Surgical weight loss

Weight loss (bariatric) surgery in the UK is being undertaken more and more frequently and has been shown to result in sustained, significant weight loss.

Not only that, but surgery has been shown to help significantly in reversing such obesity-related illnesses as diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnoea. The most common weight loss procedures we perform are:

Gastric banding

Gastric banding

A gastric band is an adjustable silicone device that is placed surgically around the top of the stomach. The band is attached to a piece of tubing that is connected to a small port. The port can be accessed with a needle and water can be injected into the band to alter the pressure on the nerves at the top of the stomach.

The procedure to place the gastric band is performed under a general anaesthetic and is normally performed laparoscopically ('keyhole surgery') usually involving a one night stay in hospital.

The idea of the band is to encourage an eating pattern that allows small portions of food to pass into the part of the stomach above the band (the so called 'pouch') which will then pass into the rest of the stomach causing a small stretch of the part of the stomach that is in contact with the band. This 'stretch' of the stomach sends signals to the brain that induces satiety – ie, tells you that you have had enough to eat. Patients will then tend to feel less hungry and therefore eat smaller portions than they did before.

On average patients will lose 40-50% of their excess weight over a two year period.

Gastric bypass

Gastric bypass

The gastric bypass is an operation that reduces the size of the stomach and creates a new join between the new stomach 'pouch' and the small bowel. Not only does this decrease the capacity of the stomach but it also allows food to enter a part of the digestive tract (the small bowel) much quicker than before.

This induces a change in a number of important digestive hormones that control hunger and satiety ('fullness') and also affects the way cells respond to insulin. The result is that patients do not feel hungry as much as before, they feel fuller quicker and they maintain much better control of their blood sugars (often reversing the effects of diabetes).

Like the gastric band, the procedure is performed under general anaesthetic normally using laparoscopic techniques. The size and position of the surgical incisions are almost identical to the gastric band operation, but it is longer procedure requiring specialist laparoscopic stapling devices that divide and join sections of bowel together. Patients generally stay in hospital for two to three nights.

Patients will typically lose around 60-70% of their excess weight over a two year period, often with a 'rapid weight loss' period for the first six months post-operatively. All obesity-related medical conditions improve after the surgery, but perhaps most strikingly it is the remission of diabetes that has the most beneficial impact.

Sleeve gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy

During a sleeve gastrectomy a large portion of the stomach is stapled and removed, leaving behind a stomach 'tube' (rather than a normal 'sac' shaped stomach). This has a number of effects not only due to the decreased capacity of the stomach, but also as this allows faster transit of food into the small bowel (similar to, but not quite as effective, as the gastric bypass).

Patients will generally stay in hospital for two to three nights and will typically lose between 50-60% of their excess weight over a two year period.

Gastric Band Rescue Service

We also provide a comprehensive gastric band adjustment service or 'a rescue service' to patients who have had a gastric band inserted elsewhere and are experiencing difficulties or unable to access after care.