‘What’s Up Doc’ is a health column in association with The Crawley Observer, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions regarding general health and wellbeing.
Answers are provided weekly from our specialist consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Surrey. If it’s a long-standing illness or simply a worry which you would like to get off your mind then we would like to help.
This question appeared in The Crawley Observer, to readers across Surrey and Sussex. The question and answer is below, as it appeared in the newspaper.
Read the response by Mr Simon Monkhouse, consultant upper GI & bariatric surgeon:
I’m looking into having a gastric band, my friend has one already but I don’t think it’s for me, as it can be seen as cheating with the loosening and tightening. What are the other weight loss options you can provide? Also what are the time scales for the procedures, as I wish to have a new image by the summer? Annabel, Reigate.
Dear Annabel, thanks for your question. We offer a new weight loss surgical service at the Spire Gatwick Park and are proud of our setup and unique long term support package. There are three other procedures, in addition to the gastric band, that are offered. A gastric bypass is a keyhole operation where the stomach is made smaller and the bowels are “re-plumbed”. This results in excellent but safe weight loss and can totally reverse diabetes. You will need to take daily multivitamins after this procedure for life and have annual blood tests.
A sleeve gastrectomy is an operation that removes two thirds of the stomach and leaves the remaining stomach as a long tube. It is less involved than a bypass but the weight loss may be slightly lower. Multivitamins are again advised. A gastric balloon, is a 500ml spherical balloon that is placed in the stomach to make you feel full quickly. This is done via a swallowed telescope. It is effective and 10-15kg weight loss could be achieved. However, it has to be removed after six months so is a short term option. All surgical procedures need to be discussed in detail with you so you can understand the short and long term implications. Before you get to the surgical part, you will be seen by a team of professionals including a dietician, a nurse specialist and a psychotherapist in addition to a surgeon who will fully assess you to make sure you are ready and suitable for surgery. Our guiding principles are patient safety with long term support.
In terms of timelines, I run weekday evening clinics at Gatwick Park so could see you at your convenience. If the team think you are the right candidate for surgery and are fully informed and committed, then we could be talking about surgery within three to four weeks. I hope this is helpful for you.