Annually an estimated £5 billion is spent on treatment for obesity and its related illness, a figure set to double by 2050. However, research has found that weight-loss surgery among younger people eradicates diabetes in four out of five patients, cuts excess fat by 50 per cent and recovers the cost of surgery within three years.
The data, which studied 8,700 NHS and private operations found that a year on from surgery patients lost around 58 per cent of their excess weight, and after two years 86 per cent of diabetes sufferers no longer had it.
The National Bariatric Surgery Registry has estimated that diabetes has an NHS cost of £3,000 per patient per year, meaning the £8,000 cost of bariatric surgery is recovered within three years.
Royal College of Surgeons president, John Black, said; ‘It is a false economy to cut funding for this type of surgery. Any short-term savings are tiny compared with the real ongoing cost of treating obese patients.’
Bariatric surgeon Alberic Fiennes, of the NBSR data committee is of a similar opinion: ‘This data shows that not only is UK bariatric surgery safe, but it successfully treats a whole range of diseases – including the rapid resolution of diabetes. Yet commissioners continue to ignore the facts.’
Though there are undeniable benefits of weight loss surgery, experts have warned that it should only be used as an alternative treatment to help people lose weight if all other attempts have been unsuccessful.
If you are overweight and are either facing a long waiting list for NHS surgery or consider surgery to be too invasive then an option worth considering is gastric band hypnotherapy. If you would like to find out more about the process and how it works please visit our fact-sheet for further information,