Health services you can access in the UK


weight21Bariatric surgery, the technical name for weight loss surgery, is the last resort for many people when it comes to losing weight. Most doctors will not recommend procedures like gastric band surgery or gastric bypass surgery unless the patients have tried other less serious and invasive ways of shedding the weight already. Although the procedures are becoming more and more common in the UK, and much safer for patients, there is still a small risk with any operation where anaesthetic is involved – a risk that increases if the patient is overweight. Any doctor that offers to refer you for weight loss surgery on a first visit does not have your best interests at heart.

If all other weight loss methods have been tried and have failed, and your obesity is having a detrimental effect on your health, then you could be a candidate to have weight loss surgery on the NHS, meaning it would not cost you a penny.  A lot of people still think of gastric band surgery as something like a tummy tuck; a cosmetic procedure that is only available to the rich. This couldn’t be further from the truth and if weight loss surgery will help improve your quality of life or improve your health then you should be able to have the procedure carried out at your local hospital.

In some parts of the UK the criteria may be tougher than in other regions and waiting lists can be quite long, so you may prefer to have the weight loss surgery done at a private hospital. But you should never think that you can’t have gastric band surgery or gastric bypass surgery because you don’t have enough money.

Cosmetic SurgeryThe two different types of weight loss surgery available on the NHS in the UK are gastric band surgery and gastric bypass surgery. Which is more suitable for you will depend on how overweight you are and how your obesity has affected your general health. Gastric bypass surgery is the less complicated surgery and often only requires an overnight stay, while patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery may have to stay in hospital longer. Both create artificially smaller stomachs so that you feel fuller sooner.

More serious cases of obesity are more likely to require the complicated gastric bypass surgery which creates a smaller stomach, but the doctor will have to weigh up the benefits of this procedure against the risk to the patient’s health.

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