TV presenter triggers dieting fad after admitting to gastric surgery

A LEADING stomach surgeon has experienced a “400%” increase in inquiries about gastric bands since TV’s Fern Britton revealed she lost five stone after the procedure, it has emerged.

David Hewin, consultant surgeon at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, said the Fern Factor sparked 20 calls to his office from patients eager to have the slimming surgery.

The This Morning presenter confessed last week her new figure was not entirely down to dieting. Mr Hewin said the announcement had “raised awareness” of the medical solution to obesity.

“Since Fern’s weight loss surgery was been made public earlier this week, I have received more than 20 inquiries — a 400% increase — from people in Gloucestershire asking for more information about gastric band operations.

“Clearly Fern’s successful weight loss has raised awareness of this type of surgery and the life saving and life-changing results that can be achieved.”

Gastric band surgery can cost more than £7,000 (€8,800) in the private sector but Britain’s National Health Service will treat morbidly obese people with a body mass index of over 35.

Mr Hewin, who also works at Cheltenham General Hospital, added: “People reach a certain size and there is no other option but to have surgery and unlike, plastic surgery, a gastric band can give significant health benefits.

“As weight loss will lower blood pressure, prolong the patients life span and can help the effects of type two diabetes”.

He stressed that the operation was not to be seen as a shortcut to a perfect figure. “Fern had clearly tried other ways of losing weight before. You have to speak to dieticians and psychologists first to show you have seriously tried non-surgical techniques such as a change of diet and medical therapy.

“It is not a quick-fix procedure it can take a long time throughout the consultation process and trying other means, but can be very successful”.

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