2020-10-01

‘Slimming season’ prompts surge in demand for weight loss surgery

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As the UK’s leading provider of bariatric surgery, we’ve seen a spike in enquiries recently for weight loss solutions as the country enters the so-called ‘slimming season’.

Since mid-May of this year, when the coronavirus lockdown began to ease, enquiries relating to elective weight loss surgery and other interventions have increased more than a quarter.

Our weight loss experts believe a ‘perfect storm’ has prompted people whose BMI sees them classed as ‘obese’ to take action to tackle potential related health complications.

George Hamlyn Williams, Principle Dietitian at Transform Hospital Group, said: “Over the past three months, we’ve seen 26 per cent more enquiries about elective weight loss surgery and interventions – that’s a big spike.

“We believe there are a number of reasons more people are getting in touch with us to start their weight loss journey, not least because of the link between obesity and the increased risk of COVID-19 complications. A potential second wave of coronavirus this winter has prompted patients to act.

“For those people already living with obesity, lockdown has led to additional weight gain, isolation and deterioration of their physical and mental health. That’s given them the impetus to reach out for help. These patients have become more aware of the risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancers and strokes and want to make a decisive change in their lifestyle for their long-term health.

“Another factor is finance. Many people may have considered having elective weight loss surgery, but they’ve been held back by cost. This year, holidays have been cancelled and lockdown has reduced day-to-day spending for many of us. For those people who have continued to work during the pandemic, having more disposable income has made surgery an option when previously it may have been something they’d considered out of reach.

“We’ve also found that some people who are overweight and have become more so during lockdown may be thinking about improving their lifestyles ahead of travelling next year. For many people, bariatric surgery is one of many steps to a complete lifestyle change for the better – in fact, we’ve seen examples of this in the celebrity world recently, like Kelly Osbourne.

“All of this has resulted in a ‘slimming season’ through the autumn, when this surge of patients will undergo treatment.”

Research shows bariatric surgery outcomes include dramatically improving or even immediately reversing type two diabetes, significant early and sustained weight loss, a reduction in heart attacks, development of diabetes, cancers and strokes, and increased life expectancy. Procedures include gastric band, gastric sleeve and gastric bypass operations.