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Policy for people who choose to have weight loss surgery abroad (Bariatric Surgery)

We are seeing more and more patients who are choosing to have surgery abroad. This is particularly true for people who are choosing to have weight loss surgery. There are various clinics providing access to private, affordable surgical treatments overseas. The NHS has no way of ensuring these treatments are safe, individually suitable or performed by reputable practitioners.

It is really important to do your research carefully. On the NHS pathway, the pre-op advice process is a year long for good reason. Short term fixes that only provide the surgery are much less successful and the operation is only a part of the answer.

Any private course of treatment should include the whole package, i.e., pre- assessment and counselling, surgery and follow up. For weight loss surgery, this is recommended for at least 2 years following surgery. This is to ensure the surgery has no complications and that your weight loss and nutrition is achieved and maintained safely.

NHS bariatric services are not able to provide this routine follow up if you have had your surgery abroad. This is also true for GP practices who will not be able to provide you with the regular recommended blood tests after your operation. However the NHS will manage emergency complications following your surgery, for example if you need to go to A&E.

As such, at Spa Surgery we will not be able to refer you for weight loss surgery after care or follow up, on the NHS. We ourselves are not able to deliver the specialist after care that is required, which includes regular blood test monitoring. We advise you to seek a private bariatric follow up programme in the UK for a two year period – these are available and many accept self-referrals. This will be at your own cost.