Bariatric and metabolic surgery has been carried out in Singapore since the 1980s. Surgeons in NUH carried out open gastric bypass and vertical band gastroplasty in small numbers. There was a publication detailing a single surgeons’s experience in the mid 1990s. The numbers were very low.
Since the turn of the century, more surgeons started to carry out Bariatric/Metabolic Surgery in several government and private hospitals. The largest number was from Alexandra Hospital. By the later part of the first decade of the 21st century, several surgeons who have completed a Bariatric/Metabolic Surgery Fellowship began Bariatric/Metabolic Surgery programs in government hospitals.
The idea of organising ourselves into a professional group was first mooted by the then International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and metabolic disorders (IFSO) president Dr Harry Freydenburg. 10 of us put our heads together and organized ourselves into what became the OMSSS; registered under the Singapore Registry of Societies, and thus a recognized legal entity.
The Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society of Singapore (OMSSS) is a professional organisation championing the advancement of bariatric and metabolic surgery in Singapore. It was founded in 2011 and serves to bring together surgeons, endocrinologists, dieticians, psychologists, physiotherapists and allied health professionals involved in the management of morbidly obese individuals.
The first official function of the OMSSS was the presentation of the Singapore Bariatric Surgery data during the IFSO-APC meeting in Hokkaido in Feb 2011. Other activities included regular journal club meetings, annual scientific meetings starting in 2014, and representation at the Obesity Clinical Guidelines Committee. The OMSSS is committed to the treatment of obese patients. It provides a platform for members to exchange knowledge on the treatment of obesity. Regular journal clubs and scientific conferences are held, with international experts in the field invited to present new surgical techniques, treatment concepts and research. The OMSSS also serves to improve awareness and medical access amongst patients with public forums and talks. A national database was established under its auspices to allow the audit of surgical outcomes and for its members to strive towards excellence. The OMSSS is also involved in reviewing national guidelines in the surgical treatment of morbid obesity.
The OMSSS is also a member of the Asia Pacific Chapter of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and metabolic disorders (IFSO).