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Under-25s gastric band ops rise

19th September 2011

The amount of people aged under 25 who have had weight loss surgery has increased fourfold over the last three years.

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NHS data showed the number of people having gastric band surgery, stomach stapling or having a gastric bypass quadrupled.

The figures showed that from 2006/07 there were 55 operations on people aged under 25, but the number increased to 210 in 2009/10.

The figures included 34 teenagers and some 15 year old patients.

Doctors and eating disorder groups have expressed concern at the increase and said the health service is not providing surgery patients with the necessary support they need.

The eating disorder charity Beat said having weight loss surgery was a serious procedure and too often it was not carried out in that way.

Beat's chief executive Susan Ringwood says: "Having a gastric band fitted is a very serious operation that has long-term, permanent consequences, yet we know young people are not always being given this information and that is very concerning."

Dr Samantha Scholtz, an NHS psychiatrist who is responsible for preparing patients for gastric band surgery, said support after surgery in the NHS was "patchy".

"Every single patient that has bariatric surgery should have some sort of psychological intervention," she explained.

"We are essentially removing food from someone's life, doing something artificial." 

 

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