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The Bariatric Collective

Surgery Advice & Support

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Free and impartial advice and support about weight loss surgery

Having weight loss surgery its major decision and should not be taken lightly.


You have a responsibility to yourself to make sure you've got as much information up front as is possible to make the decision that's best for you.

This might come from the surgical team that you've contacted, from your GP or the weight management team if you have been referred or from the research you have done on line.

The information we provide is from people’s experiences of weight loss surgery, we do not replace any support and advice from your surgical team, we aim to support and signpost you to the information you need to start your surgical weight loss journey.


Throughout our combined experiences there have been many ups and downs but none of us would have gone without surgery, however with hindsight we may have done things differently and this is the opportunity you have to talk to people who have gone through the process.


The information we provide is based on fact and impartial, however we will at times relate to experiences, so it’s important that you understand that’s it’s the experience of the individual only.


You can call us and we'll speak to you about what your options are, how to access surgery through the NHS, through private providers here or abroad. The pros and cons of everything and the potential consequences of those decisions that you're looking to make.

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  • One of the first questions we come across is “do I qualify for weight loss surgery?”
    This is driven by NICE guidelines who have identified the criteria required to undertake bariatric surgery in the UK. Who or what are NICE? The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. Qualification does not mean you will be accepted for surgery, just that you can Adults with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 40 Adults with a BMI between 35 and 40 and other significant disease Adults with a BMI of 30 and over who have recent diagnosis type 2 diabetes* Adults of Asian family origin who have recent diagnosis type 2 diabetes* at a lower BMI than other populations *Recent diagnosis is defined by NICE as within the previous 10 years It is also clear that many NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have additional criteria that needs to be met in addition to any of the above. It’s also important to note that adults with a BMI of 50 or more should be considered without needing to try other weight loss methods.
  • Why would I need surgery or why should I have surgery?
    There is clear evidence that conventional weight loss methods can reduce body weight and some of the corresponding effects of obesity, but does it do enough to remove the higher risks? Obesity increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes high blood pressure sleep apnoea arthritis high cholesterol asthma liver and kidney disease coronary heart disease some types of cancer strokes To name a few and also obesity related problems: fatigue low self esteem joint pain sweating inability to undertake physical exercise snoring With bariatric surgery there's a possibility that you can use you can lose a large percentage of your excess body weight and it's identified the potentially between 50 to 80% can be removed. The removal of that body weight would significantly improve your quality of life.
  • Where should I have it?
    There tends to be three main options for surgery: through the NHS through private hospitals within the UK through private hospitals abroad Each option has pros and cons and we can talk through them with you but it will be very much on how you fit the criteria for weight loss surgery, how long you are wanting to wait for surgery, whether its affordable either in the UK or abroad and what are the aftercare packages that you will get Which-ever you decide on the key is research, research, research – sounds boring but surgery is a significant risk to you and you must fully understand the whole process.
  • How much will I lose?
    There are lots of statistics on averages, which we will highlight but it’s important to remember that its really individual to you, our individuality is what makes us amazing and you body will find a weight right for you (as long as you do the work). These are estimates of excess weight loss, that’s the amount of weight you need to lose to get to a normal BMI 18.5-24.9 So, if my BMI says my weight for height range is 8-11 stone and I’m 19 stone then I have just slightly more than 8 stone to lose and that my excess weight. Sleeve Gastrectomy:60-70% Gastric Bypass (Roux-en-Y) – 60-80% Mini-gastric bypass – 60-80% You'll find that weight loss for both a bypass and sleeve gastrectomy is relatively immediate and very quick in the first six to nine months and then starts to stabilise between 12 to 18 months. It’s really important to understand all the changes that have to be made for surgery to be successful, it’s all about long term changes to your lifestyle and the way you eat. If you don’t change your habits surgery will not work effectively for you.
  • Which surgery should I have?
    Whichever surgery is right for you as directed by your medical team and your own research. Do not rely solely on what one person says, read up on each option, look for testimonials from patients, identify what you concerns are and discuss, discuss, discuss – this is life changing surgery do not take it lightly. Sleeve Gastrectomy also known as a gastric sleeve A sleeve gastrectomy is where a large part of the stomach is removed so it's much smaller than it was before. This means you cannot eat as much as you could before surgery and you'll feel full sooner. Gastric bypass A gastric bypass is where surgical staples are used to create a small pouch at the top of the stomach. The pouch is then connected to your small intestine, missing out (bypassing) the rest of the stomach. Mini gastric bypass This has been developed as a simplified version of a gastric bypass, hence having lower surgical risks but with similar weight loss possibilities What’s important is that you think long and hard about why you want surgery and how you want that journey to pan out. It’s hard work and forever, not a quick fix, a lifelong adjustment but a journey to a new you. If you want to talk about surgery as an option, you can click here for contact details and we can help to signpost you to the information and the services that can help. We are here to help you each step of the way.
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