Dublin hospital to begin gastric band operations on children
Gastric band surgery is set to start at a new children’s hospital in Dublin as the Republic tries to cope with an obesity epidemic in young people.
A number of teenagers are currently sent to the UK for paediatric bariatric surgery — which can either be a reduction in the size of the stomach or the fitting of a gastric band to reduce appetite.
Professor Donal O’Shea, the Irish health service’s lead clinician on obesity, said he has already had one meeting with the new National Children’s Hospital about preparing for obesity surgery.
He said: “It is a requirement that we are not meeting at the moment. Part of my job is to make sure that we have appropriate access to treatment, and that includes for children.”
He said some paediatric surgeons had been forced to upgrade their operating theatres and trolleys to cope with the weight of children having routine operations like tonsils and appendixes out.
Professor O’Shea added that he expected around 20 to 30 procedures a year to be carried out at the National Children’s Hospital.