Weight loss surgery: giving you your life back

If you have tried other ways to lose weight, but have not been successful, weight loss surgery may be the solution for you. Weight loss surgery (also known as obesity surgery or bariatric surgery) in the form of gastric bypass, gastric balloongastric sleeve or gastric banding may be the solution for you. Spire Healthcare offers safe and effective weight loss surgery at 32 of its hospitals throughout the UK.

Research suggests that weight loss surgery (also known as bariatric surgery) is a more clinically effective intervention for treating obesity in suitable people compared with non-surgical options such as weight loss drugs or diet¹.

Spire on weight loss surgery (bariatric or obesity surgery), different types of weight loss procedures, how surgery works and the risks and benefits of surgery

At a Spire Healthcare hospital, a team of experienced specialists, including a qualified consultant surgeon, physicians, dietitians and nurses will provide you with tailored treatment to help you lose weight. We consider your circumstances to give you the best possible chance of making the changes you want in your life – we’re with you all the way.

Are you considering weight loss surgery?

There are several different surgical techniques available that can be highly effective in helping people to lose a significant amount of their excess weight.

Weight loss surgery is recognised as an appropriate treatment for people who are morbidly obese by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

There are two main types of weight loss surgery:

  • Restrictive: where the size of the stomach is reduced using a band or staples so that only small meals can be eaten and you feel full sooner.

    Gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy and POSE (Primary Obesity Surgery, Endolumenal) are all examples of restrictive procedures.
  • Restrictive/malabsorptive: a combined approach, with some surgical restriction, plus bypassing of some of the digestive system so that food passes through the body without its calorie content being fully absorbed.

    Gastric bypass and duodenal switch are all examples of restrictive/malabsorptive procedures.

There are different benefits and risks for each of the different types of weight loss surgery. Although the type of procedure plays an important role in determining possible weight loss, so does your willingness to make lasting changes to your eating habits and lifestyle, to make the most of the opportunity that surgery offers.

At your Spire hospital your surgeon will be happy to discuss these issues with you in detail and will be able to explain his or her experience of providing weight loss surgery. You will also be supported by a team of experienced, qualified physicians, dietitians and specialist nurses.

How surgery treats obesity

Weight loss surgery helps to reduce the amount of food that can be eaten at one time and some weight loss procedures also change the digestive system so that fewer calories are absorbed from the food you eat. This makes it likely that you end up with a shortage of calories over what is needed as fuel for day-to-day activity. To compensate for this deficit, the body begins to use stores of fat that have built up over the years as a source of energy. As this fat is burnt up, your weight begins to fall.

Is weight loss surgery the right solution for you?

Your consultant will discuss all the options with you. Weight loss surgery may be a solution for you if:

  • your weight is putting your health at serious risk. This is known as ‘morbid obesity’ and corresponds to a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40kg/m²
  • you have a BMI of 35 – 40 kg/m² and a medical condition that could be improved by losing weight
    and if
  • you have tried losing weight in other ways
  • you are aged 18 or over
  • you are fit enough to undergo surgery and an anaesthetic
  • there are no specific medical or psychological reasons why you shouldn’t have this type of surgery
  • you understand that you’ll need ongoing follow-up care from healthcare professionals2.

Risks and benefits

Surgery isn’t a quick and easy answer to weight loss and it does involve some risk. The most effective procedures are major operations that change the way your digestive system works and sometimes further surgery is needed. Your consultant surgeon will be able to advise you on the specific risks and benefits involved with each procedure.

Overall, the risks from surgery are thought to be outweighed by the benefits for suitable patients. Research has shown that after surgery most people have an improved quality of life and reduced risk from medical conditions that are related to morbid obesity.

Take your first step towards weight loss and your improved lifestyle

Whilst this website provides you with much of the information you need about your choices to lose weight, it cannot replace direct personal advice from weight loss surgery specialists: surgeons, dieticians and nurses. We offer free weight loss surgery information events to help provide the information you need. We want to help you make the decision that’s right for you.

Call your local Spire hospital or complete our enquiry form for more details.

1 Some weight loss surgery procedures may be available to privately funded patients with a BMI less than 35 kg/m².
2 Obesity: guidance on the prevention, identification, assessment and management of overweight and obesity in adults and children, National Institute for Clinical Excellence, London: 2010..

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Useful links

British Obesity Surgery Patient Association

Weight-loss surgery information

Allergan website (supplier of gastric bands)

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)