Page last updated at 11:33 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 12:33 UK

Huge demand for obesity surgery

Michele Rickard
Michele Rickard has lost two stone since her operation eight weeks ago

Doctors in Bristol say they are struggling to meet the demand for surgery to help people with obesity.

There are thought to be 5,000 patients in Bristol alone who qualify for gastric banding surgery on the NHS.

Southmead Hospital, in Bristol, offers the procedure but can only offer about 100 operations per year.

Surgeon Justin Morgan said: "We're trying to expand the service as much and as quickly as we can."

The obesity surgeon, who works for North Bristol NHS Trust, added: "But we certainly feel as if we're running to stand still at times."

Bristol and North Somerset Primary Care Trust has said patients must also have a severe obesity-related illness, like diabetes or high blood pressure, to qualify for gastric banding surgery.

The surgery involves inserting a plastic band around the stomach to reduce its size, making the patient feel full more quickly.

'Eating too much'

Michele Rickard, 42, from Nailsea, near Bristol, had the operation at Southmead Hospital eight weeks ago.

She has lost two stone (12.7kg) since the surgery and at 5ft 1in (1.54m) she now weighs 18 stone (114kg). When asked why she had become obese, she said:

"Laziness probably and eating too much if I'm honest."

Mrs Rickard also suffers from weight related diabetes and she hopes that the surgery will cure her of the condition.


SEE ALSO
Obese woman gets gastric surgery
01 Jul 08 |  Derbyshire
Fern Britton back on This Morning
11 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
Who should get gastric banding?
03 Jun 08 |  Health

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Honolulu Advertiser Colt is coming to town - 12 hrs ago
Star-TelegramBuck & New Dawg: Curses! The Desperados are out of the playoffs early once again - 01 Jul 2008
* Requires registration



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific