but either had a complication or did not get the results they hoped to achieve.

What We Treat

​Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery or metabolic surgery, is the surgical treatment of obesity and weight-related health problems, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol 
  • Sleep apnea 

In Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Bariatric Surgery Program, each patient is assessed and treated by a multidisciplinary team that includes bariatric surgeons, a nutritionist, endocrinologists, and psychiatrists. Depending on the health of the patient, patients may also see a pulmonologist and/or a cardiologist.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Bariatric Surgery Program offers the following treatments for weight loss:

  • Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy: A non-invasive surgery to remove 75 percent of the stomach. 
  • Laparascopic gastric bypass: A surgery to reduce the size of the stomach. 
  • Intragastric balloon: An inflatable, implantable medical device placed in the stomach that helps patients feel full faster. 
  • Revisional bariatric surgery: A surgery for weight regain or poor weight loss that follows a previous surgery. This procedure is performed when initial surgery did not produce desired results or when complications develop from a previous weight loss surgery. 
  • Advanced non-invasive procedures: Includes endoscopic suturing (stitches made using a device inserted through the esophagus) as well as endoscopic management of surgical complications, like re-tightening the stomach pouch after bariatric surgery. 

Diagnosis & Treatment

At the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, our team of specialists are highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of obesity and weight-related health complications.​

Diagnosis for Bariatric Surgery

After being referred to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Bariatric Surgery program, a patient will typically have an initial assessment with a nutritionist, a surgeon, an endocrinologist, and/or a psychiatrist.

Once the patient has made the appropriate modifications to his or her lifestyle, there is an additional appointment with the nutritionist. In some cases, the patient will also undergo cardiac and pulmonary evaluations.

Treatment With Bariatric Surgery

Two weeks before surgery, the patient is put on a special diet to reduce the size of the liver, which improves the safety of the operation.

Approximately one day before surgery, the patient undergoes a full evaluation by the anesthesiologist. On the day of surgery, the patient meets with the surgeon and the anesthesiologist before proceeding to undergo laparoscopic surgery, also known as “keyhole surgery.

Four hours after surgery, the patient is encouraged to walk around, as walking reduces the risk of complications. Patients are typically asked to stay in the hospital for two days after surgery. This may vary based on the patient’s overall health and the extent of the operation. During this stay, the patient meets with nutritionists and receives verbal and written guidelines on how and what to eat over the following weeks and months. 

​After discharge, the patient is required to return to the clinic one week after the operation, and then one month later. The patient is expected to attend appointments to review progress with his or her nutritionist, surgeon, and internist every three months without fail.

Bariatric Surgery Program Caregivers

The bariatric surgery team at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi are experts in the surgical needs of individuals with obesity and weight-related health complications. Caregivers involved in patient care for the Bariatric Surgery Program are:

  • Bariatric surgeons
  • Bariatric nutritionists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Internal medicine physicians 
  • Endocrinologists
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Pulmonologists
  • Cardiologists
  • Radiologists


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