Frequently Asked Questions
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It may not necessarily be a bad thing, however research has shown that obese individuals have a lower average life expectancy of approximately 9 years for an adult female and 12 years for an adult male, than their normal weight counterparts. This is largely due to the effect of obesity on the body, which can affect anywhere from the head to the toes. Some of the common obesity-related illnesses are Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea. Of course there can also be quality of life issues such as lack of mobility, low self-esteem and decreased social interaction which some obese individuals suffer from.
This is measured by the percentage of weight lost above an ideal BMI (excess weight). You would expect to lose anywhere between 50-80% of your excess weight depending on the type of intervention and your compliance with the intervention.
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The most suitable weight loss intervention for you will depend on your BMI and medical history. If your BMI is over 25, then you should consider weight loss strategies. At a BMI above 30, one is considered obese and above 35 with an associated obesity-related medical condition you would qualify for weight loss surgery. However, if the BMI is 40 or higher, surgery is generally considered the option which will give you a greater and more sustained weight loss than conventional treatment such as dieting, exercise or medication. At a BMI of 40 or above, you would qualify for surgery regardless of any medical conditions.
Our best priced packages all inclusive of unlimited follow up are £4495 band (1 year), £8950 sleeve and £9450 bypass for BMI less than 50. These are some of the best priced packages in the UK and uniquely in Kent where the provision of weight loss surgery is limited.
Unlike overseas prices these package fully cover for any unforeseen circumstances such as blood transfusions, admission to intensive care or re-operations.
In the UK, weight loss surgery is performed at several regional NHS hospitals which are commissioned by the Department of Health to provide this service. Each hospital is commissioned to provide a maximum number of these operations per year. Generally, individuals with a higher BMI and multiple medical conditions are referred for surgery. However, almost all individuals approaching their GP will need to go through a weight loss program and pscyho-therapy for a variable period of time before being referred for consideration of surgery on the NHS. This process is highly variable depending on where you live and the amount of NHS funding available for surgery locally. Timing from first consultation to surgery can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years and surgery is not guaranteed.
There are also multiple private providers throughout the UK who accept self-referring patients. It is always advisable to let your GP know your plans even if you decide to have weight loss surgery in the private sector.
This is entirely normal and is probably the first sensation you will have of “restriction”. All these operations work to reduce your capacity to eat by restricting the volume of the stomach or creating a small pouch which will fill up quickly. Your normal inclination will be to consume food and drink at the same rate and volume as you did prior to surgery, however this quickly fills the small pouch and causes pressure which gives rise to discomfort and sometimes nausea or vomiting. Remember to eat and drink slowly allowing plenty of time for passage through the restricted part of stomach before having another mouthful.
Yes, all our packages include pre-operative consultation and post-operative follow up with a nutritionist. Whilst we try not to be prescriptive, diet sheets are available for those who would like guidance. It is possible to schedule a face-to-face or phone consultation according to convenience, whilst it is recommended that face-to-face consultations are more beneficial. Social interaction with individuals who have had surgery is also very beneficial in achieving targets.
It is generally recommended that all your medication should be in a crushable, chewable or liquid form prior to you having any weight loss procedure due to the smaller size of channel following surgery. Any of these forms is acceptable with your post-operative liquid diet and eventually all but the largest of tablets will be acceptable in the fullness of time. Make sure you speak to your GP about changing your medication prior to the surgery.
Generally, you should avoid sitting or sleeping for prolonged periods and push yourself to be generously mobile to avoid clots forming. Avoid any heavy lifting or strenous activity, as you may still be slightly weakened by the surgery. You should not drive during this period of time.
The rapid expansion of keyhole surgery to encompass weight loss procedures and its gradual development over many years means that surgery is now generally very safe. With any surgery there are general, albeit rare, complications such as bleeding, infection and clot formation in the legs or clots travelling to the lungs. Gastric balloons may very rarely rupture, bands may slip, erode or require tube changes due to infection or leakage. Sleeve and bypass operations may rarely be complicated by leakage. For a more detailed summary, please review the NBSR report which highlights the outcomes following surgery in the UK.
Yes, it would be covered within your package price. It is very rare that you would require an ITU bed and only if there is a complication (approximately 3 in 1000). In the unfortunate event that this is required as a result of surgery, depending on where you have had your surgery, you would be transferred to an appropriate ITU bed either in-hospital or into a local hospital with an ITU bed at no extra cost to you. Please consult your team for further information.
As with all weight loss surgery procedures, there is a 2 week pre-operative diet which must be adhered to, also known as a “liver shrinking” diet.This reduces the size of the liver, which needs to be moved out of the way, to enable the operation to be performed on the top part of the stomach. There are many variations of this diet, which all lead to the desired effect, so choose one that suits you following consultation with your provider.
The principle of a gastric sleeve is to restrict how much you are eating by creating a long narrow sleeve of stomach. Stretching it with a balloon would not help weight loss. Bands can be placed to surround the stomach pouch of a gastric bypass to enhance the mechanical restriction, however the same effect has not be theorized to help weight loss with a sleeve gastrectomy. Sleeve gastrectomies can be converted to a mini-bypass or full bypass if weight loss has plateaued. It is best to discuss all these options with the team providing treatment.
Revisional weight loss surgery is possible and is sometimes intentional if performed in a staged manner to reduce weight gently, as the result of high risk medical conditions or due to technical aspects. Individuals who have had previous weight loss surgery and successfully reduced their weight but would like to achieve more, especially if their weight has plateaued can undergo further surgery. Band and sleeve operations can be transformed into a gastric bypass, and individuals who have had bypass surgery can have bands around the stomach pouch. Please get in touch with the team for clinical review and advice.
All our clinics are Kent based and therefore surgery as well as all follow up is offered within the county. You have a choice of Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells or Cranbrook clinics. It is also possible to have surgery at one clinic and the follow up closer to home at another clinic. This is best discussed with the team when you arrive for your free appointment.
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Yes, we are able to offer band fills or defills for £100 per session. We also offer a one year aftercare package at £500 with unlimited fills or defills during the year for those that have their band inserted overseas or wish to have the reassurance of unlimited access to a local band adjustment service.
Laparoscopic (key hole) removal of a gastric band can be usually performed as a day case. However the band may have slipped or caused a gastric erosion which can only be detected when the operation is performed. In this case, to allow appropriate healing, it is likely that you will need to stay in the hospital for a longer period of time. The cost of band removal with a one night stay is £3500. The price for day case removal is less than this.
Weight loss surgery is only really considered for individuals with a BMI of 35 or above. However, recently due to the positive effect of weight loss on medical conditions such as diabetes, doctors have started considering performing surgery at a lower level of BMI. Gastric bands in particular are fully reversible with a relatively low surgical risk, which has prompted the Food and Drug Agency in the US to approve their use starting at a BMI 30. It is always best to consult a weight loss surgeon to address your needs and choose a weight loss operation which is suitable to your circumstances.
The band port lies underneath the skin and is injected in clinic with saline. A special needle is used which is longer, but as thin as a needle used for taking a blood sample. The discomfort is minimal and no more than would be expected from having a blood sample taken. Individuals vary in their sensitivity, however most people would agree that their anxiety was unnecessary after they have had the injection for the first time.
Because the band sits internally surrounding the top of the stomach, there is no sensory mechanism in that area as we know it. Sensations arising from the gut are due to muscle movement or distension of the pouch. In other words, you won’t feel the band tighten, but you will feel the effects of it tightening, otherwise known as “restriction”.
Yes, it is intended to be an endoscopic day case procedure, however due to the initial adjustment by the body to the effects of the balloon, it is advisable to spend one night in hospital to ensure that appropriate anti-sickness drugs are given and intra-venous fluids administered if oral intake of liquid is not adequate in the immediate post-insertion period.
Once you have decided on the procedure you will have, a pre-operation diet will be given to you, which you should follow for 2 weeks prior to your key hole weight loss surgery.
This rather strict 800-1000 calories diet will help reduce the size of your liver, enabling the surgeon to reach the area where the surgery is to be performed. If you do not follow the advice, then your surgeon may not be able to carry out the key hole operation, and the procedure may have to be delayed. The main principles to follow are a protein-rich, low fat and reduced carbohydrate diet.
During this time, you are also advised to keep mobile, busy and active, start taking a multivitamin/mineral tablet, and keep well hydrated throughout the day, with sugar-free beverages.
There are many different variations of a liver “shrinking” diet which are all acceptable as long as they achieve the desired effect. With the help of your dietician/nutritionist, you will be able to decide on the specific diet that will be best suited to you.
After surgery your diet will need to be very sloppy and taken in small quantities, to enable the swelling in the tissues to settle and heal. Eating solid foods and any food in large quantities can put a strain on the site of surgery and may cause problems. Therefore it is important to follow the advice on diet immediately post-operatively, to minimize the risk of these problems. You will be given an eating plan, with clear instructions, and also plenty of meal ideas.
First few days after surgery you will have clear liquids only, progressing to soups and sloppy foods, and gradually building up to a solid diet, over a period of 4-6 weeks. Special attention will be given to your protein intake. You will also be advised to have a good multivitamin/mineral, either chewable, or in liquid form.
If you have been banded, following each band adjustment, you will have to go back to the liquid/soft food diet for a few days up to one week, before returning to the normal/solid diet (Stage 2).
AND AFTER THE FIRST 6 WEEKS?
Approximately 6 weeks after your surgery, you will be back on a solid diet, but you may still find certain (drier) foods more difficult to digest. In this case, you are advised to avoid those foods, until your body feels ready.
You will still be asked to keep to a strict, calorie reduced, and small portions diet (typically between 1000-1500 calories/day), and will be given plenty of ideas, tips and recipes, in order to be able to keep to it. Continuing to take a multivitamin/mineral is also recommended and absolutely essential if you have had a bypass.