Young people should have more gastric band surgery to tackle obesity and diabetes

Mon, 11 Oct 2010
A surgeon in Scotland has warned that severely obese youngsters should have access to bariatric surgery and gastric banding to help them with health problems such as diabetes, it has emerged. Duff Bruce, a consultant surgeon in Aberdeen and chairman of the Severe and Complex Obesity Treatment Service (SCOTS), has stated that the lack of resources to fund the surgery in all people with obesity means that resources should be prioritised for those most likely to benefit, including younger obese patients with type 2 diabetes .

Duff has also recommended that doctors have access to specialist dieticians or can refer patients for surgery in order to tackle the crisis surrounding obesity.

Figures have revealed that there are more than 100,000 people in Scotland diagnosed with severe and complex obesity, with some 70 per cent suffering health problems such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease . Research has shown that bariatric surgery can help tackle diabetes in around 84 per cent of cases.

Mr Bruce said "The success of bariatric treatment on severe and complex obese patients with Type 2 diabetes can no longer be overlooked. More needs to be done, urgently, to identify those most in need and provide this life-changing treatment to those who can benefit the most."

Although there are only about 150 operations for gastric banding carried out in Scotland each year, the Scottish government warned that the surgery should only be seen as a last resort and that the focus should be on preventing people becoming obese in the first place.
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