Use of weight-loss surgery has increased 10-fold in hospitals in England since 2000 and those who have gastric bands fitted can reduce their risk of early death and cut health service costs, scientists said on Friday.
In a study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers said one reason for the rapid rise in weight-loss procedures, or bariatric surgery, was increased demand from obese patients as they become more aware of surgery as a viable treatment option.
Bariatric surgery is performed on people who are dangerously obese, as a way of trying to help them lose weight.
A team of researchers based at Imperial College London analysed data on weight-loss surgery for the NHS in England between April 2000 and March 2008 and found that a total of 6,953 bariatric procedures were carried during that time.
The number of operations rose more than 10-fold from 238 in 2000 to 2,543 in 2007, they said in a report of their findings.