The number of gastric bypass surgeries has shot up by more than 530 percent in Britain over the last five years as thousands of people opt to take the surgical route to lose excess weight.
According to the figures released by the NHS, more than 18,500 gastric bypass surgeries and over 7,600 gastric band operations were conducted between April 2006 and March 2012, costing the NHS more than Ģ91.5 million with each gastric bypass surgeries costing between Ģ9,500 and Ģ15,000 while the price of a gastric band operation is between Ģ5,000 and Ģ8,000.
Reactions to the huge spike in such surgeries have been mixed with some experts claiming that the huge increase means that the high rates of obesity could be controlled. However other experts say that people should make healthier changes to their lifestyles well before the need for such a surgery arises.
Health minister Simon Burns said that gastric bypass and gastric band surgeries should be viewed as the last resort and people should instead try to lose weight without the need to go under the knife.
"We want people to live healthier lives so they do not need to resort to surgery, but as a last resort, doctors can advise procedures like these are undertaken. We are working with charities, local government and industry to make it easier for people to make better choices to prevent obesity in the first place", he said.