Gastric band operations has risen amongst under 25s

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Gastric bands are fitted to assist people to lose weight quickly. This is achieved by reducing the size of the stomach and thus the amount of food that can be eaten.

BBC's Newsbeat has discovered that doctors and eating disorder groups are concerned about this rise. They believe that often the young people treated by the NHS are not given the appropriate support and aftercare. Although fitting a gastric band limits the amount of food a person can eat, it does in no way address any psychological attachment to food a person may have. This lack of support, claims the eating disorder charity Beat, can lead to anxiety and depression.

The Department of Health has responded stating that those who receive bariatric surgery are assessed by a doctor who has decided this is the best form of treatment for the individual.

It seems that often surgery is seen as a quick solution but in reality the problem of obesity may have been longstanding. Instead of resorting to surgery, people should be advised about how they can change their relationship with food. Only once these psychological issues are addressed should a person be put forward for surgery.

It should of course also be borne in mind that with all types of surgery there is the potential for complications and bariatric surgery has a higher risk of complication than average. Here in the Clinical Negligence team at Blake Lapthorn, we have been contacted by people in the past who have experienced problems following bariatric surgery and have acted for them to advance their claim. Healthy eating and regular exercise may seem boring but may well be a better long term option.

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