Blogs – Surgery

Taking Control

More than 11,500 Australians opted for lap banding surgery last year. Melissa Cunningham investigates the procedure, which for many is a last-ditch effort to lose weight.

To the casual observer, Tamara and John Treloar are the perfect family. Strolling to the park hand in hand, with three children in tow, they are the picture of marital and family bliss. But life hasn’t always been easy.

There was a time when Mr Treloar, 39, was too ashamed to step outside his home. Tipping the scales at 167 kilograms, Mr Treloar says he felt like he was fighting a sinking ship.

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Health savings with Gastric Banding

Gastric banding pays for itself over time through health costs savings

Excess weight, in particular obesity, is a risk factor for diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. It can also make it more difficult to control chronic conditions. On top of the cost to your health, overweight and obesity can have a major financial impact on an individual.

The cost of a gastric banding procedure can often be an important decision factor for those considering it. But a recent American study shows that the cost of a gastric banding procedure is offset by reductions in medical costs associated with obesity. In this study, the obesity-related medical costs of obese patients who didn’t have a gastric banding procedure continued to rise whereas for those who did have surgery medical costs declined.

Importantly, the gastric banding patients, within four years all patients had broken even financially and patients with diabetes broke even financially in 2.25 years. The study looked at healthcare claims data from over 7,000 patients who had undergone gastric banding compared with claims from a similar number of surgery-eligible people who did not have surgery. The results emphasise the important effect gastric banding can have on keeping healthcare costs down.

So, although there is an initial financial outlay for a gastric banding procedure, the benefits in terms of reduction in healthcare costs can be significant within a relatively short period, meaning it may be a cost effective option for weight loss in eligible candidates.

 

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