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Postcode lottery persists over weight loss surgery despite NICE guidance

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c427 (Published 22 January 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c427
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

    Surgeons in England and Wales have called for clear rules on which obese patients are eligible for weight loss surgery on the NHS after a survey showed access to operations is “inconsistent, unethical and completely dependent on geographical location.”

    The survey of 43 bariatric surgeons practising in England and two in Wales found that while some patients with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 60 are being denied surgery others are being treated in the same hospital with a BMI of 40 or less.

    Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published in 2002, and strengthened in 2006, say patients with a BMI of 40 or more should …

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