Patients 'not treat obesity surgery as cure'

Obesity surgery is an effective way of assisting with weight loss but surgeons warn that patients should not treat it as a cure.

Explaining the form of surgery known as gastric banding to the Times, David Ashton, medical director of the Healthier Weight Centres in London, Birmingham and Manchester, said that successful weight loss is supported by a three-pronged approach.

"The band must be put in properly. Then patients need expert support for its adjustment. Finally, the patient must understand that this is not a cure but a tool: if they abuse it, it will fail; if they work with it, they will have a good chance of success," he explained.

Obesity surgery is becoming increasingly sought after in the UK and, with the National Institute for Clinical Excellence recommending the surgery as a first line of treatment for obese patients, demand is likely to rise further, the Times reports.

However, Janet Edmond, founder of the British Obesity Surgery Patient Association (Bospa), warns: "People forget that the band only does 30 per cent of the work – the other 70 per cent is down to good follow-up."

A recent survey conducted by Bospa also suggested that gastric band patients are more likely to benefit from greater weight loss if they attend regular patient support group meetings.


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Patients 'not treat obesity surgery as cure'
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