Frequently Asked Questions

On this page we’ve answered some of the common questions we get from our patients. You’ll find answers on many topics, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for, please do get in touch and we will aim to respond within 24 hours.

Costs

I see you can have the gastric band operation in Kent, where do you hold your check up and and follow up appointments? Are they also in Kent?

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 appointment.

I already had a gastric band fitted in 2010 but now require a fill and was wondering if it’s something I could have done with you and how much it would be?

Yes, we are able to offer band fills or defills for £120 per session. We also offer a one year aftercare package at £600 with unlimited fills or defills for 12 months for those that have their band inserted overseas or wish to have the reassurance of unlimited access to a local band adjustment service.

How much is it to have a gastric band removed, and can it be done as a day case?

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.

If an individual suffers from sleep apnea, does this affect the choice of operation and the pricing structure?

The pricing structure is not affected by the medical conditions that you may suffer with. Sleep apnea is a condition that becomes more common in individuals with higher BMI, as it generally reflects a restriction of airway caused by the increased deposition of fat. As such, the presence of sleep apnea will affect the choice of operation and will generally mean that a sleeve gastrectomy or bypass procedure is required. These procedures have been shown through evidence to have a positive effect on medical conditions including sleep apnea. Of course every individual is different and a full assessment needs to be made before any operation is recommended. To book your appointment to discuss weight loss surgery, send us an email.

If I were to require intensive care after my procedure due to my procedure, for any reason, would that be covered?

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.

Eligibility

My BMI is 31, I lead a hectic life and would like to control the overeating that comes with it. Would I be eligible for a band?

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.

Would I qualify for weight loss surgery?

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.

Is weight loss surgery right for me?

If you have struggled with weight gain all your adult life and tried various diets, exercise, counselling and even medication to maintain weight loss with little success, then you could potentially benefit from a more permanent solution.

What are all the possible effects of obesity on the body?

Severe obesity is associated with a large number of medical problems, hence the term “morbid obesity”:
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart failure
  • Infertility
  • Reflux disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Diabetes Type 2
  • Hypertension
  • Sleep apnea
  • Increased cholesterol

If an individual suffers from sleep apnea, does this affect the choice of operation and the pricing structure?

The pricing structure is not affected by the medical conditions that you may suffer with. Sleep apnea is a condition that becomes more common in individuals with higher BMI, as it generally reflects a restriction of airway caused by the increased deposition of fat. As such, the presence of sleep apnea will affect the choice of operation and will generally mean that a sleeve gastrectomy or bypass procedure is required. These procedures have been shown through evidence to have a positive effect on medical conditions including sleep apnea. Of course every individual is different and a full assessment needs to be made before any operation is recommended. To book your appointment to discuss weight loss surgery, send us an email.

Endoscopic Gastric Sleeve

Is the endoscopic gastric sleeve suitable for me?

If you’ve struggled with weight gain for a long period of time, having tried multiple diets and other therapies to lose weight without success and have a BMI of 30 or over, then you may be a candidate for an ESG.
It is best to book a consultation to undergo a full assessment and discuss your preferences with a bariatric surgeon.

How soon can I return to work?

Generally, if you feel well 5-7 days following the procedure, you may be able to return to work if your job doesn’t involve extensive manual handling.

Is the ESG a permanent procedure?

The internal stitches that are used are non-dissolvable (non-absorbable), however in the early few days following the procedure they can be cut away using an endoscope. Over a period of time scar tissue develops, regardless of the stitches, which holds the tissue together.

Is weight regain a possibility after ESG?

Weight loss procedures are tools to assist a reduction in weight. They must be coupled with lifestyle, dietary modification and sustainable good activity levels. Without this change, weight loss outcomes are not guaranteed and weight regain is a possibility.

With ESG specifically, some of the stitches may become looser or stretch over a period of time, prior to scar tissue developing which may lead to an ability to consume larger portions.

Gastric Balloon

Can I have a balloon or band insertion two and a half years after having a gastric sleeve done?

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 theorised 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.

Can I have a gastric balloon inserted as a day procedure?

Yes, it is intended to be an endoscopic day case procedure. As soon as your nursing team are happy for you to be discharged, you will be able to go home. This is almost always the same day.

What does a Gastric Balloon procedure involve?

A melon sized balloon is inserted into the stomach to restrict the space inside. Prior to insertion, the deflated balloon is attached to a long, thin tube with a camera on the end, called an endoscope. The endoscope is passed down your throat to your stomach. Before the balloon is inserted, the gullet into your stomach is checked to ensure there are no medical conditions that mean you can’t have a gastric balloon inserted.

The deflated balloon is then inflated with a liquid coloured with blue dye. A final check with the endoscope is done before detaching the balloon to sit in the stomach.

The procedure can be performed under sedation without the need for a general anesthetic.

After 6 months to one year, the balloon is removed using an endoscope.

How will a gastric balloon help me lose weight?

A gastric balloon is similar to a gastric band because it restricts the space inside your stomach causing you to feel full after eating a small amount of food.

A gastric balloon procedure is designed to help you take control of your food cravings, by restricting your appetite. This will give you more freedom to develop healthy eating habits for a long-term healthy lifestyle.

What is the recovery and aftercare for a gastric balloon?

The first few days after your procedure you will have fluids only and will be encouraged to drink lots. You will then be able to eat soft foods such as yoghurt or blended meat and vegetables.

A couple of weeks later you will be able to return to a normal diet. However, the success of a gastric balloon will depend on how balanced your diet is so you should avoid sugar and eat nutritional, healthy food for optimum weight loss. Our dietitian will be able to provide excellent aftercare to help you in your journey.

Is a gastric balloon safe?

As with any surgery, there are some risks. This particular procedure carries the same risk as other endoscopy treatments such as bleeding or perforation. There is a rare risk of balloon rupture which would lead to blue dye escaping and colouring your urine blue/ green. Whilst the dye is harmless, if this occurs, the balloon needs to be removed to avoid possible bowel obstruction. Other risks of a balloon include inflammation of the gullet, ulcers, pancreatitis and failure to lose weight or weight regain.

It is not uncommon to feel slightly sick in the first few days after your procedure . If this persists and leads to intolerance then the balloon may need to be removed.

Your consultant will discuss all of the possible complications, side effects and other things to consider before you decide to have gastric balloon surgery.

Gastric Band

Can I have a balloon or band insertion two and a half years after having a gastric sleeve done?

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 theorised 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.

I’ve had a gastric band and would like to lose more weight, can I have a bypass?

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.

I see you can have the gastric band operation in Kent, where do you hold your check up and and follow up appointments? Are they also in Kent?

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 appointment.

I already had a gastric band fitted in 2010 but now require a fill and was wondering if it’s something I could have done with you and how much it would be?

Yes, we are able to offer band fills or defills for £120 per session. We also offer a one year aftercare package at £600 with unlimited fills or defills for 12 months for those that have their band inserted overseas or wish to have the reassurance of unlimited access to a local band adjustment service.

How much is it to have a gastric band removed, and can it be done as a day case?

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.

My BMI is 31, I lead a hectic life and would like to control the overeating that comes with it. Would I be eligible for a band?

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.

Will I feel the band tighten as it’s injected?

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”.

Do you offer a gastric band adjustment /band fill/de-fill?

Yes, we do. We offer a stand-alone band adjustment service specifically designed for people who are out of the package with their original providers or who have had their bands overseas. We also look after our own bands who are out of package in the long term for a fee. This can be offered as a single payment or an unlimited package lasting a year.

You can read more on the dedicated gastric band adjustment page.

Is a gastric band safe?

As with any surgery, there are some risks. Whilst not common, complications such as bleeding, infection and blood clots are possible. Specifically to this procedure, there is a very small risk of infection or leakage of the band tubing. There is also a risk of slippage or erosion of the band ring. The port can sometimes move, however this risk is minimised by using non-absorbable sutures.

Further operations may be required to fix any problems that occur. These are normally covered within the surgery package for a period of time.
Your consultant will discuss all of the possible complications, side effects and other things to consider before you decide to have gastric band surgery.

What is the recovery time for a gastric band?

You may be able to go home the same day as your procedure. It will take about two weeks to recover and you will need to take this time off work.

Is a gastric band right for me?

Picking the right weight loss surgery for you depends on a few different factors that work in combination. The first thing to consider is your BMI. A gastric band is usually most appropriate for patients with a BMI of at least 30 with weight related conditions and who are fit enough for surgery.

The benefit of a gastric band is that it can be adjusted and even removed entirely in the future should you wish. Other, more permanent procedures might be a better option if you have a significant amount of weight to lose and you’re looking for a long-term solution.

The best way to come to a decision about the right procedure for you, is to have a detailed and open conversation with your consultant. It’s also important to choose a surgeon that offers the full range of procedures, so that you can end up with the option that is right for you, and not just the option the surgeon wants to do.

How will a gastric band help me lose weight?

If you have struggled to lose weight through diet and exercise, a gastric band may help you lose weight. This procedure will help you control your portion sizes by making you feel much fuller after a small amount of food.

The benefit of gastric band surgery is that the band can be adjusted to let more or less food in depending on your weight loss needs.

What does gastric band surgery involve?

A gastric band procedure is surgery where a silicone ring is placed around the top section of the stomach and locked into place. This creates a smaller pouch at the top of your stomach. Tubing from the ring travels internally to a port which is placed underneath the skin which can be felt but not seen. This port allows saline to be injected into the tubing system which tightens the ring. The amount of saline that can be injected ranges from 8-11 mls, however each individual is unique and so is their ideal fill volume.

Gastric band surgery is usually done laparoscopically; a minimally-invasive keyhole procedure. As a result, you’ll benefit from faster recovery and less time spent in hospital.
You’ll still have the operation under a general anaesthetic, and your consultant will discuss the details of your procedure with you, answering any questions you might have ahead of the surgery.

Gastric Band Adjustment

I’ve suffered with bad reflux for years and would like to remove my band?

Reflux and regurgitation are common side effects of a gastric band due to its restrictive effect. If this is excessive or progressively worst it can indicate a band complication. In some instances reflux over a period of years can wear you down and if you request a band removal then this can be arranged.

I’ve had my band for several years and struggled to lose weight. Can you help?

Yes we can. Failure to lose weight can be due to un-diagnosed band complications such as erosion or slippage. However, it can also be due to maladaptive eating with a band that is too tight. Last but not least, it can be due to poor eating behaviours and slider foods which defeats the purpose of having a band. We will work with you to identify and rectify those issues.

If my band is removed, can I have another weight loss procedure?

Yes, a conversion to a sleeve or bypass is possible. It’s best to talk to us and go through a full consultation, so we can understand the causes of band failure and recommend the best option going forward. Sometimes it is best to work with the band by resetting it and this will only be apparent after consultation.

How do I know if my band has slipped or eroded?

It can sometimes be difficult to tell, however, if you have left-sided abdominal pain, lost too much weight or have developed fevers, it may be a sign that there is a band complication. In some instances, the symptoms can be vague and the diagnosis only reached with certain tests or investigations.

In the case of a band complication, can the band be salvaged?

Bands that have slipped, can be re-positioned. There is a higher risk that further complications may occur such as infection, leakage or erosion in the future. Therefore it is best to make a decision once you’ve had a consultation about all the options available.

Gastric Bypass

I’ve had a gastric band and would like to lose more weight, can I have a bypass?

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.

What does a gastric bypass operation involve?

A gastric bypass involves using a stapler gun to create a small pouch of stomach. Creating a small pouch limits the amount of food that can be eaten. This pouch is then connected surgically to a length of diverted bowel, bypassing the rest of your stomach. This will impair food absorption and therefore calories.

A gastric bypass is done laparoscopically; a minimally-invasive keyhole procedure. As a result, you’ll benefit from faster recovery and less time spent in hospital.
You’ll still have the operation under a general anaesthetic, and your consultant will discuss the details of your procedure with you, answering any questions you might have ahead of the surgery.

How will a gastric bypass help me lose weight?

The combination of portion control and decreased food absorption means that weight loss is triggered immediately after surgery. This will slow down after several months and plateaus at 18-24 months after surgery.

You’ll also have fewer food cravings and you will feel full much quicker. This is because as a result of your gastric bypass operation the chemical signals sent from your bowel to your brain are altered.

Is a gastric bypass right for me?

If you have tried losing weight in the past through exercise or diet but have been unsuccessful, weight loss surgery may be the best way to lose weight. A gastric bypass is usually most appropriate for patients with a BMI of at least 35 who also suffer from conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

The best way to come to a decision about the right procedure for you, is to have a detailed and open conversation with your consultant. It’s also important to choose a surgeon that offers the full range of procedures, so that you can end up with the option that is right for you, and not just the option the surgeon wants to do.

What is the recovery time of a gastric bypass?

Usually patients stay two nights in hospital after their operation. You’ll be prescribed anti-acids and blood thinners for 5 days from your point of discharge, and you can usually return to work in two or three weeks. Longer term, you’ll be given a 12-month aftercare package that includes follow-up appointments with your surgeon and dietician. You will also need to take a multi-vitamin tablet on a daily basis.

Is a gastric bypass safe?

As with any surgery, there are some risks. Whilst not common, complications such as bleeding, infection and blood clots are possible. Specifically to this procedure, a very small risk is leakage from the staples used.

Some patients experience dumping syndrome. Dumping can be caused by food being released too quickly or due to rapid hormonal changes within the body. Symptoms include feeling sick, palpitations, sweating, bloating, diarrhoea, dizziness and fatigue. Laying down after eating can help.

Nutritional deficiencies can also occur which is why taking a multi-vitamin tablet is very important.

Your consultant will discuss all of the possible complications, side effects and other things to consider before you decide to have gastric bypass surgery.

Gastric Sleeve

Can I have a balloon or band insertion two and a half years after having a gastric sleeve done?

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 theorised 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.

Is there a pre-operation diet for Sleeve Gastrectomy? If yes, for how long?

As with all weight loss surgery procedures, there is a 2-week pre-operative diet that 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.

What does a sleeve gastrectomy operation involve?

A sleeve gastrectomy involves using a stapler gun to remove around 75-80% of your stomach. It’s accurately measured using a sizing tube that your consultant will use during the procedure. A sleeve gastrectomy is usually done laparoscopically; a minimally-invasive keyhole procedure. As a result, you’ll benefit from faster recovery and less time spent in hospital.

You’ll still have the operation under a general anaesthetic, and your consultant will discuss the details of your procedure with you, answering any questions you might have ahead of the surgery.

How will a gastric sleeve help me lose weight?

A sleeve gastrectomy reduces your stomach to around 20% of its previous size. Because of this you’ll feel fuller quicker, and won’t be able to eat as much as you used to.

You’ll also have a lower appetite because you’ll produce less “hunger hormone” called ghrelin, which sends signals to your brain, telling you you are hungry when your stomach is empty.

This combination of not wanting to eat and physically being unable to eat too much produces profound weight loss. The surgery is also a permanent option, and so longer term, more dramatic weight loss is likely with a gastric sleeve, rather than a band or balloon.

Is a gastric sleeve right for me?

Picking the right weight loss surgery for you depends on a few different factors that work in combination. The first thing to consider is your BMI. A gastric sleeve is usually most appropriate for patients with a BMI of at least 35 and comorbidities such as diabetes.

The gastric sleeve isn’t advised for patients with a BMI of lower than 35 as it’s a drastic option for patients without so much weight to lose. It’s considered to be half way between a band and a bypass, and is usually suitable for patients with a high BMI that want a permanent option. A bypass is usually a preferred option for patients who have a very high BMI and have serious medical problems such as metabolic syndrome.

The best way to come to a decision about the right procedure for you, is to have a detailed and open conversation with your consultant. It’s also important to choose a surgeon that offers the full range of procedures, so that you can end up with the option that is right for you, and not just the option the surgeon wants to do.

What is the recovery time of a gastric sleeve?

As with any surgery, there are some risks. Whilst not common, complications such as bleeding, infection and blood clots are possible. Specifically to this procedure, a very small risk is leakage from the staples used to create the “sleeve”. If this rare event does occur, it will usually be within the first two days post-surgery, and a return to surgery will be needed to deal with the issue.

Your consultant will discuss all of the possible complications, side effects and other things to consider before you decide to have gastric sleeve surgery.

Medslim

Is medical weight loss safe?

Safety and effectiveness has been established in multiple studies. At MedSlim only a qualified doctor prescribes the medication with the right dosage.

Am I eligible for the medical weight loss program?

If you have a BMI of 27 and over, you are eligible but you have to go through a proper health assessment which is done during the initial consultation.

Are prescription weight loss medicine suitable for me?

Our consultant will be able to assess your eligibility during your initial consultation and prescribe the right dose for you depending on your lifestyle and any health conditions you might have.

Am I overweight?

Please check your BMI here.

Nutrition

Is there any after care for the first few weeks while I am recovering (e.g. nutritionist to advise me on most advisable foods to have for optimum nutrients)?

Yes, all our packages include pre-operative consultation and post-operative follow ups 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.

What is a Liver ‘Shrinking’ diet?

Once you have decided on the procedure you will have, a pre-operation liver shrinking diet plan 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 keyhole 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.

What would I expect to eat after surgery?

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).

After the first six 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.

Is there anything I should and shouldn’t do diet-wise after surgery?

DO:

  • plan your meals ahead
  • keep well hydrated with non-sugary drinks
    (leave at least ½ hour before and after meals)
  • have regular meals
  • use small plates/bowls
  • start your meals with protein sources
  • eat in a relaxed atmosphere
  • eat slowly, chew well, enjoy your food
  • take a multivitamin/mineral
  • stay active, exercise
  • keep a food diary

DON’T:

  • drink with meals
  • pick and graze between meals
  • drink high-calorie beverages (juices, sodas etc….)
  • eat very hot or very cold foods
  • eat in a hurry, or when upset
  • eat high sugar, high fat, or very spicy foods
  • use a straw to consume beverages
  • suck on hard candy
  • worry about your food intake

 

Post-Operation

I see you can have the gastric band operation in Kent, where do you hold your check up and and follow up appointments? Are they also in Kent?

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 appointment.

Following surgery, I had a sensation of discomfort when eating or drinking underneath my chest plate, is this normal?

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.

Is there any after care for the first few weeks while I am recovering (e.g. nutritionist to advise me on most advisable foods to have for optimum nutrients)?

Yes, all our packages include pre-operative consultation and post-operative follow ups 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.

Is it still ok to take crushed tablets (not dissolved) in the first two weeks when only liquid is permitted?

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.

I understand I need to be off work for 2 weeks, but what sort of things will I be advised not to do at home either?

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.

If I were to require intensive care after my procedure due to my procedure, for any reason, would that be covered?

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.

What would I expect to eat after surgery?

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).

After the first six 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.

Is there anything I should and shouldn’t do diet-wise after surgery?

DO:

  • plan your meals ahead
  • keep well hydrated with non-sugary drinks
    (leave at least ½ hour before and after meals)
  • have regular meals
  • use small plates/bowls
  • start your meals with protein sources
  • eat in a relaxed atmosphere
  • eat slowly, chew well, enjoy your food
  • take a multivitamin/mineral
  • stay active, exercise
  • keep a food diary

DON’T:

  • drink with meals
  • pick and graze between meals
  • drink high-calorie beverages (juices, sodas etc….)
  • eat very hot or very cold foods
  • eat in a hurry, or when upset
  • eat high sugar, high fat, or very spicy foods
  • use a straw to consume beverages
  • suck on hard candy
  • worry about your food intake

 

Pre-Operation

I see you can have the gastric band operation in Kent, where do you hold your check up and and follow up appointments? Are they also in Kent?

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 appointment.

Why is obesity such a bad thing?

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.

How much weight loss would I expect to achieve?

The amount of weight you can expect to lose will depend on the procedure or treatment you’ve had.
Patients that undergo weight loss surgery see anything between 35% to 80% of excess weight lost over a period of 12 to 18 months. This depends on the specific weight loss procedure that’s been carried out.
Our non-surgical medical weight loss program – Medslim, is a 3-month program where the expectation is to lose 5-10% of total body weight. Medslim doesn’t work for everyone, and so we will review progress and may recommend stopping the medication if we don’t see good results.

What are all the possible effects of obesity on the body?

Severe obesity is associated with a large number of medical problems, hence the term “morbid obesity”:
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart failure
  • Infertility
  • Reflux disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Diabetes Type 2
  • Hypertension
  • Sleep apnea
  • Increased cholesterol

Who provides weight loss surgery?

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.

What is a Liver ‘Shrinking’ diet?

Once you have decided on the procedure you will have, a pre-operation liver shrinking diet plan 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 keyhole 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.

Revision surgery

Is surgery the only option for weight regain?

No. For some individuals weight regain has occurred due to a loss of the control mechanisms which were delicately established following their first weight loss surgery. After an assessment with our Bariatric Consultant, it sometimes becomes apparent that all that is required is a medically supervised weight loss program with medication aids to help regain that control and avoiding surgery.

Do I have to be a certain BMI to be eligible for a conversion procedure?

This is where a full assessment is required, as it will become apparent what your starting BMI was prior to having your initial weight loss procedure. Generally, a BMI of 35 or above would qualify you, however if you are below this because you have suffered a complication or remain below 35 but on an upward trend you would still be considered for revision surgery.

What is the price of a conversion procedure?

As these procedures require preliminary tests which then determine the technical difficulty and feasible conversion options, it is difficult to price them collectively. An inclusive package price will be costed and quoted to you prior to proceeding.

Are there complications to conversion procedures?

Generally there are short term and long term risks. The short term risks include bleeding, infection and a small risk of leakage from internal joins or staple lines. Although these risks are small, they are usually greater than having a primary procedure due to the previous scar tissue and surgical change. Long term risks include forming hernias, nutritional deficiencies, failing to lose weight or weight regain.

Should I be considering a conversion procedure?

It depends on your weight and any weight related health conditions that may have developed since your primary procedure. It could also be your personal choice due to symptoms such as reflux or regurgitation which have become troublesome. We would be pleased to discuss these points and offer a full appraisal of the situation to help you make a decision before you proceed. We have helped many others who’ve had their band, sleeve or bypass performed overseas or many years ago, restart their weight loss journeys.

Why Surgery?

Why is obesity such a bad thing?

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.

How much weight loss would I expect to achieve?

The amount of weight you can expect to lose will depend on the procedure or treatment you’ve had.
Patients that undergo weight loss surgery see anything between 35% to 80% of excess weight lost over a period of 12 to 18 months. This depends on the specific weight loss procedure that’s been carried out.
Our non-surgical medical weight loss program – Medslim, is a 3-month program where the expectation is to lose 5-10% of total body weight. Medslim doesn’t work for everyone, and so we will review progress and may recommend stopping the medication if we don’t see good results.

Is weight loss surgery right for me?

If you have struggled with weight gain all your adult life and tried various diets, exercise, counselling and even medication to maintain weight loss with little success, then you could potentially benefit from a more permanent solution.

What are all the possible effects of obesity on the body?

Severe obesity is associated with a large number of medical problems, hence the term “morbid obesity”:
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart failure
  • Infertility
  • Reflux disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Diabetes Type 2
  • Hypertension
  • Sleep apnea
  • Increased cholesterol

Who provides weight loss surgery?

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.

Can you lose weight without surgery?

Yes it is possible. This is something you may have tried over the years with multiple diets and exercise regimes. Research shows that most people effectively lose weight on their own with these attempts however there is a significant yo-yo weight regain pattern which is recurrent. The aim of surgery is to abolish the yo-yo effect after successful weight loss.

However to help people who choose to lose weight on their own we have established Medslim. A 3 month medical weight management program using Saxenda with the aim of helping people lose  5-10% of their total body weight during this period of time. For further information please check here.

Rated 5 stars on...

Gastric band white icon

Gastric band

Endoscopic gastric sleeve

Gastric band white icon

Gastric sleeve

Gastric band adjustment

Gastric band white icon

Gastric balloon

Revision
surgery

Gastric band white icon

Gastric bypass

See all procedures

$