If you’ve tried every diet and exercise programme in the books and are still having trouble losing weight, you may have given some thought to having a surgical procedure. Weight loss surgery—technically referred to as bariatric surgery—can be a highly effective way of shedding unwanted weight, but it’s not for everyone. Use this article as a guide to understanding the benefits, risks, and costs of bariatric surgery to assess whether it’s right for you.
A Look at Weight Loss Procedures
There are several types of weight loss procedures, but the most popular are gastric band, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass. The gastric band is an inflatable silicone ring inserted into the top portion of the stomach. It helps you lose weight by making you feel fuller. It is reversible and adjustable.
Gastric sleeve is a stomach reduction procedure that involves removing a large part of one side of your stomach. As a result of having a smaller sleeve, you’ll have less appetite. The procedure is irreversible, but can be converted into a bypass if results are unsatisfactory.
The most aggressive procedure is gastric bypass, which separates your stomach into two parts to create a small upper pouch. The small pouch limits your food intake and reduces the absorption of calories. The surgery is irreversible and recommended only for dangerously obese patients.
In addition to helping you lose large amounts of weight, bariatric surgeries have several health benefits. People with type 2 diabetes may use surgery to drastically improve their condition, and in many cases, completely reverse it.
Cholesterol levels will fall following weight loss surgery, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease and improving your life expectancy. Bariatric surgery may also help improve other weight-related conditions such as sleep apnoea, asthma, and fatigue.
While the benefits of bariatric surgery are numerous, it’s important to consider the risks before going under the knife. Internal bleeding, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism are all known complications of bariatric surgery.
In addition, some patients also experience problems with the general anaesthetic, medication prescribed post-surgery, or skin or lung infections. Sadly, a small number of surgeries do result in death.
If you have suffered complications that put your health at greater risk or have a family member who has died as the result of bariatric surgery, don’t hesitate to file a medical negligence claim. Experienced medical negligence solicitors will assess your case and provide you with legal representation if you are entitled to compensation.
Weight loss surgery may be available on the NHS for people who meet the criteria of having a BMI of 40 or more, or a BMI of 35 to 40 with a health condition like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnoea.
Private surgeries are also available. Prices vary depending on the surgeon and the type of procedure. The NHS cites the following benchmarks for typical surgery costs: gastric banding from £5,000 to 8,000; gastric bypass surgery from £9,500 to 15,000.