Under-25s opting for weight loss surgery


A study has indicated that hundreds of under 25-year-olds have undergone weight loss surgery over the past three years.

According to the National Bariatric Surgery Registry (NBSR) 462 females and 108 males aged under 24 underwent obesity operations between 2011 and 2013, including 62 who were under the age of 18.

It indicated that in excess of 65% of obese patients suffering with type-2 diabetes showed no signs of the condition, two years after undergoing surgery.

The NBSR assessed more than 18200 surgical procedures from 2011 to 2013 and found that on average, patients lost about 58% of their extra weight one year after surgery, with an increase in the figure, to 68.7%, for those who underwent gastric bypasses.

The chairman of the NBSR and consultant surgeon, Richard Welbourn, said the NHS is saving huge amounts of money as these patients are coming off diabetic medication as a direct result of their weight-loss surgery.

He said the database they used offers evidence that bariatric surgery improves a patient’s health.

The report considered operations undertaken by 161 surgeons in 137 hospitals. It indicated that the average body mass index (BMI) of patients undergoing this type of surgery was 48.8, which means they were almost twice the weight they should have been for their height.

Around 71.5% of females and 73.2% of males suffered from what is called functional impairment, which means they were unable to climb three flights of stairs without taking a rest. However, after surgery, around 56% of these patients managed to climb the three flights of stairs without resting.

The report stated that around 61% of those who suffered with sleep apnoea were able to stop their treatment.

It was found that an increasing number of males are seeking surgery. During 2006, 16^ of the patients were male, but by 2013, the figure had increased to 26%.

The report found that the mortality rate of patients after surgery was 0.07%, with the rate of post-op complications being 2.9%.

The medical director at NHS England, Sir Bruce Keogh, said bariatric surgery and obesity are rising on the agenda of the NHS as a result of lifestyle and social choices. He said that prevention is better than cure, but this particular report indicates that when it is required, this type of surgery is safe and effective.

Image Credit: scott


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