Infographics: Bariatric Surgery Trends in Europe and the US

Obesity is not just the US issue anymore, today this epidemic is spreading fast in Europe as well. It is serious, expensive and fast growing global problem. One of the most effective ways to cope with obesity is bariatric surgery (also known as weight loss surgery). More and more people in Europe and the US benefit from this treatment. This infographic illustrates the trends of obesity surgery in Europe and the US.

Number of obesity surgeries performed

Comparing the European countries and the US the biggest number of bariatric surgeries performed was recorded in the US (250,000 surgeries). This distribution is easily explained by the population size of the US as well as the highest percentage of obese residents (35.7% of adults in the US are obese).

The second biggest number of weight loss surgeries performed was recorded in France (30,450 surgeries). However, the number of surgeries does not correlate with obesity rates, in this case. The obesity prevalence in France is one of the lowest in Europe (11%).

To calculate popularity of weight loss surgeries in particular countries we used ratios of bariatric surgeries done per 10.000 residents and per 1.000 obese adults. According to the statistics, Sweden is the leader in obesity surgery with 9 surgeries performed on 10,000 residents and 9 surgeries performed on 1,000 obese adults. The US is close with 8 surgeries performed on 10,000 residents, whereas France is following with 5. What is interesting, is that the other 3 big Western European countries such as the UK, Germany and Spain are well behind these trends each having ratio of 1 only. Meaning that the popularity of bariatric surgeries in these countries is 9 times lower than in Sweden.

Gastric bypass surgery

Gastric bypass procedure is the most common obesity surgery performed in the observed countries. In Sweden gastric bypass procedure is the absolute leader of bariatric surgery. It accounts for 97% of all obesity surgeries performed in this country. Gastric bypass is also very popular in Spain where it accounts for three quarters of all bariatric surgeries. The figures are quite similar in the UK and the US where gastric bypass accounts for 58% and 56% respectively. The rate of gastric bypass is lower in these countries due to popularity of gastric band procedure in the UK and US.

Although France has the highest number of weight loss surgeries in Europe, gastric bypass surgery accounts for only 30% of the surgeries performed.

Obesity surgeries in private clinics

According to the statistics, almost 70% of obesity surgeries in France are performed in private clinics. This figure is lower in the UK but still accounts for more than a half of bariatric surgeries (54%). This is mainly because of the differences in each country’s health system and weight loss surgery price in private clinics.

Although France has the highest number of weight loss surgeries in Europe, gastric bypass surgery accounts for only 30% of the surgeries performed.

Gastric bypass cost

The cost of gastric bypass procedure was compared among the UK, Sweden, Germany and Spain. This section of infographic illustrates the relationship between the price of the procedure and the average salary in the each country. Although the price of gastric bypass is the highest in the UK, the biggest gap between the salaries and price of gastric bypass is recorded in Spain. In Spain one needs to spend the amount equal to 9.4 average monthly salaries to have gastric bypass performed privately, whereas in the UK this ratio is 5.6.

Obesity surgery growth

According to the statistics, the popularity of bariatric surgery as treatment of obesity is growing fast. The biggest increase in the number of obesity surgeries performed has been observed in Sweden and rose by 160% during the last three years. Moreover, the number of obesity surgeries has increased more than 120% in France and Germany. However, the figures become different when it turns to Spain. The rate of obesity surgeries performed in this country decreased by 33% from the year 2008 to the year 2011. This decline may be the result of difficult economic conditions observed in Spain during the analyzed period.