A 14 year old girl became the youngest person in the UK to have weight loss surgery, after undergoing gastric band surgery in Belgium four years ago. Teenager Katie Hill weighed more than 18 stone and was a size 26 before she had the operation. Before the treatment she was incredibly unhappy and had tried a string of diets without any success.
Most teenagers enjoy spending time with their friends, but for Katie Hill life was miserable because of her size. At 18 stone, she was more than double the weight of most of her friends and she confided in her mum about just how unhappy she was with the way she looked. Katie had tried a series of diets but had not been able to lose weight. Katie’s mum, Juliet, decided to take her daughter to a private clinic in Belgium for gastric bypass surgery, a step which received criticism from doctors and members of the public at the time. People suggested that weight loss surgery was a drastic step, especially as Katie was so young, but her mother stuck to her guns and now, four years later, Katie credits the operation with saving her life.
Four years after her operation, Katie appeared in the national press, showing off a svelte size 8 figure, having lost more than 10 stone. Her mum said that she had thought long and hard about the decision but she had to act to save her daughter.
Gastric band surgery
The number of gastric band procedures carried out in the UK has increased significantly in recent years. The number of teenagers having gastric band surgery on the NHS has quadrupled over the last 4 years and there have been suggestions that children as young as 11 years old will soon be treated for obesity by means of weight loss surgery.
The rise in gastric band procedures has caused controversy, especially as the NHS budget is being stretched more than ever. Some critics believe that more money should be invested in educating children and parents about healthy eating and exercise, in order to reduce the amount of money spent on procedures such as gastric band and gastric bypass surgery.