Bariatric surgery in Essex on the increase

22 March 2011

New figures show that bariatric operations - which includes procedures such as gastric bypass and gastric band surgery - are on the up in north-east Essex.

Following a Freedom of Information Act request from the East Anglian Daily Times, the North East Essex Primary Care Trust released figures which showed that the number people undergoing bariatric surgery has almost doubled in the past year.

The trust confirmed that it spent £378,624 in 2010-11 on weight loss surgery for 34 patients, a sharp increase on the £181,120 spent on 20 operations in the 2009-10 period.

Meanwhile, Chris French, assistant director of public health at the trust, claimed that obesity-related illnesses are expected to have cost £47 million in the past year.

He told the news provider: "[Gastric band surgery is] obviously an expensive procedure so we encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle and lose weight on their own.
"In terms of weight loss it's successful, but it's not successful for everyone. It does not suit everyone, you still need that discipline to change, it's not a magic pill, you still need to adhere to a strict diet."

Recently, scientists from the Emory University in Atlanta, US, found that obesity can cause permanent, irreparable knee damage.

Posted by Philip Briggs

1 Sridhar, Michael et al. "Does Obesity Cause Irreparable Damage To Knees Despite Weight Loss?". 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Tuesday, February 15th 2011.

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A Spire surgeon comments

Mr Farrukh Khan, consultant general and bariatric surgeon at Spire Hartswood Hospital in Brentwood, Essex:

"Although access to weight loss surgery is limited within the NHS, it is available privately in Essex and, nationally, Spire Healthcare carried out over 2,000 weight loss surgery operations in 2010.

"In my experience, patient selection is key to success and the benefits of weight loss surgery are both physical and psychological. These include improved health and mobility, long term change in attitude towards healthy eating, boost to self esteem,  self-confidence and improved mental wellbeing."


Weight loss surgery

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