Twelve Norwegian obesity patients are in Iceland to undergo operations at Landspítali University Hospital. Complicated forms of obesity surgery are not offered in Norwegian hospitals reports Morgunbladid.
A group of Norwegian medical professionals are also in Iceland to watch and seek experience in the procedure. According to one Rune Sandbu, a chief physician in Tönsberg, Iceland is an ideal place for the Norwegian patients to undergo the surgery since it is not as culturally disruptive as sending the patients to Spain or Russia. 15,000 Norwegians need to undergo obesity operations every year.
The obesity operation decreases the patient’s appetite and limits the amount of of food that is digested by making the stomach smaller in size and shortening the intestines. The patients, weighting in at between 200 – 300 kilograms, undergo rigorous seminars on nutrition and life style changes before coming to Iceland. Life expectancy increases up to 15 years after the operation.
These types of obesity operations have been preformed in Iceland since 2000 with a high success rate, up to 90% of patients have shed 80 – 90% of excess weight after the operation. Health professionals from Denmark and Great Britain have also come to Iceland to learn about the procedure.