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Help is at hand for Scottish people battling morbid obesity – weight loss surgery is to be provided privately in South East Scotland for the first time.

The groundbreaking service is to be offered by Spire Murrayfield Hospital and will be a major step forward for the treatment of morbid obesity in the country.

Currently in Scotland there is only limited access to weight-loss surgery, recent statistics show that Scotland is now second only to the United States as the most overweight nation in the world with one in four Scottish adults is classified as obese.

That situation should now be eased. Gastric band operations will be available at Spire Murrayfield Hospital as part of a comprehensive service that will include assessment, support and counselling. A dedicated team of doctors, nurses, dieticians and psychotherapists will be part of the consultation process before and after any operation.

As Scottish waist-lines increase the reality is that for those people who are morbidly obese the health implications are very serious, with an increased risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Obesity surgery can be a successful way of treating patients who have failed to lose weight by any other method. While not a ‘quick fix’, it is an operation that can offer hope of a better, longer and healthier life.

Mr Andrew de Beaux and Mr Bruce Tulloh, consultant surgeons at Spire Murrayfield Hospital, both firmly believe that the launch of this service for paitents will not only be life changing but also life saving.

The surgery involves placing an adjustable gastric band around the upper part of the stomach, which restricts how much food the stomach can hold. There is no cutting or stapling needed to divide the upper stomach pouch from the lower stomach.

The insertion of the gastric band is usually performed using keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery. The band limits the amount of food you can eat before feeling full, enabling you to lose weight quickly and painlessly. It also trains you to limit your portion size to manageable amounts, and because you have to eat more slowly, to be aware of the food you are eating.

What makes the device so unique is that it can be adjusted without the need for further surgery. By adjusting the amount of fluid in the band, one can control the amount of food eaten and the rate at which it passes through the upper gastric pouch into the lower part of the stomach.

For further information on gastric banding and an information pack, please contact our customer services advisers on 0800 434 6622.

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For further press information, please contact:

Julie Campbell
Spire Murrayfield Hospital
Tel: 0131 316 2535
Email: julie.campbell@spirehealthcare.com

Notes to editors:

Classification of obesity depends on your body mass index (BMI) which can be calculated simply: divide your weight in kilograms by your height in metres, then divide the answer by your height in metres again. If your BMI is greater than 30 you are obese, if your BMI is greater than 40 then you are morbidly obese.

According to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, surgery to aid weight reduction is an option when the following criteria are fulfilled:

·BMI ³ 40

·BMI ³ 35, and one or more co-morbidities associated to obesity

·People have been receiving intensive management in a specialised hospital obesity clinic

·Individuals are aged 18 years or over

·Medically supervised attempts at weight loss have failed

·Acceptable operative risks (patient and procedure)

Spire Healthcare is one of the leading independent hospital providers in the UK, with a 25 year heritage of customer service and clinical excellence. It was formed this year from the sale of BUPA Hospitals to leading private equity company Cinven.

Spire Healthcare has 25 hospitals across the UK, providing services for private and insured patients as well as NHS. It also offers cosmetic and weight-loss surgery.

Its hospitals carry out more than 160,000 in-patient and day-case treatments a year and work with over 3,000 consultants. It is proud to be the first independent hospital group to publish clinical outcome data.

Facts and Figures on Spire Murrayfield Hospital

·Number of staff: Approximately 400

·Number of consultants: 281

·Number of beds: 70

·There have been no cases of MRSA at Spire Murrayfield Hospital

·In 2006 98% percent of patients rated their service as good or very good

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