Battle to beat obesity sees more opt for operating theatre

by Katie Baldwin Health reporter

WEIGHT loss surgery at a Leeds private hospital has sky-rocketed.

The number of operations carried out by the Nuffield Hospital to help obese people shed pounds has increased by 90 per cent over the past year compared to the previous 12 months.

In the year up to October 2006 the hospital did 198 procedures, but in the 12 months after - to this month - 386 were done.

According to doctors, up to 177,000 people in Yorkshire could be suitable for weight management or bariatric surgery.

The number of specialist consultants has been doubled to four and a second operating theatre has been created which will be almost exclusively used for bariatric surgery.

Top bariatric surgeon Simon Dexter, who works at the hospital, said: “Obesity is not the inevitable consequence of over-indulgence and lack of discipline.

“It’s a disease of epidemic proportions and like any other illness needs to be treated as such. Sometimes this requires a surgical intervention.”

He said surgery was a last resort for those who had tried everything else.

Operations usually involve making the stomach smaller and cost from 7,450.