Patients may regard obesity surgery as the answer to their weight problems, but a private surgeon has pointed out that good follow-up care is vital to achieve the best results.
Mr Michael Rhodes, an advisor to the British Obesity Patient Advisory Service (Bospa), said that patients tend to focus their attention on the surgical procedure itself and underestimate the importance of postoperative care.
"The truth is that, for weight loss surgery to be effective, follow-up visits are vital," he explained.
"At least 50 per cent of weight loss due to gastric banding is due to the quality of aftercare services such as band adjustments, post-operative dietary advice and monitoring."
Mr Rhodes revealed that Spire Norwich Hospital, where he is a consultant gastrointestinal surgeon, charges a flat rate of £7,500 for gastric band surgery which includes subsequent band adjustments and a life-long nurse-led follow-up programme which is available monthly.
The private surgeon also noted that people with a body mass index (BMI) under 35 are not advised to undergo obesity surgery as they are likely to achieve similar results by improving their diet and lifestyle.
Independent advice on private healthcare