Patients with a body mass index (BMI) between 32 and 35 are highly likely to benefit from a form of obesity surgery, a recent study has shown.
Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery can significantly reduce obesity-related illnesses, the study confirmed, suggesting that the procedure should be offered to patients whose BMI is greater than or equal to 32.
At present, guidelines from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence recommend surgery as a treatment option for people with a BMI equal to or greater than 35, meaning that a large number of potential beneficiaries are unable to access the treatment.
Of the 37 patients who were surveyed in the study, which was published in Elsevier, 36 demonstrated total remission from illnesses such as diabetes, lipid disorder and hypertension.
"There is an increasing body of scientific evidence pointing to bariatric surgery as the safest, most effective option for people with mild to severe obesity," said Dr Gregg Jossart of Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco.
"For overweight people who have attempted to lose weight without success, surgical intervention can resolve serious co-morbidities like hypertension and diabetes, and improve quality of life immeasurably," he added.