Weight Loss Surgery

What is Weight Loss Surgery?

Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric or metabolic Surgery, is surgery specifically to support weight loss in patients with severe obesity.

It can support significant weight loss and help improve weight related conditions including type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnoea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and joint disorders.

Weight loss surgery is a major operation and it does not guarantee that any weight lost cannot be regained. Weight loss surgery requires a lifelong commitment to making and maintaining dietary and lifestyle changes to get the best results. In the majority of cases it will only be considered after all non-surgical methods of weight loss have been exhausted.

If patients feel that weight loss surgery may be a treatment option for them and would like this to be funded by the NHS, they must first engage in a Tier 3 specialist obesity service (such as SWMS) and meet the nationally set criteria before a referral can be considered.

Weight loss surgery is also available through private providers although this can be expensive. The types of weight loss surgery completed by NHS providers would typically cost around £8000 - £15,000 if funded privately.

Weight loss surgery may be available on the NHS if:

  • you have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more, or a BMI between 35 and 40 and a recognised obesity-related condition.
  • you've tried all other weight loss methods, such as dieting and exercise, but have struggled to lose weight or keep it off
  • you demonstrate a commitment to long-term follow-up after surgery, this will include attending regular appointments and making healthy lifestyle changes both before and after surgery.

To demonstrate that patients can make and maintain lifestyle changes we aim to achieve a minimum of a 5% loss before a referral for surgery can be considered. If a patient’s weight is still increasing a referral will not be made as this suggests they are having difficulties committing to the required changes.

Weight Loss Surgery Information Sessions

Once you are under the weight management service, we offer an introduction to weight loss surgery education session for anyone who may be interested in weight loss surgery. This session will give you accurate and up to date information about the different types of NHS-funded weight loss surgery that maybe be considered. It will also explain some of the dietary and lifestyle changes that are needed before a referral can be considered. The aim of this is to give patients the best information possible so that they can make an informed decision as to whether this is the treatment they may wish to consider.

If patients do not wish to be considered for surgery, are unsure or change their mind, that is ok! Our service can support people to making lifestyle changes for weight loss through both surgical and non-surgical methods.

For patients who meet the criteria and are wanting surgery we will transfer you to our surgery pathway after a minimum of 6months in service. This will include appointments with our Specialist Consultant, Dietitians and Psychologist. You will also attend a second surgery education session which will give more details of what to expect before and after weight loss surgery.

For further information click on the attachment below for a summary handout about weight loss surgery. The following websites can also give you more information;