Are you considering weight loss surgery and not sure where to start?

The information below will give you an insight into whether you are eligible for weight loss surgery and the types of surgeries available.

There is no one size fits all solution to obesity and the type of treatment or procedure required differs depending on each individual’s needs. The details below are only a guide and therefore should not replace any advice given to you by your Consultant Surgeon.

Who is eligible for weight loss surgery?

Every patient is unique and so there is no hard and fast criteria, it is worth checking with your GP or Consultant.

However, a general guide would be:

  • If a patient has no illnesses related to their obesity they would probably need to have a BMI of around 40kg/m² to be recommended for treatment.
  • For patients with obesity related illnesses this level would drop to nearer 35kg/m².

Body Mass Index (BMI) describes a person’s body weight relative to their height and correlates strongly with the body fat content. It is the primary indictor used by bariatric surgeons to assess a patient’s suitability for surgery and to monitor post-operative weight loss. To calculate your BMI click here.

Weight Loss Surgery options

There are several types of weight loss surgical options however the most commonly performed are the Gastric Band, Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve. These surgeries have their own specific advantages and disadvantages.

The type of surgery performed varies according to the patient’s needs and expectations. Your surgeon will need to consider a number of factors before they are able to advise which weight loss surgery is best suited for you.

Below we give a brief outline of the most common treatment options.

Gastric Balloon

A non-surgical weight loss treatment option is a gastric balloon.

The gastric balloon is a soft silicone structure that is inserted into the stomach in a collapsed state. The 20 minute procedure only requires mild sedation. The gastric balloon is introduced endoscopically through the mouth before entering the stomach. Once in place, it is inflated with either air or saline until it occupies a significant portion of the stomach. The balloon stimulates the satiety receptors to produce a sense of fullness therefore reducing the desire to eat large portions of food.

Find out more about the Gastric Balloon here.

Gastric Band

The laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (LAGB) is the least invasive, permanent surgical weight loss treatment. It can usually be performed as a day-case or with an overnight stay in hospital. Most patients will be back to normal activities, including work, within a week.

The gastric band is placed just below the oesophagus, at the top of the stomach, with a very small pouch of stomach above the band. The Lap-Band can be adjusted, by injecting saline, through an access port, buried beneath the skin of the abdominal wall. As saline is added to the gastric band, the pressure on the upper stomach increases; this increased pressure reduces appetite. When the gastric band is correctly adjusted patients become much less interested in food, with control of their appetite. This is the key to success; diets usually fail, because patients cannot sustain the intense will power needed to fight their appetite day after day, month after month when dieting. By inhibiting appetite, the gastric band allows patients to work with a diet. In addition to controlling appetite, the gastric band makes patients slow down when they eat, reducing portion size. Daily calorie intake is reduced by controlling portion size and reducing appetite, with steady weight loss following. Patients need to be prepared to work hard with the gastric band, to get the weight loss they want.

Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass surgery is the gold standard against which all other obesity operations are judged.

Using key-hole surgery, under general anaesthetic, a small rectangular, pouch is formed from the upper stomach.

This small pouch reduces portion size dramatically; initially after surgery, patients can only eat very small portions. In the longer-term, most patients will be able to eat a child’s size portion.

After gastric bypass, food no longer passes through the stomach into the duodenum. Food bypasses the stomach, duodenum and approximately 80 to 150cm of the small intestine. Food still mixes with all the digestive juices produced by the liver, pancreas and stomach, but further down the bowel than before surgery. This bypassing of the stomach and small intestine, interferes with hormones produced by the gut that control appetite, so it is normal for patients not to feel hungry after surgery.

By, reducing portion size and decreasing a patient’s appetite, their daily calorie consumption is reduced to approximately 600 calories. Rapid, reliable weight loss occurs.

Gastric Sleeve

The gastric sleeve or sleeve gastrectomy, is a restrictive procedure, which reduces the volume of the stomach. Keyhole surgery is used to remove 90% of the stomach, changing it from an expandable reservoir for eaten food, to a narrow tube approximately 1cm in diameter.

By removing, the part of the stomach that contains cells that release the appetite controlling hormone ghrelin, the surgery makes patients less hungry. The capacity of the sleeve is much less than a normal stomach, so portion sizes are much smaller.

You can find more information on any of the above surgical producers here.

Streamline Surgical provides life changing weight loss surgery. Bariatric surgery isn’t simply about losing weight. The transformation our patients go through in terms of their self-esteem, health and happiness as well as weight loss is what makes our job so fulfilling.

From the first time that you see us you will be in the hands of our nationally recognised surgeons, all of whom are members of the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS) and the International Federation of the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO). With enviable UK and international reputations we offer the highest levels of expertise and care in all of our centres.