Gastric bands are very effective
PEOPLE who are obese are at a significantly increased risk of suffering a range of diseases and ailments.
The chances of having heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and osteoarthritis – which can lead to knee and hip replacements – are all raised.
Therefore, the burden on the NHS from obesity is increased, leading some clinicians to argue that the £5,000 cost of a gastric band operation is offset in the long run.
Dr David Haslam, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, has said that the gastric bypass is among the most clinically effective and cost-effective procedures in the whole field of medicine.
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And the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society says gastric bypass operations have proven to be the most effective surgery to ensure long-term weight loss.
Its president, Alberic Fiennes, said: "There is compelling evidence that weight-loss surgery to treat the most severely affected is one of the most clinically effective, safe and cost effective treatments available.
"There are about 1.5 million such adults in the UK. They face premature death, disease and disability brought on as a direct result of their condition. These can be prevented, improved or eliminated by surgery."
Weight-loss surgery is usually carried out if your weight is dangerous to your health. Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence say that doctors should only suggest surgery if:
You're very obese (your body mass index [BMI] is 40 or more)
You've tried hard to lose weight in other ways – dieting and exercising or taking medicines – for at least six months, but none of these treatments have worked.