BOMSS welcomes updated NICE Guidance

BOMSS welcomes updated guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on eligibility for bariatric surgery (published on November 27).

The new guidance strengthens the focus on people with Type 2 diabetes. It states that those who have been diagnosed in the past decade and have a BMI over 35 should be assessed for surgery. The guidelines also suggest doctors should consider those with a BMI of 30 or more on a case-by-case basis.

BOMSS strongly endorses access to surgery for people with diabetes with appropriate follow-up, the involvement of physicians and the use of a shared care model of chronic disease management.

Mr Richard Welbourn, president of BOMSS and one of the experts who advised NICE on the updated guidance, says: “Surgery can be a powerful treatment for diabetes. There are published data on 26,000 surgical patients with impressive recovery from diabetes and functional status with those who have had diabetes for the shortest period recovering quickest.” (UK data from the NBSR – www.nbsr.co.uk ).

The 2014 NBSR report, which was released on November 10 showed that 65.1% of patients with Type 2 diabetes at the point of surgery showed no indication of diabetes two years after surgery and were able to stop their diabetic medications – a cost saving to the health service.

Mr Welbourn added: “Bariatric surgery improves people’s health and also saves on healthcare costs.”

BOMSS also supports lifestyle interventions such as dieting to improve diabetes control and possibly reduce medications for some patients. But data shows that 70% of bariatric patients cannot climb three flights of stairs so are not physically able to exercise their weight away.