Duodenal Switch on the NHS

With any surgery on the NHS you will be considered on a case by case basis, meaning every aspect of your health will be taken into consideration. This is to ensure your safety and suitability for the surgery, The NHS follow guidelines set out by NICE (The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) and you must show evidence of meeting all of the guidelines before you will be accepted for surgery. Your first step is to visit your GP who will assess these guidelines and consider whether it is worth referring you on to a clinic within the UK which deals with this type of surgery.


To be considered for a Duodenal Switch you will have to meet certain guidelines, these guidelines are:

  • A high BMI, generally above 40.
  • If your BMI is above 35 and you suffer from any type of health problem which weight loss could improve upon you will be considered. Health problems such as Type 2 Diabetes, Heart problems, Severe Asthma, and High Blood Pressure, amongst others can be an influencing factor.
  • You will need to demonstrate that in the past you have attempted weight loss through as many means possible, and that you consider surgery as a last resort.
  • You will as well need to demonstrate the motivation and right attitude toward dealing with such a drastic lifestyle change.

These are the 4 main requirements, and each individuals request for surgery will be considered in depth. If you meet all of the requirements above you will have an opportunity for surgery covered by the National Health Service.

I Meet The Requirements, What Should I Do Now?

Firstly you will need to visit your GP; they will then refer you to a hospital which deals with this type of surgery. Once referred, your case will be assessed by the institution and by several other organisations; this is to ensure your safety throughout, and obviously to ensure that the Duodenal Switch procedure is the best for you. This could be a lengthy process and often sees people on a waiting list for a substantial amount of time. Once all organisations are satisfied that you meet the specific requirements you will then be placed on a list to receive funding. As funding is shared out on a yearly basis between hospitals, you may again be required to wait a substantial amount of time, this is due to the fact that the funding is limited across the UK and hospitals need to ensure they are sharing the funding out equally and at the correct time, to reduce the risk of running out of funding. You will need to prepare yourself for a wait time if you are having surgery on the NHS, you will be provided with the exact figure from the hospital, as the wait can vary across all regions of the UK.

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