Stomach Surgery Regulations

Stomach Surgery Regulations

Using stomach surgery as a way to help treat obesity is a common procedure in the UK and it is becoming more popular as the overall weight problem in Britain rises. There are different kinds of surgical procedure that can be used as a way to reduce weight and the kind of operation that is carried out will be decided on in a consultancy between you and your surgeon.

There are stomach surgery regulations in place in the UK that mean that not everyone overweight is eligible for surgery. You must match the criteria set to be considered for surgery and even then it is used as a last resort.

Meeting the criteria for stomach surgery

Stomach surgery regulations have been set in place by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). The guidelines laid out were done so in 2002 and state that only a person that is morbidly obese can undergo surgery.

These guidelines were originally set for the NHS but most of the private hospitals and clinics that offer weight loss surgery will adhere to them. To be classed as morbidly obese and therefore eligible for surgery it is required that the person has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40; there are certain exemptions in the case of anyone with a BMI of over 35 and that is that they have an obesity related illness such as Type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. People with a BMI over 35 and a related disease are considered for treatment on the grounds that losing weight can have a positive impact on the disease.

Surgery on patients with a BMI over 35-40 will only be considered after all other diet plans have failed, a gastric balloon may also be tried before any surgical procedure. In cases where the person has a BMI of over 50 then surgery will be considered the first line of treatment.

General regulations to be met

Stomach surgery regulations set out by NICE require that the patient meets the following requirements as-well as being classed morbidly obese:

  • The patient has a minimum age of 18. Some hospitals and clinic may also have restrictions on any patient over the age of 60.
  • The patient has tried all other available alternative treatments and diet plans that are non-surgical and these alternatives have failed.
  • The patient has been undergoing treatment in a specialist obesity clinic based in a local hospital
  • The patient has no physiological or metabolic reasons that have trigged obesity
  • The patient is fit enough to undergo surgery and have anaesthetic
  • The patient understands that following surgery they must meet all aftercare appointments with doctors, dieticians, physiologists and any other healthcare professionals. These appointments are likely to be over a long-term basis.

Stomach surgery regulations also state that the patient undergoing surgery agrees to make a permanent commitment to change diet and lifestyle accordingly following surgery. Diet and lifestyle plans must be followed or any method of bariatric surgery that is carried out is likely to fail.