Centre for Obesity

The Clinique de Valère is recognised by the Swiss Society for the Study of Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (SMOB) for the treatment of overweight people.

The multidisciplinary approach of its specialists leads them to carry out weekly interventions to reduce weight and contribute to the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

The arrival of the latest generation Da Vinci Xi robot in Valais improves the services offered to patients in the field of bariatric surgery as well as in urology and visceral surgery. Robotic assistance increases the precision of the surgical gesture, thus reducing the risks of complications for patients.

Obesity (BMI - Body Mass Index - equal to or greater than 30) is defined as a global public health issue by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Overweight and obesity are defined as an abnormal or excessive accumulation of body fat, which can be detrimental to health, and can lead to cardiovascular or chronic diseases.

Some figures

42 %

of the Swiss population is overweight, FOPH 2021

11 %

Suffers from obesity, FSO 2021

25 years

Period during which the number of obese patients has doubled in Switzerland, FOPH 2017

5'000

Surgical interventions to treat obesity each year in Switzerland, SMOB study 2017

What we offer

Several specialists at your service

A multidisciplinary team working at the Valère Obesity Centre offers its specialist skills for personalised care.

Stages of management

  1. The team of specialists decides on the basis of medical, nutritional and behavioural criteria whether surgical treatment is required.
  2. Before the operation, the dietary follow-up prepares the patient in order to avoid certain problems related to the post-operative overeating. This pre-operative management also aims to prevent weightgain after bariatric surgery.
  3. During the short hospital stay, the dieticians ensure that the eating process runs smoothly and check with the patient that the instructions for the return home are understood.
  4. After the operation, the patient will receive regular nutritional advice to avoid complications that may arise in the aftermath of the surgery and to prevent weight regain.
  5. The dietetic team participates in the evaluation of metabolic measures by measuring body composition.

Surgical management



The Clinique de Valère is recognised as a centre for bariatric surgery by the Swiss Society for the Study of Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (SMOB).

  • Bariatric surgery has proven to be the only effective treatment for severe and morbid obesity.
  • Bariatric surgery is offered to people suffering from obesity with a BMI of over 35.
  • Obesity surgery has been shown to be effective in the management of patients with type 2 diabetes. It allows for a reduction or even elimination of anti-diabetic drugs.
  • This surgical effectiveness in the treatment of type 2 diabetes is the basis for the development of metabolic surgery.
  • In order to benefit from it, patients must meet certain medical criteria and have no contraindications.
  • The patient must be motivated and aware of the benefits, disadvantages and constraints that surgical treatment may entail. In particular, they must be able to modify their eating and exercise habits after the operation to achieve a satisfactory result.

Nutritional and behavioural management

We favour a working approach focusing on the following three areas

  • Nutritional knowledge
  • Eating behaviour
  • Food sensations

For a good result, it is necessary to combine nutritional and behavioural follow-up with the surgery.
The management is focused on the patient and his or her needs by means of a personalised follow-up.
This approach aims to develop good eating habits.

Which interventions?

Sleeve - Gastrectomy

Gastric Bypass

Treatments

Physiotherapy follow-up

The aim of the physiotherapy follow-up is not to burn calories but to regain a more balanced relationship with your body.

We want to help you to :

  • Feel your body better and find pleasure in moving it
  • Improve your mobility
  • Increase your physical activity by changing your lifestyle

Individually or in a group, we offer you a weekly follow-up adapted to your physical capacities. Our physiotherapists will adapt the programme to your abilities and your personal situation, and will help you find the motivation you need!

Our team of physiotherapists undergoes regular and continuous training in order to be fully aware of new practices and to use them wisely.

They offer treatments (manual therapy, trigger point, postural reconstruction and muscle chains, neuromeningeal therapy, lymphatic drainage, etc.) for all patients with a medical prescription within a relatively short waiting period. The department is also equipped with a shock wave device for the treatment of tendinopathies, calcaneal spurs, calcifications, etc.

Dietetic - nutritional follow-up

We have known for years that diets can lead to a jo-jo effect, so why should we continue in this way? We propose a different method that explores your eating behaviour rather than the content of your plate.

During this process, you will be offered :

  • Reclaiming your food sensations (hunger, feeling full)
  • The search for food pleasure without guilt
  • A reflection on diets and their inefficiency in the long term
  • Work on your beliefs in order to free yourself from your dietary obligations and prohibitions
  • An awareness of your possible emotional weight

Group courses - workshops

The group allows for exchanges, and with the aim of enriching each other, group workshops are regularly organised in both dietetics and physiotherapy. Emotional eating, emotional management, your relationship with your body, and the obstacles to change are some of the topics that will be discussed.

The objective is to free up the floor and at the same time to act together on the psychological aspect of the treatment. Guilt plays an important role and these exchanges can be a salutary way of containing it.

Covered by insurance

Medical and physiotherapy services are covered by basic health insurance. Dietary follow-up is also covered, but certain criteria must be met.

How is obesity measured?

Obesity is measured by an index set by the WHO: Weight is divided by height squared. This is the body mass index (BMI).

Any person with a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.

Body Mass Index Calculator

Weight (kg):
Height (cm):

BMI: -

FAQ

1. In the weeks following my operation, I may feel very tired - why do I feel this way?

This fatigue is quite normal following an operation involving significant weight loss. You will need to stop working for about a month.

During this period of convalescence, you will learn to rediscover a new life. You will change your eating habits completely. You will resume your daily tasks but you will need more rest. A supportive environment will help you to develop good habits and maintain your efforts.

2. How can I resume physical activity?

You need to get back into it gradually to create new habits that are fundamental. Why so? An operation leads to a significant loss of weight. This is generally made up of 2/3 fat mass and 1/3 muscle mass (for example: out of 36 kilos lost, 12 will be muscle). Developing physical activity limits the loss of muscle mass.

Depending on medical advice, during the first 3 or 6 weeks, you should not carry heavy loads.
Start by walking: 5 minutes, then 10, then 15, then half an hour. Use the stairs instead of the lift.

Free up some time to start physical activity, don't be sedentary, think about yourself.

Take advice from your surgeon before starting aquatic activities (swimming pools, thermal baths) or other intense sports.

Remember that the coordination of your movements and your sense of balance may change.

This physical activity will improve your quality of life, your sleep and reduce your anxiety.

3. Suddenly, after a meal, I feel unwell with sweating, limp legs and great anxiety. What is happening?

This is probably a dumping syndrome. We talked to you about this in the information sessions before your operation. This could happen after a bypass or a sleeve. Dumping syndromes often occur when you forget some of your new eating habits or if you eat too quickly. They also occur after eating sugary foods outside of meals. These dumpings are unpleasant but usually not serious. They require adjustments to your eating habits or food choices.

Depending on the type of dumping (early or late), you may be prescribed medication. Be aware of the foods involved and when these symptoms appear. This will help you to talk about it during your dietary or medical consultations.

4. Several weeks after the operation, I feel psychologically fragile and upset. Why do I feel this way?

The weight loss resulting from the operation reveals contradictory feelings in you. You feel both a great relief and a fragility linked to emotional readjustments. You have a new perception of your body, you notice that the way others look at you has changed. You learn to manage a new image of your body and your relationship with others.

These upheavals are legitimate. Sometimes a psychologist or psychiatrist can help you to cope with these changes.

4. I have lost weight, I don't regret anything but I find it difficult to accept my «new» body. In my relationship, my libido has returned, but I am arguing with my partner. Why is this?

You may be suffering from a body image disorder, which is quite common when you have lost weight rapidly.

Take care of your «new» body so that you have a better perception of it. You have new social interests. You are rebuilding and your partner has a front row seat. He or she may find himself or herself with someone «different» and may not recognise you.
Talk about it as a couple, to your doctor or ask for psychological support. Do not hesitate to do so to help you understand each other better, without anger. There is no shame, it is common.

6. After an operation, how do I deal with contraception?

After bariatric surgery, the contraceptive pill is insufficient.

Indeed, the surgery creates malabsorption and can cause an underdose and ineffectiveness of the pill. Contraception by another method must therefore be started (condoms, IUD, patch, vaginal ring) before the operation. Talk to your gynaecologist to consider contraception that is suitable for you.

7. When can I expect to become pregnant?

You are strongly advised against becoming pregnant within a year and a half of your operation. If you are planning to have a child, talk to the specialists who have followed you throughout your journey and also to your gynaecologist. A multidisciplinary approach is advisable.

Your operation will result in nutritional and vitamin deficiencies. If you become pregnant, you will have to adjust your vitamin and mineral supplementation.

8. After my operation, I lose my hair, my nails became brittle and my skin is dry. What can I do about it?

This is mainly due to rapid weight loss or even stress related to your operation.

It may also indicate possible deficiencies in protein, B vitamins, perhaps also zinc or selenium. Eat a balanced diet and take your vitamin supplements regularly.

Talk about it especially during your medical and dietary appointments in order to adapt your treatment.

9. Since my operation, I have started smoking or drinking excessively. Why do I do this?

This could be a transfer of uncontrolled habits. After a bariatric operation, you will have to change your eating habits.
You may be tempted to drink too much alcohol.
You may also be tempted by another addiction: smoking. Without supervision, about 40 % of patients who quit smoking before the operation start smoking again.
These problems are more common than you think. Never hesitate to talk to your GP, your dietician or the consultant doctor. They will be able to listen to you, advise you or direct you to the appropriate support.

10. After my operation, even though I have lost weight, I am not happy with my body. When can I have reconstructive surgery?

Significant weight loss can lead to excess skin on the arms, abdomen, thighs or chest.

To avoid this effect, it is first important to be physically active. However, cosmetic surgery can be considered after your weight has stabilised. After discussions, we can direct you towards a surgery adapted to your needs.