SOURCE: Kalorama Information

Kalorama Information

December 09, 2009 16:01 ET

Ballooning Obesity Epidemic Drives Double-Digit Growth in Gastric Bands

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 9, 2009) - The obesity epidemic is a staggering public health problem and despite increased attention and education, the WHO still predicts the number of obese adults worldwide to increase from 400 million to 700 million between 2005 and 2015. More and more people are turning to bariatric surgery as a last resort. Despite a slow economy, demand remains strong, even despite its being classified as an elective procedure for most individuals. This is according to the findings of a new report, "Obesity, Weight Loss and Diet Management Markets (Pharmaceutical, Surgical and Dietary Approaches)," from healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information.

The number of bariatric surgeries has increased at an average rate of 20% annually over the past 15 years. Procedure volumes have ballooned from a minimal number in 1993, to an estimated 350,000 in 2009. This translates into sales of $517 million for surgical devices used in bariatric surgery, or a 21.6% increase over 2008 sales. Although growth has slowed somewhat since 2007, it is still increasing at double-digit rates today and Kalorama forecasts 13.4% growth through 2013. Women, especially in their late 30s to early 40s, account for the lion's share of bariatric procedures.

"The sheer number of people battling the bulge, with no end in sight to the health crisis, predicates continued strong growth in the volume of bariatric surgeries," notes Kalorama Information analyst Melissa Elder. "This in turn will create opportunity for makers of devices used in these surgeries."

Kalorama Information estimates about 40% of all bariatric surgery procedures involve gastric banding. The gastric banding market is the largest general segment in the bariatric surgical market with over 90% of total surgical device sales. Other segments include intragastric balloons and suture systems. Allergan, one of the leading development companies involved in obesity surgical devices, reports 450,000 Lap-Band devices sold since 1993 throughout the world.

The most commonly performed gastric bypass procedure, Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB), involves a stomach pouch for food intake restriction and a direct Y-shaped connection made from the ileum or jejunum to the stomach pouch for malabsorption. The RYGB procedure has been performed regularly since the early 1980s and was first performed laparoscopically in the early 1990s. RYGB is one of the most common types of weight loss procedures in current use.

Kalorama Information's report "Obesity, Weight Loss and Diet Management Markets (Pharmaceutical, Surgical and Dietary Approaches)" focuses on diet foods and drinks, weight loss drugs, natural therapies, surgical interventions, and weight loss programs. A market overview, obesity statistics, market estimates and forecasts through 2013 are included, as well as discussions of current issues and trends affecting the industry. For further information visit:

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