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Increase in gastric band inquiries


10 June, 2008  

TV star Fern Britton’s revelation that she lost five stones after having gastric band surgery has resulted in a 400% increase in inquiries about the procedure to a leading stomach surgeon.

David Hewin, consultant surgeon at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, said 20 potential new patients keen to have the surgery had contacted his office after the This Morning presenter confessed that her new, slim figure was not entirely down to dieting.

“Since Fern’s weight loss surgery was been made public, I have received more than 20 inquiries – a 400% increase – from people in Gloucestershire asking for more information about gastric band operations,” Mr Hewin told the Gloucestershire Echo.

The operation can cost more than £7,000 for private patients, although morbidly obese people – those with a body mass index of more than 35 – can receive the treatment free on the NHS.

“People reach a certain size and there is no other option but to have surgery,” Mr Hewin said. “Unlike plastic surgery, a gastric band can give significant health benefits as weight loss will lower blood pressure, prolong the patient’s lifespan and can help the effects of type two diabetes.”

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Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust