The NHS Should Wake Up To The Potential For Obesity Surgery To Save Lives and Resources, Warns Leading Surgeon
It’s time the NHS woke up to the potential for bariatric surgery to save lives and resources, says leading surgeon David Kerrigan.
In a speech on Thursday at the Primary Care Conference 2011, David Kerrigan of Gravitas will call for more obesity surgery to be funded by the NHS at a time when ‘ingrained ignorance and prejudice still dominate the debate’.
“Like it or loathe it, bariatric surgery is slowly emerging from the shadows into mainstream clinical practice,” says Mr Kerrigan, who advised the government on the NICE guidelines used today.
“More and more evidence highlights its effectiveness as a treatment for not just obesity, but also associated metabolic complications such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnoea.
“We all know that prevention is better than a cure, but prevention isn’t going to help the one million people in the UK who already meet the NICE criteria for bariatric surgery,” he says.
“Sadly, ingrained ignorance and prejudice still dominate the debate around NHS-funded provision of obesity surgery.”
According to David Kerrigan, primary care physicians spent £600M on diabetes care last year and a further £50M on anti-obesity drugs of ‘dubious long-term efficacy’.
“This haemmorrhage of precious NHS resources needs to be stemmed and good quality bariatric surgery could be the answer,” he says.
A recent report by the National Bariatric Surgery Registry showed over 80% of UK diabetics were ‘cured’ of their disease within months of bariatric surgery, with over 50% able to discontinue antihypersensives and other chronic medication.
With a quarter of the UK population now officially obese, and the obesity bill predicated to rise to £50 billion by 2050, it’s time the NHS woke up to the potential for bariatric surgery to save lives and resources” he said.
David Kerrigan is an elite bariatric surgeon and medical director of Gravitas. Let’s hope the people in power are listening to him!