A woman who has been turned down for potentially life-saving obesity surgery on the NHS in Scotland is threatening to take her local health board to court.
Laura Brown, a 34-year-old whose body mass index (BMI) currently exceeds 40, has been told that she must attend Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board's weight management programme for at least 12 months before she will be recommended for obesity surgery.
English guidelines indicate that patients with a BMI in excess of 40 should automatically be considered for obesity surgery and Ms Brown believes that she too should be eligible without delay.
The operation would involve a gastric band fitted around her stomach, reducing the amount of food she could consume at any one time.
Ms Brown told the BBC that her excess weight causes her pain and that she is housebound as a result.
Obesity surgery is becoming an increasingly popular option for patients who have failed to lose weight by other methods, but many patients are turned down by the NHS and forced to seek private treatment.
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Obesity news : 18/07/2007