1. Tell us a little about you and your clinic?
I am Dr. Tarek Saleh, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Obesity at “Saleh Clinic”, and I have extensive experience in the field of non-surgical weight-loss procedures since 2000. I have conducted over 3,500 intragastric balloon procedures.
2. What are some challenges that your clinic is facing now?
The global pandemic that we are facing today poses some risk to the patients due to which there was previously a decline in the appointments; however we have started to see this turn around.
3. What are some of the precautionary measures being used at your clinic and hospital now?
We have taken significant measures in the clinic to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the visiting patients which include maintaining a 2-meter distance between seating, an average of 20 minutes between appointments to reduce interaction between patients and also to allow time to sanitize the surfaces.
4. What do you feel will be the impact of global quarantine on weight gain?
The quarantine can have an adverse effect on certain patients as staying indoors for a longer duration can lead to stress and possibly depression. While some individuals may opt for medication, others may increase their food & sugar intake to elevate their mood. This will lead to weight gain and could potentially lead to other serious complications.
5. Thanks, it looks like this increase in obesity rate from quarantine you mentioned will need to be quickly handled. Additionally, after quarantine some surgical centers may be closed for a little while. So, should less invasive medical weight loss options be considered more like gastric balloons that don’t require endoscopy or surgery- what are your thoughts?
Indeed. The current situation requires a lot of medical attention. In such a scenario, the best solution to combat obesity while minimizing or eliminating hospital visit is the procedure-less Intragastric balloon solution.
6. What is your advice for a person who is overweight to protect himself, in light of the conditions imposed by the emerging epidemic of COVID-19?
We are available on call 24/7, and now we are offering online consultations to answer and support our patients, advising them on what to eat, and how to adjust their lifestyles and include at-home physical activity. They should avoid social gathering during this period, especially during the month of Ramadan.
7. What’s the one good thing that you’ve noticed during this time?
We discovered the value of life and how important it is to spend quality time with family and loved ones than anything else in the world.