Making the choice

BMI Healthcare recognises that choosing to have surgery for weight loss isn't an easy decision. In fact obesity surgery is not the best solution for everyone with a weight problem. We hope that the this will act as a useful guide to help you to consider whether weight loss surgery is the right choice for you.

The pages above provide useful guidance on morbid obesity and BMI weight loss surgery. Below you will find helpful information about eligibility for weight loss surgery, why choosing a reputable obesity hospital and obesity surgeon is so important and some questions you may wish to ask your GP.

Many visitors to our obesity website also find the patient stories in this section very useful in helping them to decide whether to have surgery for weight loss.

Are you eligible

To be eligible for weight loss surgery you must meet guidelines set out by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).

These require that you have tried other methods of losing weight and that you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40, or over 35 if you have other medical conditions.

Waist measurement

The location of stored fat can also indicate an increased risk of obesity and other health problems. Carrying fat mainly around your waist suggests you are more at risk than if you carry the weight on your hips and thighs.

A very simple indication that you may be eligible for obesity surgery is your waist measurement. Men with a waist measurement of over 40 inches and women with a waist measurement of over 35 inches may be eligible for weight loss surgery.

Why choose BMI healthcare

You can be confident in the levels of care and attention you receive in a BMI hospital. We are the UK's leading private hospital group, with a reputation for quality and clinical excellence. We only allow experienced bariatric surgeons to perform weight loss surgery within our hospitals. They are supported by a team of fully trained nurses and clinical staff, so you can be sure that you will be well looked after. You will have your own comfortable private room with an en-suite bathroom, and your friends and family will be able to visit you anytime during the day if you would like them to. All our hospitals have rigorous hygiene standards in place, so you can feel confident in the cleanliness of your room and every aspect of the hospital.

We will look after you following surgery

You will have a team of people around you to help you through weight loss surgery and to provide care and support in the months following surgery. They will be there to help you stay healthy and achieve the best weight loss results for you.

Because obesity surgery is just part of the process, we have put in place a comprehensive aftercare package to maximise the success of your operation and to look after you following surgery. The package includes:

  • Ongoing consultations with your bariatric surgeon
  • Continuing personal support from your dietician
  • Regular patient support groups

Questions for your doctor

Your GP can help you decide whether you should consider weight loss surgery. We have put together a brief list of questions which you can ask your GP before coming along to your initial assessment with the weight loss clinical specialist at a BMI hospital.

  • Do I have any co-morbidities as a result of being overweight?
  • Will I be able to continue to take my existing medicines after surgery?
  • Are there any other treatments I should consider to lose weight, before surgery?
  • Can you refer me to bariatric surgeon in a BMI hospital?

It is not necessary for you to see your GP before your initial assessment at a BMI hospital. But the answers to these questions would be useful for you to bring, if you want to.

How to access surgery

Your first step towards weight loss surgery with BMI Healthcare is to visit one of our obesity hospitals for an initial assessment. During the assessment a clinical specialist will:

  • Answer your general questions about weight loss surgery
  • Take your previous medical history
  • Discuss your health and eating habits
  • Measure your Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Establish if you meet the National Institute for Clinical Excellence NICE guidelines for weight loss surgery

If you are suitable for weight loss surgery, and wish to proceed you will then have an appointment with your consultant surgeon and be booked in for surgery.

You do not need a GP referral before seeing the clinical specialist for your initial assessment. However, your GP can give you valuable advice about the different options, including pharmaceutical intervention and so we would always encourage patients to talk to their GP.

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For more information on discharge medication please:

Download our guide

Once you have seen the clinical specialist, if you appear suitable for weight loss surgery, you will be given an information sheet to take to your GP (unless he or she has already referred you) which sets out the results of your assessment and describes the BMI weight loss surgery service. 

You will need to get your GP to confirm that they are happy for you to proceed to weight loss surgery before you can see the consultant.