The figures cover those who have undergone stomach stapling, a gastric bypass operation or those who have been fitted with a gastric band.
Between 2009 and 2010, 210 under 25-year olds underwent one of the above operations, a significant increase compared to the 55 individuals who had one of these operations between 2006 and 2007.
Of the 210 individuals who had the surgery between 2009 and 2010, 34 were as young as 15, a very young age to undergo what is described as a ‘life-changing’ procedure by eating disorder charity Beat.
GPs and eating disorder charities alike are expressing concerns over the increase, and are worried that in a large percentage of these cases, young people are not actually receiving adequate post surgery support.
Susan Ringwood, chief executive of the eating disorder charity Beat, commented that having a gastric band procedure can result in serious long-term consequences, but often young people who are considering the operation to help them lose weight are not given all of the facts. In addition, Beat also commented that many patients aren’t receiving proper aftercare to help them to adjust to the change in their diet.
The charity believes that it is not only the physical changes an individual will have to adjust to, but also the emotional ones, with some patients becoming more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.
NHS psychiatrist Dr Samantha Scholtz has admitted she finds aftercare for gastric band surgery patients to be ‘patchy’ across the NHS and has recommended some form psychological intervention for each patient.
If you are overweight and are considering a gastric band procedure then it may be worth considering Gastric Band Hypnotherapy as an option. This procedure has been found to be effective in many cases, but unlike the surgical procedure is non-invasive, has no recovery time and no side effects. If you would like to find out more about how it works, please visit our Gastric Band Hypnotherapy fact-sheet for further information.