Who Needs Stomach Surgery

Who Needs Stomach Surgery

Surgical operations in the UK are carried out in their thousands each year; despite this, surgery is always the last resort treatment to any problem. Anyone who needs stomach surgery will first undergo consultations and alternative methods of treatment before the step is taken to operate. There are many different types of people that may need surgery and the condition of the individual will determine whether or not they do.

People suffering with obesity

Obesity is a growing problem in the UK and the number of people suffering from weight problems is constantly on the rise. Bad dieting and lack of exercise is a leading cause of obesity and in some cases, surgery is the only option. Doctors and GP’s trying to find out who needs stomach surgery in regards to obesity will need to first determine the weight of the patient.

Anyone with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 50 will automatically be eligible for surgery as the first line of treatment in the guidelines set out by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). A BMI over 50 is considered a serious health risk and surgery is a must. Any patient with a BMI of over 40 will also be eligible for surgery although, unlike those with the over 50 BMI, surgery is not the first option. Patients with a BMI over 40 will be put on a diet plan as the first alternative to surgery, if the diet plan has failed then a gastric balloon can be used to partially fill the stomach and make the patient feel full up quicker when eating. If the gastric balloon has also failed then the last option will be surgery which will work to reduce the size of the stomach.

A patient with a BMI of 35 and over and with an existing health problem such as diabetes or high blood pressure will also be eligible for surgery although alternative methods will be tried first.

People suffering from stomach ulcers

A doctor deciding who needs stomach surgery on a stomach ulcer will need to determine how severe the ulcer is. Doctors will use a thin, flexible telescope that is passed through the throat and into the stomach; the telescope will allow the doctor to pick up on any inflammation and ulcers. A stomach ulcer will usually be cured through the use of acid supressing medication over a number of weeks, the need for surgery will only be required if the ulcer has developed a complication that has caused bleeding.

People suffering from hernias

The severity of a hernia may require surgery if it has begun to cause obstruction in the bowel and/or interrupting the blood supply to the herniated tissue. Surgery will depend on:

  • Location of the hernia
  • Content if the hernia
  • Symptoms of the hernia

 There are hundreds of thousands of people each year who need stomach surgery to remove a hernia; however there are also many that cause no symptoms and require no operation.