UK lagging in gastro surgery

The UK is lagging behind the rest of Europe in gastric surgery, according to leading surgeons speaking at an International Conference in London.

France, with a population similar to that of Britain, carries out 37 000 obesity operations a year, compared with just 5000 in the UK. Two countries with far smaller populations – Belgium and Sweden – perform 12 000 and 7000 respectively, while Italy does 8,000, says The Guardian newspaper.

‘The UK data is overwhelming – surgery makes a difference to people’s health and we want commissioners to acknowledge this and act accordingly,’ says Marco Adamo, a consultant surgeon at University College Hospital and the Chair of the National Bariatric Surgery Register. ‘Severe and complex obesity is a serious, lifelong condition associated with many major medical conditions, the cost of which threatens to bankrupt the NHS.’

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