Feb2022

Patient BlogWeight Loss SurgeryNHS Weight Loss Surgery: 5 Cons

Obesity is a serious and complex medical condition that can lead to many other health issues and result in an overall deterioration of a patient’s wellbeing if left untreated. Living with the baggage of excess weight can be difficult and affect every aspect of your life. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that more and more people are interested in what bariatric medicine has to offer. There are many effective methods to lose weight, ranging from weight loss diets and exercise routines to weight loss surgeries. But where can you get the help you need?

If you live in the UK, you probably automatically assume that the NHS is your best bet for treating all types of health issues. And while it’s true that the vast majority of health problems can be solved with the help from your GP and the specialists they refer you to, treating obesity on the NHS is not always the easiest and quickest way. Unfortunately, the demand for weight loss surgery is simply too high for the system’s capabilities.

Obesity in the UK – How Common Is This Problem?

While many people still tend to underestimate the seriousness of obesity and perceive it as the result of laziness or the effect of a sedentary lifestyle combined with excessive calorie consumption, from the medical point of view, it’s one of the most pressing health issues in the country. According to the data gathered during the 2019 Health Survey for England, obesity is observed in as many as 28% of adults, with a further 36.2% being overweight. And the results from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) for England for the 2020/21 school year show a similar trend – obesity among children aged 4-5 years stands at 14.4% and 25.5% for those aged 10-11. Unfortunately, even though obesity can be avoided by introducing preventive methods early on, these numbers are still on the rise, and the speed of this increase has actually accelerated considerably as a result of the pandemic.

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Why Weight Loss Surgery on the NHS May Not Be the Possible Option for You?

Qualifying for Weight Loss Surgery Can Be Difficult

While surgeries such as gastric band surgery, gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy are available as NHS treatments, qualifying for them is not as straightforward as being diagnosed with obesity. The NHS criteria for weight loss surgery in accordance with the NICE guidelines include, e.g.:

  • having a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or over 35 for patients who suffer from other health conditions affected by their obesity,
  • not managing to lose weight by implementing other weight loss methods such as dieting and exercising,
  • getting medical approval from a specialist to undergo surgery under general anaesthetic.

It’s important to point out that these criteria are not limited solely to the NHS funded treatments, and meeting them is required to qualify for weight loss surgery in a private clinic as well. However, there is a difference between these two cases because the availability of bariatric surgeries on the NHS is often further limited. How? Even though the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued precise guidelines on which patients should be able to access bariatric treatment, local Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) often restrict access to surgical weight loss methods by introducing tighter criteria. This means that in many parts of the UK, it can be more difficult for obese patients to qualify for weight loss surgery on the NHS.

Waiting Lists for NHS Weight Loss Surgery Are Long

Even for patients who meet the NHS criteria and qualify for weight loss surgery, it often can take months or even years before they can actually undergo the procedure. Before you can be approved for weight loss surgery by a bariatric surgeon, you will most likely have several appointments with specialists and many tests. It’s also possible that you’ll be asked to take part in an alternative weight loss programme first.

Not All Methods of Treating Obesity Are Equally Effective

While there’s no denying that the NHS provides high-quality medical care, public hospitals often have limited resources when it comes to introducing the newest technologies and innovative surgical techniques. Especially when it comes to very specialised branches of medicine such as weight loss surgery, NHS is not always the best choice. Choosing private care instead, e.g., specialised obesity clinic abroad such as KCM Clinic in Poland, you can access the most effective bariatric treatments and weight loss surgeries performed in accordance with the highest international standards.

You Must Adjust Your Everyday Life to Available Dates and Options

The problem of limited availability of weight loss surgeries on the NHS means that patients don’t really have the luxury of planning their appointments and treatment dates around their usual schedule and other plans. When the waiting list is so long, for many people booking the nearest possible date becomes the main goal and this often means rescheduling other appointments and taking days off work to take care of their health problems.

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Why Is Bariatric Surgery in Poland the Best Alternative to the NHS Weight Loss Surgery?

Over the years, at KCM Clinic, we’ve helped a huge number of patients from the UK in their battle against excessive kilograms. Our team consists of experienced professionals and medical specialists who provide the best bariatric treatments possible. With us, you can count on innovative methods and full support every step of the way. Don’t wait to get the body of your dreams, improve your health and book your appointment without having to wait for months. Learn more about our methods and results, or contact us with your questions.