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Tuesday 16th July 2019

Obesity surgery is 'a quick fix'

18th October 2012

A new warning has been issued over obesity surgery by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death.


Having looked at more than 300 patients at NHS and private hospitals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, it has found the surgery is often seen as a quick fix and  post-operative care was lacking.

The watchdog organisation also suggested there was not adequate consideration of the risks with many patients not given enough time or information to properly consent to the surgery.

Weight loss surgery such as gastric band operations is rising at the rate of 10% a year, with more than 8,000 carried out annually at present, but there are concerns that the lack of appropriate consideration of the risks was also leading to up to 20% of patients having to be readmitted within six months.

Report co-author Ian Martin said bariatric surgery should not be undertaken without providing full information and support to patients.

He added: “Consent often happens on the day the patient is admitted for surgery. This means there is no time for patients to reflect on their choices and have the opportunity to ask further questions about the risks and benefits of surgery before committing themselves to an operation.”

However, the Royal College of Surgeons said work was in hand to ensure standards were being maintained with new clinical guidelines issued this year to cover many of the concerns raised.

RCS President Professor Norman Williams said bariatric surgery was an "incredibly successful and cost-effective treatment".


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