The idea of founding an Obesity Medical Unit started in 1994, when the surgeon of Dr Odysseas Voudouris performed the first laparoscopic placement of an adjustable gastric band in Greece. While the treatment of obesity looked still impossible, the pioneers of bariatric surgery could foresee that this new technique opened the way for an effective treatment of obesity, which could be applied on wide scale.
The start: innovative surgical techniques
Up to then, obesity surgery had many επιπλοκές and side effects. The combination of two new technologies. Laparoscopy and adjustable gastric band, provided the ground for the development of a new specialization called “bariatric surgery”. This specialization is concerned with the surgical techniques for the treatment of those suffering of serious obesity. The combination of the above mentioned technologies minimizes the harm of the operation, by avoiding the surgical incision, while at the same time it provides permanent and effective treatment of obesity.
1994: the first operations
In 1993, the first laparoscopic operations of adjustable gastric band placement were performed in France and Belgium. In close cooperation with his French colleagues, Odysseas Voudouris started to perform these operatiose in Greece. In November of the same year he announced the results of the first 30 operations. Straight way, it became clear that by following the σωστες ενδείξεις and an adequate follow up of the patients, the placement of the adjustable gastric band would become soon a principal method for the effective treatment of obesity. Soon this was reasserted and at the same time the technique was simplified. The result is that nowadays the duration of the operation is not more than 20 minutes and the patient stays in the clinic only few hours after the operation. No further care is needed.
2006: the establishment of OMU
Parallel, in the last decade other kinds of operation, such as the vertical gastrectomy (sleeve) and the various kinds of gastric by-pass have been developed.
In 2006, Odysseas Voudouris, having already a long term experience, created the OMU in cooperation with other colleagues of relevant specializations. His long term experience, acquired since 1994, is used in OMU, a unit with the only purpose the treatment of morbid obesity.
At present. 2 decades later after the first bariatric laparoscopic operation in Greece, this Unit has treated hundreds of cases of morbid obesity. The staff of OMU comprises of surgeons, dieticians, psychologists, gastroenterologists and other specialties, that are required for the integral and efficient treatment of this complex disease.
Obesity is not any more an incurable disease. A 20-years old vision is now a reality.