Dear doctor, how do I know if I qualify for weight loss surgery and what are the risks?

26 September 2017

Q: I am overweight which has been affecting my quality of life for years, often feeling out of breath, tired and wanting to isolate myself from others. I’m worried for my health. How do I know if I qualify for weight loss surgery and what are the risks?

A: Many patients do become isolated and suffer from problems like depression as a direct result of the effects of being significantly overweight.

It is also common to experience shortness of breath and tiredness when you carry significant amounts of excess weight. This can impact many of your body systems and raise concern for your health as various medical conditions can develop such as; diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. All of which are associated with being seriously overweight.

Weight loss surgery has been proven to help with all of these problems and significantly improve health, as well as life expectancy. For example, two thirds of diabetic patients will no longer have to take diabetic medicines and half of patients who had experienced some functional impairment will return to a state of no impairment - meaning they will be able to climb three flights of stairs. 

The benefits can extend to the whole friends and family circle as the halo effect of losing weight can motivate others to change their own eating habits.

Women of an average height may be eligible for weight loss surgery if their weight is around 15 stone with medical problems, or around 16 stone with or without medical problems. Men are eligible if they have an average height and weight of 17-20 stone.

You can find out more information or ask any questions you might have at one of our free weight loss surgery information evenings.

Mr Nick Carter is a Consultant Laparoscopic Upper GI & Bariatric Surgeon practising at Spire Portsmouth Hospital.

The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health care professional.




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