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Monday 24th October 2016

Gastric banding ops on the rise

27th August 2010

The number of people having surgery on the NHS to help them lose weight has risen by more than 10 times in under a decade.


Operations to fit gastric bands increased from 238 a year to 2,543 in 2007, according to research from Imperial College London (ICL) and published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

The National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence has said since 2002 that people who are morbidly obese should be considered for weight loss surgery, though the Department of Health position is that drugs and surgery should be last resorts for people trying to lose weight.

ICL say 75% of bariatric surgery procedures were conducted using keyhole surgery and there was no evidence of any safety problems despite the increase in the number of operations across the NHS.

The research team said: "Bariatric surgery has increased exponentially in England in recent years.

"In conjunction with the growing level of obesity, as patients become more aware of surgery as a viable treatment option, demand for surgery among morbidly obese patients increases."

They also suggested there was evidence that procedures were effective in some patients
Bariatric surgeon Peter Sedman, who is a spokesman for the Royal College of Surgeons said the UK was catching up with a backlog that has been building for decades with the UK falling into line with the US and Europe in providing this option.

The British Obesity Surgery Patients Association, which helps provide information and support to patients considering or undergoing weight-loss surgery, said the rise in operations was welcome.


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