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Gastric Surgery Should be Offered Regardless of Weight, Says Leading UK Surgeon

25/10/2016

Gastric Surgery Should be Offered Regardless of Weight, Says Leading UK SurgeonA leading bariatric surgeon in the UK has urged the government to offer gastric surgery to patients regardless of their weight.

According to Professor Francesco Rubino, the Chair of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery at Kings College, thousands of type-2 diabetes patients in the UK are missing out on vital weight loss surgery because they do not meet the NHS's guidelines when it comes to weight.

That's because, at present, only type-2 diabetes patients who have a BMI of over 30 are currently eligible for bariatric surgery.

Rubino says that weight loss surgery is "the closest thing to a cure" and should be used more often.

In the UK, there are around 3.6 million people with type-2 diabetes, which costs the NHS up to £10 billion a year to treat.

However, approximately 15% of sufferers are "normal weight" and so don't qualify for weight loss surgery under the NHS's current guidelines.

"The biggest barrier we have is primarily one of stigma against obesity. The vast majority of the public believes this is a cosmetic intervention and unfortunately many physicians think the same way," said Rubino.

Rubino also highlighted that weight loss surgeries, which manipulate the stomach or small intestine, do not just help people lose weight, but actually influence insulin production by altering hormones in the person's gut.

"More than 50% of people with type 2 diabetes can enjoy long term remission. Another 30 or 40% enjoy a major improvement," he added.
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