Patient weighed down with extra skin denied key surgery by NHS

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Lee Mazzone, 30, of Mundesley, was injured in an accident when he was ten which affected his digestive system, and his family said he ended up weighing around 47 stone (300kg) before he had vital stomach-surgery. But it has left Lee with huge amounts of extra skin which sags down his stomack and back, and has been a factor in Lee being diagnosed with depression and anorexia. “It is getting to a critical stage,” Lee said. “If I could have an operation to get rid of all the skin it would make a massive difference to my mental health.” His family has spent more than three years applying to the NHS to fund the plastic surgery to remove the skin, but a spokesman for North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said all patients undergoing bariatric [weight loss] surgery are advised that the CCG will not fund post-operative “cosmetic” procedures arising from their weight loss. Mr Lamb said the case highlighted how mental health was not treated seriously enough by the NHS. He said: “Some people become overweight by choice but Lee isn’t one of them. He has had problems with food since his accident. “He has no life and has been left completely in limbo. “I’m calling on the CCG to treat Lee as an exception so he can have the surgery on the NHS.” The EDP contacted the CCG and asked why the surgery was judged as cosmetic rather than have a health benefit when Lee has a diagnosis of depression and anorexia. We also asked if, following the call for a fresh investigation from Mr Lamb, the CCG would commit to looking at the case again. A spokesman for the CCG said: “There need to be other clinical factors present in order to demonstrate clinical exceptionality and these have to be supported by clinical documentation. “Where necessary the CCG independently reviews anonymised case notes to ensure that the panel has followed due process.” Read more…

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