Residents of south-east Scotland will soon have the opportunity to benefit from private obesity surgery for the first time, it has emerged.
Spire Murrayfield Hospital in Edinburgh will offer the groundbreaking procedure, availability of which is very limited in Scotland at present.
Surgeons place an adjustable gastric band around the stomach, restricting the amount of food that can be eaten and training patients to limit their portion sizes.
With one in four Scottish adults classed as being obese, the procedure is bound to prove popular with patients who have failed to lose weight by other means.
According to experts at the hospital, the gastric band operations should help to treat morbidly obese patients and offer them hope for a longer and healthier life.
However, consultant surgeons Andrew de Beaux and Bruce Tulloh emphasised that obesity surgery is not a quick-fix solution and will only be offered as part of a comprehensive service including assessment, support and counselling.