Gastric banding and other weight loss surgical procedures have soared tenfold within the decade
The British Medical Journal reports operations such as gastric banding and bypasses rose from 238 a year to more than 2,543 in 2007.
Researchers from Imperial College London said more obese patients were now aware that surgery could help them.
Data for 2003/04 showed there were 480 procedures, rising to 4,246 in 2008/09.
Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said: “These figures just show how bad things have got with the obesity epidemic.
“We have alternative ways of losing weight but when people realise this is a possibility, they could go for it.
“A lot of doctors are also starting to skirt around the rules and not insist on months of lifestyle change and pharmaceutical treatment – instead they are going straight for surgery.”
Peter Sedman, bariatric surgeon and spokesman for the Royal College of Surgeons, said: “The number of morbidly obese patients in the UK is increasing rapidly and we need to continue to put even more resources into what is proven to be a successful and cost-effective method of treatment.
Bariatric surgery is performed on people who are dangerously obese and who need to lose weight for medical reasons. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends bariatric surgery for people with ‘morbid obesity’, which means a body mass index of at least 40 or of at least 35 if accompanied by another disease (such as diabetes) which could improve if the patient lost weight, and for whom all non-surgical treatments for weight loss have failed.
Bariatric surgery usually involves:
Reducing the size of the stomach with a surgical band ( gastric banding)
Re-routing the small intestines to a small stomach pouch ( gastric bypass)
Removing a portion of the stomach
Tags: obesity surgery