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More tummy tucks ACROSSWEST Midlands than rest of country.

HOSPITALS in the West Midlands performed more NHS tummy tucks in the last three years than any other part of the country.

Surgeons carried out 391 abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) operations in the region since 2010, compared to just 84 in Manchester.

Across the country more than 3,000 tummy tucks took place on the NHS in the last three years. If patients went private they would cost around PS4,000 a time. The former South Birmingham Primary Care Trust performed 219 of the West Midlands operations.

But Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, blasted the policy as 'wasteful spending'. He said: "With NHS budgets tight, surgery should be based on medical need and not undertaken at taxpayers' expense for purely cosmetic reasons.

''It's vital the NHS cuts out wasteful spending so treatment is based on what someone needs rather than what trusts can afford." According to the Birminghambased Cosmetic Surgery Guide, an average tummy tuck would set a private patient back around PS4,000.

In 2010 West Midlands hospitals carried out the most tummy tucks in the country, with 160 operations performed. That was the same year that Birmingham was named the fattest city in Europe, with 29 per cent of adults classed as obese.

But a spokesman for Birmingham CrossCity and Birmingham South Central Clinical Commissioning Group said criteria for NHS tummy tucks was under review.

She said: "Cosmetic surgery is rarely available through the NHS and each individual case is judged under stringent guidelines and through clear criteria.

"Abdominoplasty is classed as a procedure of lower clinical value, therefore it is not routinely funded by the NHS and any application for funding would need to demonstrate that the case is exceptional. "We use clear guidance and work with our providers to ensure the policy is applied correctly and fairly.

We are currently reviewing the policy to determine criteria for future applications."

Obesity crisis: Page 25
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 19, 2013
Words:319
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