Bariatric surgery costs £190k

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NEARLY £200,000 was spent on giving people across the borough weight loss surgery last year.

But this figure has fallen significantly in recent years after the borough’s health chiefs increased the focus on reducing the problem with obesity, which affects thousands of people across the borough.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showed that from 2010 to 2011 Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Primary Care Trust (PCT) paid out £190,000 for bariatric surgery including gastric band and gastric bypass operations.

The cost of having a gastric band fitted can cost up to £8,000 and up to £15,000 for a gastric bypass operation.

So based on the average cost of the two surgeries 12 people in Wigan had an operation to help them lose weight in 2010/11. Bariatric surgery is used to treat people with potentially life-threatening obesity that will not respond to non-surgical treatments, such as lifestyle changes.

Life-threatening obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above or having a BMI of 35 or above combined with another serious health condition that could be improved if you lose weight, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.

Across the Wigan borough the average BMI was 53.3 and all weight loss surgery is carried out at the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and Spire Manchester Clinic. In recent years health bosses have stepped up their focus on reducing obesity and have already reduced approvals for bariatric surgery by 73 per cent in the first 20 months of the obesity pathway programme which was launched in 2010.

Investment in the obesity pathway has led to a huge saving to the PCT of £440,000.

It has also produced the best sustained weight loss results in adults as compared with other adult obesity management programmes nationally.

But the message is clear, surgery is the last resort and anybody looking to lose weight can find out how with a realistic weight loss plan by calling Lose Weight Feel Great on 01942 496496.