Rise in weight-loss procedures?

More obese patients in Wales could have access to weight-loss surgery under plans being considered by health boards.

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'Strong reasons' for revising obesity surgery criteria

The Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC) says there are 'strong reasons' for reviewing the criteria for weight-loss surgery eligibility.

It is thought 60,000 people in Wales have a body mass index of 40 or more. The healthy range is 18.5 - 24.9.

Bariatric surgery is a clinically and cost-effective specialised service for the treatment of morbid obesity.

There are strong reasons for revising the current access criteria and considering an increase in commissioning activity.

However, the majority of individuals seeking help to address problems of obesity will require non-surgical management, with bariatric surgery reserved for a small number of carefully selected cases.

– Stephen Harrhy, interim director of WHSSC

Health regulator NICE recommends people with a BMI of 40 or more, or those with a BMI of 35-40 who also have another significant disease, should have access to bariatric surgery.

NICE also says bariatric surgery should be considered as a first-line treatment option for adults with a BMI of 50 plus.

Weight-loss surgery 'could rise from 80 to 300 per year'

It is estimated that 6% of Wales' population is severely or morbidly obese, with a BMI of 35 or more Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

More obese patients in Wales could have access to weight-loss surgery under plans being considered by health boards.

The Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC) has agreed to review who meets the criteria for bariatric - or weight-loss - surgery, which could broaden the range of patients eligible.

The number of bariatric surgical procedures in Wales could rise from 80 to 300 per year, over the next five years, following recommendations.

Bariatric procedures can include gastric bypass, a gastric band and vertical banded gastroplasty.

Figures suggest an estimated 180,000 people in Wales – 6% of the population – are severely or morbidly obese.

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