Harley Street Weight Loss Surgery Clinics


Although Harley Street clinics offer liposuction, there are other ways to lose excess weight, and these are also covered. Typically weight loss clinics attempt to offer a relatively steady solution to weight loss, resulting in more permanent results than a liposuction cosmetic fix. There are numerous procedures for weight loss available at Harley Street.

Gastric band

A gastric band is a silicone band which is placed around the upper part of the stomach. It is fitted using keyhole surgery; tiny incisions are made and then an endoscopic tube is inserted. Next the gastric band is carefully fitted and locked in position. The incisions are then stitched up. Generally the operation takes about an hour and an overnight stay is required. A pouch is created above the band which then regulates the amount of food that can pass through to the stomach, and also makes the patient full much quicker. It is possible to adjust the gastric band at intervals in order to further the treatment.

Gastric bypass

Though there are several types of gastric bypass available, by far the most common in the UK is RYGB (aka Roux-en-Y). In the operation a part of the upper stomach is stapled off, preventing food entering this area. The small intestine is then partially reconstructed to reduce the calorie absorption from food. This operation takes approximately two hours and the patient is required to stay overnight a maximum of three nights. Unlike a gastric band, gastric bypass is a permanent means of weight loss and requires no adjustment.

Sleeve gastrectomy

This procedure works by removing two-thirds of the stomach, thereby greatly reducing its size, and leaving a smaller stomach in the shape of a sleeve. This greatly decreases the amount of food the stomach can take in and as a consequence fewer calories are absorbed. Much like a gastric bypass is a permanent operation with long-term effects. Typically an operation takes around two hours and the patient is required to stay in hospital for up to three nights. It can result in the loss of 50% of body fat within two years. Although a new technique, Harley Street surgeons are always at the forefront of the latest medical procedures and are able to offer some of the most tested and effective gastrectomy treatment available worldwide.

Gastric balloon

For those who do not qualify for other types of weight surgery due to a lower BMI (gastric balloons are generally offered to patients with a BMI ranging from 27 – 35), a gastric balloon operation is available. In the operation the patient is first sedated, and then a balloon is inserted into the stomach by keyhole surgery. It is then inflated with either saline (salt water) or air, depending on the doctor’s diagnosis of the best option for the patient. This decreases the patient’s appetite and the amount of food that can fit in the stomach. The patient must stay in hospital overnight. It is possible to deflate and remove the balloon at any point, although typically it remains in place for six months.  After this period the individual is generally expected to have become accustomed to the lower food intake and the balloon is no longer necessary, but the surgeon will decide whether or not this is the case.


Typical complications of any weight loss operation include infection and organ damage. Furthermore, if the weight loss occurs too quickly, the patient risks the development of gallstones. As the gastric band is a reversible procedure, it is generally less risky than other operations. However the band can slip out of place or come through the stomach wall, necessitating another operation to correct or remove the band. Such a problem can lead to some of the other complications. Gastric bypass is a riskier procedure. Not only is it not reversible but the nature of the operation makes complications more probable. There may also be an initial bowel leak at the point where the small intestine is rejoined to the stomach; this will require additional surgery. Sleeve gastrectomy is a relatively new procedure and as such its potential risks are greater. These include, in addition to the common complications, bleeding, marginal ulcers (at the join between the small intestine and stomach), deep vein thrombosis (DVT – the formation of a blood clot in a vein deep in the body), and even heart and pulmonary problems. Furthermore there is a considerable risk of osteoporosis, leading to a higher risk of fracture in the bones; most complications are however very rare. The gastric balloon is less risky as it can be deflated and removed at any time, but it still carries a few potential risks.

Advantages of Harley Street weight loss

Although there is a plethora of potential risks involved with weight loss surgery, the skill and technology used by Harley Street surgeons in Harley Street clinics helps make the probability of a patient’s suffering low. Doctors are knowledgeable about what constitutes a healthy amount of weight to lose and will perform the procedure, as well as direct the patient’s future eating regime, as appropriate to attaining the best and safest results. In the initial consultation the doctor will also explain to the patient all the risks and ensure that both parties are happy to undertake the operation.

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