Is surgery right for you?

Although weight loss surgery is more effective than diets, drugs, exercise and lifestyle changes, it is not for everyone. Surgery is NOT recommended for children and adolescents.

Consider the following points:

There are risks associated with having an operation but there are also risks from staying overweight. Obesity is bad for your health. We can help you come to a decision about the balance of risks and benefits of surgery in your case.

  • For a good outcome it is said that the operation does half the work and the patient does the rest. Surgery must be accompanied by long term changes in food choices, pattern of eating and lifestyle (including exercise) to be successful. Patients need to demonstrate that they can make the necessary eating and lifestyle changes before we are happy to offer them surgery.
  • There are several operations to choose from, so a lot of information and discussion is needed to help you choose the procedure that is best for you. Different information and advice will come from the various members of our team – nurse, dietitian, psychologist, surgeon and anaesthetist.
  • Long term follow up is vital to achieve a good result from surgery. If you don't think you are able to attend for follow up appointments into the future, then surgery may not be right for you after all.
  • You need to have realistic expectations. On average, people lose around 50% of their excess weight in the first few years, then stabilise at that new weight. Some people lose more than this, but it can be hard work. Attending regular follow up with us will help you achieve this.

UK National Guidelines state that, in order to be eligible for weight loss surgery, a person must:

  • have a Body Mass Index (BMI) or 40 or more, or 35 if they also have other obesity related problems like Type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, sleep apnoea or reflux.
  • have tried other weight loss measures (like sessions with a qualified dietitian, slimming clubs, prescribed weight loss drugs, etc) with only short lived success.
  • be under the care of a multi-disciplinary medical team in a specialist centre such as Weight Loss Surgery Scotland.
  • be fit for anaesthesia and surgery.
  • commit to life long dietary change and follow up.