TV’s X-Factor judge Sharon Osbourne is boosting the popularity of weight-loss surgery for older women.
Latest figures from private hospital group Spire Healthcare show the number of over 60s having gastric banding and gastric bypass surgery has doubled in the last year.
Spire’s director of clinical services Dr Jean-Jacques de Gorter said: “There is now much more awareness that you can have surgery to tackle obesity and with people like Sharon Osbourne openly talking about her gastric banding op, people can see that it works.”
Overall weight loss surgery has increased by 58 percent in the last year at Spire’s 25 UK hospitals and while the procedures are more popular with women, the biggest increase has been among men.
Spire Healthcare has also seen calls to its inquiry line double in the last year with nearly 3,000 people calling to find out more about weight-loss procedures. Most of the calls have come from people seeing information on Spire’s website: www.spirehealthcare.com/weightloss
Gastric bypass surgery involves the surgeon using the upper part of the stomach to create a pouch. A section of small intestine is removed and the shorter small intestine is re-connected to the pouch, the result is that food bypasses part of the digestive system and is less-easily absorbed into the body.
In the more popular gastric banding procedure the size of the stomach is reduced using an adjustable band so that only small meals can be eaten and you feel fuller quicker.
“Weight loss surgery is generally for people with a Body Mass Index of 40 or over who have tried other methods to lose weight but have failed and who are fit enough to undergo surgery. As with all surgery there is some risk and our nurses, psychologists and dieticians are there to ensure patients get the most comprehensive follow up care,” said Dr de Gorter.
A recent study in the Lancet showed that weight loss surgery could be more effective in saving the lives of obese people than other slimming methods. The study’s authors said: “There is good evidence to show that bariatric surgery is more effective than non-surgical approaches in the therapy of morbid obesity.”
Patients at 25 Spire hospitals
Percentage increase 2006-2007
All weight loss procedures
All male weight loss procedures
All female weight loss procedures