Article explaining what bariatric surgery is and highlighting the differences between the procedures

What is bariatric surgery?

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Bariatric surgery is an umbrella term for a variety of procedures performed on people who are obese. The main bariatric procedures in the UK are the laparoscopic gastric band (or lap band), gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, ESG (non-surgical sleeve) and gastric balloon.

Some bariatric surgery procedures are more intrusive than others; for example, the gastric band works by placing a small silicone band around the top of the stomach creating a small pouch above it. This smaller stomach is what encourages weight loss, whereas the gastric sleeve, gastric bypass end ESG help you lose weight by altering gut hormones.

The gastric band is the only weight loss procedure that is fully reversible, the other procedures require a greater change to internal anatomy thus cannot be reversed. However, with the gastric sleeve and ESG, future revision options are preserved, for example, sleeve to bypass revision surgery.

Long-term studies show that bariatric surgery causes significant long-term weight loss, is effective in suppressing and even reversing weight-related health problems such as type II diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnoea, and can increase life expectancy by many years.

Some procedures require a higher BMI to be eligible. The gastric band and ESG (non-surgical sleeve) require a minimum BMI of 30, whereas if your BMI is over 35, you are eligible for all of the weight loss procedures that we offer.

It’s important to note that bariatric surgery is a tool that helps you lose weight, the best results come when you work with your procedure by eating the right foods, getting ample exercise and maintaining mental wellbeing. Losing weight is a journey that requires your commitment, it’s when people understand this that we see the most incredible transformations.

Changing lives through bariatric surgery

At Healthier Weight, we have been helping people take control of their weight for over 17 years. We have world-renowned surgeons carrying out life-changing weight loss procedures at clinics all over the UK. Our vision is to develop and deliver lifelong weight loss solutions to help people manage their weight and improve their health and quality of life.

We have helped thousands of people discover a happier, healthier and longer life through bariatric surgery. In 2020 alone, Healthier weight patients waved goodbye to over 1000 stone in weight. We’ve witnessed people start a family, live without pain they’ve suffered with for years, follow their dream career and so much more.

We help people lose weight. It’s all we’ve ever done and it’s all we’ll ever do. We publish our outcomes and the results speak for themselves; Healthier Weight patients who had their procedure in the first 6 months of 2020 have lost on average 44% of their excess BMI – an astonishing figure and will only increase over time.

It’s through excellent weight loss results, unrivalled aftercare and lifetime support that makes us the most trusted bariatric surgery provider in the UK. We actively collect reviews and are proud to be rated ‘excellent’ out of over 700 on Trustpilot, you can read our reviews here.

Bariatric surgery on the NHS

Statistics published in January 2021 have revealed that around three-quarters of people aged 45-74 in England are overweight or obese, yet the number of bariatric procedures done on the NHS remains 20% lower today than it was in 2011/12. So, as the obesity epidemic continues to get worse, why are fewer procedures taking place each year?

This comes down to several factors but perhaps the biggest reason, which has been massively highlighted by COVID-19, is that the NHS needs to direct its resources to those patients who need it most. While the NHS is fast becoming focused on emergency care and cancer treatments, bariatric surgery is becoming more and more elective, this is proven by the latest statistics.

This means that while the obesity epidemic in the UK continues to grow, the NHS is likely to carry on pushing weight loss surgery further down its list of priorities. We have published on this topic extensively, you can read a blog around weight loss surgery on the NHS here.

Never has the NHS experienced as much pressure as what the coronavirus pandemic has brought. And although vaccines are rolling out at a higher rate in the UK than in the rest of Europe, the damage done by COVID-19 will take some time to recover from. The graph below shows the rise in NHS waiting lists as a result of the pandemic.

If you’re looking to skip the NHS queue and take back control of your weight, we’re here to help you. We offer free consultations from the comfort of your own home where you can speak with a surgeon to find the surgical or non-surgical solution that’s right for you. Fill in the form below to get your quote.

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    Last review: 19/03/2021. All content on this page is reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team lead by Mr Rishi Singhal.

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    Rishi Singhal

    Rishi is an expert bariatric surgeon based in the West Midlands and also Medical Director at Healthier Weight

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