Weight loss surgery

Weight loss surgery, also called bariatric or metabolic surgery, is sometimes used as a treatment for people who are very obese.

It can lead to significant weight loss and help improve many obesity-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.

But it's a major operation and in most cases should only be considered after trying to lose weight through a healthy diet and exercise.

NHS weight loss surgery

Weight loss surgery is available on the NHS if:

Speak to a GP if you think weight loss surgery may be an option for you. If you qualify for NHS treatment, they can refer you for an assessment to check surgery is suitable.

You can also pay for surgery privately, although this can be expensive.

Read more about NHS and private weight loss surgery.

Types of weight loss surgery

There are several types of weight loss surgery.

The most common types are:

All these operations can lead to significant weight loss within a few years, but each has advantages and disadvantages.

If you're considering weight loss surgery, speak to a surgeon about the different types available to help decide which is best for you.

Read more about the types of weight loss surgery.

Life after weight loss surgery

Weight loss surgery can achieve dramatic weight loss, but it's not a cure for obesity on its own.

You'll need to commit to making permanent lifestyle changes after surgery to avoid putting weight back on.

You'll need to:

Women who have weight loss surgery will also usually need to avoid becoming pregnant during the first 12 to 18 months after surgery.

Read more about life after weight loss surgery.

Risks of weight loss surgery

Weight loss surgery carries a small risk of complications.

These include:

Before having surgery, speak to your surgeon about the possible benefits and risks of the procedure.

Read more about the risks of weight loss surgery.

Page last reviewed: 14 April 2020
Next review due: 14 April 2023