Home News Ten Fold Increase In UK Weight Loss Surgeries

Ten Fold Increase In UK Weight Loss Surgeries

The total number of dedicated weight loss surgeries has increased ten fold in England in the period between 2000 and 2007, according to a new study published last Friday in the British Medical Journal.

Consultant surgeon Dr. Omar Faiz, from St. Mary's Hospital in London along with several colleagues monitored weight loss surgeries performed in National Health hospitals going back from 2008 to 2000.

In all, they found a total number of 6,953 operations were performed. This included three different variations of weight loss surgery which are all designed to reduce the overall size of the stomach in patients.

More Women Patients

weight loss surgeryThe authors of the study found that the great majority of size reduction surgery patients were women in their 40s and came from poorer areas. The surgeries also seemed safe with the risk of death up to a year after the surgery at around just 1 percent.

Britain's health watchdogs in 2002 recommended that morbidly obese people, described as those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 40, qualify for fat loss surgery. Since then, a sharp increase in the overall numbers of such procedures has been recorded.

Experts are not surprised by the alarming figures and believe the obesity epidemic in the country was likely to increase demand for surgeries for the foreseeable future.

Rising Figures

There were 238 such surgeries performed in 2000, but this figure had grown by 2007 to 2,543. The study was funded by the National Institute of Health Research. Faiz went on to described the explosion in these surgeries as "exponential," however he was not so sure that it would continue to grow at the same rate. He said,

"We don't know whether we've seen the summit of the peak, but the trend still looks to be going upwards."

He added that there was not really sufficient data to be sure of how many very overweight or obese people were waiting on the surgery in England, although the number of surgery patients was probably a small proportion of the actual number who qualified for and wanted it.

Tam Fry, who is a spokesman for the British advocacy group, the National Obesity Forum, who was not involved with the BMJ study said,

"It's very alarming that people have been allowed to get so fat without anyone intervening in time. The fat are getting fatter and fatter and the gap between the healthy and the very unhealthy is growing."

Fry warned that the costs of ever more of these surgeries would become a huge burden for the government and that experts should be focusing on the prevention of obesity long before surgery became necessary. He added,

"People have the idea that they can eat and eat and then get (weight loss surgery) to solve the problem. That will be disastrous both for the individual and for the state."


Posted on Fri, 27 Aug 2010 in News | 1 Comments

1 thoughts on "Ten Fold Increase In UK Weight Loss Surgeries"


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