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Obesity surgery on the increase

Gastric banding Lap band

Obesity is considered a disease of epidemic proportions. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that obesity has risen by nearly 10-40 per cent in most European countries over the past decade. At the same time, studies have indicated that rates of juvenile obesity and overweight children range from 10-20 per cent in northern Europe and are even higher in southern Europe. Obesity-related costs account for nearly 8 per cent of overall healthcare spending.

According to Frost & Sullivan, a global consulting company, in 2004, adjustable gastric banding (AGB) has emerged as the most popular procedure in Europe, registering the highest revenue growth in the market, followed by gastric bypass (GB). Even as demand for vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG) will rapidly diminish, gastric stimulator (GS) and intragastric balloon (IB) are poised to become increasingly popular.

Healthcare Analyst, Kavitha Ravikumar predicts that healthcare providers will need to provide patients with long-term obesity solutions and specialised medical support after obesity surgery. "Surgeon training to perform the procedures, provide follow-up and offer support in post operative weight maintenance has become a significant challenge in the provision of obesity surgery as an effective and life-enhancing solution. Success rates will also be linked to long-term clinical studies proving the efficacy of obesity surgery."

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Harley Street News update: June 2006