Obesity - Surgery 

Surgery for obesity 

Weight loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, is used as a last resort to treat people who are dangerously obese (carrying an abnormally excessive amount of body fat).

This type of surgery is only available on the NHS to treat people with potentially life-threatening obesity that will not respond to non-surgical treatments, such as lifestyle changes.

Potentially life-threatening obesity is defined as:

  • having a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above
  • having a BMI of 35 or above and having another serious health condition that could be improved if you lose weight, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure

Read more about weight loss surgery.

Page last reviewed: 05/03/2012

Next review due: 05/03/2014

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The 3 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Liljay said on 13 February 2014

I am now 18 an have been super obese since I was 10 I have been sexually abused and I always wondered if I could qualify for getting the weight lose surgery.. My grandparents had diabetes and I have also got pcos.. Ever since I was a used I turned to food as I kept it a secret for so long I have tried diets and I am just returning to food I really want to better my Heath by losing weight but I find it very difficult...

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BigIsBack said on 09 November 2013

I have a BMI of 49 and I have been trying to lose weight for the last 20 years but with no success. My weight issue led to long term depression.
When ever I go to my GP to get help I get turned away with no much help which made me lose faith in Health Care all together.
Last time I insisted on my GP to help me with weight issue then he referred me to Weigh Ahead programme in Sheffield by my GP to get help with my weight.
When I discussed surgical options with the Weigh Ahead nurse she told me that I have to have a BMI of above 50 and have other health complications.
Later on I discovered that to be eligible for surgical help you have to have a BMI of 40 (according to NHS).

I believe that the NHS is trying to cut down expenses which eventually led to lower Health Care quality.

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bengaliqueen said on 13 March 2013

I have high blood pressure and I have type 2 diabetes, I applied for a gastric by pass but I was rejected despite ,I lost both of my parents at the age of 48 and 50, both had diabetes, heart attack. I am over weight I have tried everything diets, aqua berry, atkins diet, pills you name it. nothing worked on me, so the last result was this gastric by pass, my friend had it done and now looks really good. So was a bit gutted when I was rejected, saying no funding, but people with less problem then me had their operation because they where based in redbridge area, My doctor is based in leyton as I live in redbridge but the the dr in leyton been a family dr for years and I have been advised to change and come to redbridge so I can get the operation done. why should I change my dr to have this done. By see my condition I should have been selected. I want to live and not die early like my parents. I am trying so much but the nhs have failed me.

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