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What is weight loss surgery?

  • Weight loss surgery, sometimes called bariatric surgery, is a treatment for people who are severely obese. It makes the stomach smaller so it feels fuller sooner and less food is eaten.
  • The main types of weight loss surgery are gastric bypass, gastric band, gastric balloon and sleeve gastrectomy.
  • To be considered for NHS weight loss surgery you'll usually need a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more and have tried to lose weight through a healthy diet, exercise and medicine.
  • You'll also need to agree to lifestyle and diet changes and regular check-ups after surgery.
  • You'll have the operation in hospital and usually go home 1 to 3 days after surgery. Recovery time is usually 4 to 6 weeks.

Find out more about losing weight through a healthy diet and exercise.

Page last reviewed: 5 February 2024
Next review due: 5 February 2027