Gastric Bypass on the NHS


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Weight loss surgery on the NHS requires that you meet a specific number of guidelines set out by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), these guidelines ensure that everyone considered for Gastric Bypass surgery is a suitable candidate, and that there will be no unnecessary risks once accepted for surgery.

NHS Requirements for a Gastric Bypass

You will in most cases need to be referred for assessment by your GP and many hospitals which carry out the procedures will want their patients to have this referral before consideration for surgery can go ahead.

One of the main requirements for approval for weight loss surgery is that you will have a BMI of 40 or over. You can also be considered for surgery if your BMI is between 35 and 40 and it can be proved that after surgery any existing medical conditions you may have can be improved. The types of medical conditions the surgery can affect are Type 2 Diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, infertility and sleep apnea to name a few. The next requirement you will need to meet is to ensure that you can provide evidence that in the past you have attempted to lose weight through all means possible and that in these attempts you have been unsuccessful. Another guideline you must meet is you must demonstrate an attitude that shows you will be able to handle a complete change to your lifestyle, you must understand that the procedure will not be a quick fix to your problems, you will have to work on your weight loss with dedication through a change of diet and a strict exercise regime. Finally the last requirement you must meet is that medically and physically you will need to be fit enough for surgery, to ensure minimum complications occur.

Getting Accepted on the NHS

Specific hospitals across the country deal with Gastric Bypass surgery and to be referred to one of these you will need to consult with your GP who will assess the situation and refer you to one of these hospitals, if the closest hospital to you is outside of your county, you GP may need to consult another GP in that area to support your application at that counties hospital. All applications for weigh loss surgery are considered on a case-by-case basis, and are considered by more than one person. Your GP will often refer to you a hospital and your case will be reviewed by the NHS trust as well as by the Primary Care Trust, they will consider all aspects of your case and will assess as to whether you are a suitable candidate to receive NHS funding.

Receiving Funding

If your case is successful and you are accepted for NHS funding, you may have to wait a certain amount of time before your procedure can be completed, this will vary due to your location and method of bypass surgery you will be receiving. As there are only specific institutions which perform this type of weight loss surgery it will be difficult for you to receive surgery fast, these hospitals only receive a certain amount of funding per year. The funding each hospital receives has to be shared out over the year and means that only a select number of people can receive the funding, sometimes there are problems with funding running out toward the end of the year. If you are accepted toward the end of the year, on occasions it has been known that you may face a wait until the following year whilst your nearest hospital awaits its following years funding.


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