Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Weight loss surgery hope for thousands

Hundreds of thousands of people with type 2 diabetes could be offered weight-loss surgery on the NHS
Hundreds of thousands of people with type 2 diabetes could be offered weight-loss surgery on the NHS

Hundreds of thousands of people with type 2 diabetes could be offered weight-loss surgery on the NHS.

New draft guidance from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) suggests that obese people with the condition should be assessed for bariatric surgery – such as having a gastric band fitted to reduce the size of the stomach or a gastric bypass, where the digestive system is re-routed past the stomach.

At present weight loss surgery is given to patients on the NHS to those who are morbidly obese with a body mass index (BMI) score of over 40 or to those who have a BMI over 35 and who have another serious health condition – such as type 2 diabetes.

But now Nice is suggesting that people with a BMI score of 30 to 35 should be considered if they have been diagnosed within the last 10 years.

This could mean hundreds of thousands more patients could be considered for treatment. Data from the National Diabetes Audit show that around 71% of people with type 2 diabetes were diagnosed in the last decade.

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