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Weight Loss Surgery

Bariatric surgery includes a variety of procedures that are performed to help individuals who are severely overweight or obese lose weight. These procedures work by restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold, causing malabsorption of nutrients, or a combination of both.

Also known as: weight loss surgery is also known as bariatric surgery

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Everything you need to know

Bariatric surgery includes a variety of procedures that are performed to help individuals who are severely overweight or obese lose weight. These procedures work by restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold, causing malabsorption of nutrients, or a combination of both.

Obesity is a weight condition that is associated with having excess of body fat which is defined by genetic and environmental factors that can be difficult to control when dieting. Obesity increases your risk of developing related conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and sleep apnea, to name a few. Many individuals are affected by obesity and are not aware of it.

 

Before surgery

You will receive a detailed assessment by a highly experienced Consultant Surgeon with over 30-years’ experience in the NHS and 20-years in the private sector and with an outstanding outcome and safety record. Your care and recovery will be supported by a highly experience team that is trained in all weight and reflux-related conditions.

We offer several types of weight-loss surgery. Most of these are performed under general anaesthetic using keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery. Keyhole surgery allows the inside of your tummy to be accessed without needing to make large cuts in your skin. Small cuts will be made in your tummy and a small tube with a camera will be inserted which relays images of your stomach to a monitor.

The benefits of this type of surgery are:

  • A shorter hospital stay and faster recovery time
  • Less pain and bleeding after the operation
  • Less scarring

We have strict selection criteria, so will only operate if the operation will make a difference to you. If we do go ahead with surgery, you will benefit from a state-of-the-art operating environment and a fully trained team. Every patient’s treatment is individually tailored to obtain the best result with the lowest risk. All enquiries will be treated in strictest confidence!

During surgery

There are a few types of weight loss surgery we offer at the GI Clinic. After you have your initial appointment with your consultant, you’ll both agree on which approach is the most suitable for you.

Those include:

Gastric bypass – this is where surgical staples are used to create a small pouch at the top of your stomach. The pouch is then connected to your small intestine, missing out (bypassing) the rest of the stomach. This means it takes less food to make you feel full, and you’ll absorb fewer calories from the food you eat.

Gastric band – this is where a band is placed around your stomach, so you don’t need to eat as much to feel full.

Sleeve gastrectomy – this is where part of the stomach is removed so it’s smaller than before. This means you won’t be able to eat as much as you could before surgery, and you’ll feel fuller faster.

Gastric balloon – this is where a soft balloon filled with salt water is placed in your stomach using a thin tube (endoscope). This means you won’t be able to eat as much before you feel full. This is a temporary measure and the balloon will be taken out after 1 year. This is done with a light anaesthetic and as a day case requiring a stay of several hours in the hospital.

After

Usually, you’ll have to stay in the hospital for one to several days, depending on the type of surgery and your overall health. Patients may experience pain, discomfort, and fatigue in the first few days after surgery, but this will go away with time. The medical team will provide pain management and closely monitor your recovery.

Your consultant will provide you with specific dietary guidance. Usually, you’ll start with a liquid diet and gradually transition to pureed and soft foods before reintroducing solid foods. This progression allows the digestive system to heal. After that initial period,  you would aim to eat smaller meals and maintain a healthy balanced diet. Staying hydrated in the first few months is crucial, and longer term in order to get the best results patients may need to modify their drinking habits, such as avoiding drinking with meals and sipping liquids throughout the day.

Patients usually experience significant weight loss in the months following surgery. The rate of weight loss varies, but it is typically more rapid in the first year. Bariatric surgery leads to improvements in obesity-related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnoea, and joint pain.

Patients will have regular follow-up appointments with their healthcare team to monitor their progress, address any concerns, and make adjustments to their diet or medications if needed. Depending on the surgery type, patients may need to take nutritional supplements to prevent deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals.

Incorporating regular physical activity is crucial for long-term success. Patients are encouraged to gradually increase their activity level as they recover.

It’s important to note that the success of bariatric surgery depends on the individual’s commitment to lifestyle changes, including dietary modifications and increased physical activity. Follow-up care and ongoing support from healthcare professionals play a crucial role in helping patients achieve and maintain their weight loss goals.

How to pay for your treatment

If you’re… paying for yourself

Did you know you don’t need private medical insurance to come to St John & St Elizabeth Hospital? As a self-pay patient, you can access safe, outstanding quality health care at times to suit you.

For scans and tests, as well as to see most consultants, you’ll still need to be referred by a medical professional like your GP, but as a self-pay patient, the process is more straightforward. You won’t need authorisation from an insurance provider, and you’ll have greater choice of consultant and appointment times.

If you’re… insured

St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is approved by all major medical insurance companies. If you have a personal private health insurance policy, or your company provide it for you, you can use it to pay for your care from your initial consultation through to treatment, surgery and aftercare such as physiotherapy. Not all private health insurance plans cover the same things. It’s very important to check exactly what you are covered for with your insurance provider.