Many obese patients lack access to gastric bands
People who are severely obese in Ireland have poor access to weight-reduction surgery, a conference was told yesterday.
Less than 0.1pc of patients who would benefit from bariatric or gastric band surgery have the operation, according to the Irish Society for Nutrition and Metabolism.
Professor Carel Le Roux, from the Diabetes Complications Research Centre in UCD, said: "Obesity is a complex and chronic disease that requires personalised treatment programmes for each individual that can include: diet, exercise, medical and surgical interventions.
"New Irish research shows a substantial proportion of older Irish adults - 7.9pc - are potentially eligible for gastric band surgery. While many will not want, or be suitable for the procedure, findings indicate that current public-service provision of gastric band surgery in Ireland meets the needs of fewer than one in every 1,000 people that would benefit.
"Sweden has a population twice that of Ireland and it has half the obesity rate so both countries have the same number of people with complex obesity. Yet 6,000 bariatric or gastric band operations are performed in Sweden annually versus about 60 in Ireland."