Is it right for you?

Is surgery right for you

Deciding on weight loss surgery is not an easy decision. It is a major operation, even when it is done using keyhole surgery, and you need to be aware of the risks and complications.

You must have realistic expectations and be willing to change your lifestyle and eating habits for good. If you cannot commit to this, there is a real risk that your weight loss will be disappointing.

When you lose weight, your body will change, and you may have excess skin on arms, tummy, and legs. For ladies it is important that to realise that the breasts will reduce in size and sometimes become saggy. These problems can be addressed with plastic surgery once the weight loss has stabilised. We provide an in house plastic surgery service run by Mr Jeremy Hurren, BSc MBBS FRCS(Plast).

Possible risks and complications

As with any operation, weight loss surgery has certain risks, including:

  • Bleeding or bruising
  • Infection
  • Leaks (Mr Van den Bossche’s leak rate for weight loss surgery is less than 0.4%)
  • Breathing problems, including pneumonia.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
  • Need for removal of the spleen
  • Postoperative vomiting
  • Incisional hernia
  • Small bowel obstruction
  • Death (Mr Van den Bossche’s mortality rate is 0%)
  • Unexpected allergic reactions to drugs used for anaesthesia.

Qualifying for surgery

Surgery is not for everyone and, before undertaking it, you must have already tried to lose weight through dieting and other means.

You need to have either a BMI of 40 or more – or a BMI between 35 and 40 plus a serious health problem such as high blood pressure or diabetes. In exceptional circumstances you may need to undergo a psychological evaluation.

But medical studies show that patients with a BMI between 30 and 35 do much better after weight loss surgery than with dieting. Therefore, we will also consider these patients for weight loss surgery.

Realistic expectations

Weight loss surgery should  help you lose more than half your excess body weight. As well as curing or improving certain health problems there can be considerable cosmetic benefits, though weight loss surgery is not done for cosmetic reasons.

This surgery is intended to be permanent, but you must commit to changing your lifestyle and eating habits.

It will take some time for you to shed the extra weight. Most weight is lost gradually during the first 12 months after surgery, and the speed with which weight is lost will vary from person to person. Not everyone loses all their excess weight but all patients become healthier thanks the weight loss they achieve.