Obesity surgery seen as quick fix

Obesity surgery is often seen as a quick fix, without proper consideration of the risks, a review says. The National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death looked at the care given to more than 300 patients at NHS and private hospitals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It found that many were given insufficient time or information to properly consent to the operations.
Post-surgery care was also found to be lacking, the watchdog said. In particular, it highlighted the fact patients were not always given access to dieticians and psychologists. The report also suggested the failings could be contributing to the high number of readmissions – nearly a fifth of the patients had to return within six months.
Weight loss operations, such as the fitting of gastric bands, have been growing in popularity. There were more than 8,000 of these operations, sometimes called bariatric surgery, carried out by the NHS last year – and the number is rising by about 10% a year. The numbers paying for the surgery themselves is unknown.
The review found only 29% of patients received psychological counselling prior to referral for surgery and in a quarter of cases consent forms did not contain the appropriate information about the surgery, including the risks involved.