Gastric bypass on the NHS?

Posted , 33 users are following.

I know this can be a controversial topic but I don't want any grief or personal opinions I need help and that's why I'm here thank you!!!

Anyhow i am at the very first stages and wondered if anyone could share their experiences..... Where I live before you are referred to the bariatric services you have to attend a food for thought group which runs for 12 weeks and I'm 5 weeks in its terribly boring because I feel like ' I know all this already!!! But I will continue to go and once I have completed they say I will be referred to the bariatric service so my question really is what happens next?? What is the time scales who do I see??

Thanks for your help!!!

3 likes, 31 replies

31 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Shibby,

    I think where you live depends a lot on the steps you have to take to progress to a referral.

    For me personally I have had to see dieticians, a psychotherapist, follow a 12 weeks food nutrition and exercise regime/classes, plus I have been seeing a personal health trainer for almost a year. I also had to see a bariactric doctor last August (who visited the area and saw lots of patients) who assessed if I was 'right' for surgery. After seeing him I had to wait for my referral to Luton and Dunstable which I received in January this year. My first appointment I was seen by a nurse who took bloods etc, I then had a ecg, i then sas a man who allows assess if you're a good candidate (I cannot remember his title sorry). That visit to the hospital was just over 3 hours long. My last appointment was April, I saw the nurse, followed by the dietitian who explained about the low calorie liquid diet, followed by the psychologist who needs to ensure that you're mentally prepared etc. Two days after seeing the team I started the lcld, I have 3-4 pints of semi skimmed milk a day, I take a multi vitamin, I am meant to have 1 or 2 salty drinks a day although I struggle like mad with them as they make me gag, I'm also supposed to drink 2 litres of water a day. I go back to LAD the second week of June at which point I will have been on the milk diet for 5.5 weeks. It hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be as luckily I don't really suffer from head hunger aka cravings and I've also lost about 10kg so far using this method. I can have sugar free jelly too if I want it but as I hate sweetener with a passion it's just not for me.

    I can keep you updated with what happens next I'd you like? If I can help with anything else just give me a shout. I'm based not too far from Norwich by the way and my journey to LAD is over 130 miles each way.

    • Posted


      Hope you don't mind my message!

      I had to do liquid diet of milk etc for 2.5 weeks before my gastric band last year and I too struggled with the salty drink as they made me gag! I tried bovril with boiling water and it was gross!

      I phoned my dietician quite early on as didn't want to ruin the pre op diet, she said I could have I think it was 4 tomatoes a day with salt on, which sounds gross but was amazing when you can't eat anything else! I used to save my tomatoes for when I got home from work and then jelly for dinner!

      It's worth talking to someone to see if you can try something different! If you don't ask you don't get :-) good luck!

    • Posted

      Wow it's quite a process then!!! I knew there would be a lot to it but that's quite overwhelming lol yes please if you wouldn't mind keeping me updated thanks!! I live in Northumberland and I'm quite local to a hospital but haven't seen any surgeons or the bariatric team yet but seems like the 12 weeks programme is the same as what you done they are asking me to try loose 1 stone then I can be referred!! Thanks for the great reply!
    • Posted

      Of course I don't mind. We're all here to help and support each other.

      My problem is as well as being a vegetarian I have never been able to take to sweeteners, I'd rather go without so I am feeling very limited with my intake. I would love tomatoes or any fruit or veg at the moment but have been told liquid only to show my body can tolerate it.

      I too originally asked for a band but on the nhs you get one attempt at bariatric surgery and not many will do them, I then decided I wanted a gastric bypass but since reading more about them I have now decided a sleeve may be my best option. Next time I'm at the hospital I will discuss this with the team.

    • Posted

      Yes It's like the pre op diet you have to do that to shrink your liver and see if you can handle it, but they still allowed tomatoes so worth an ask, especially if you can't have jelly!

      Yes definitely discuss your options and do what's best for you x

      I was only allowed the band as I'm apparently too young for the bypass or sleeve x

    • Posted

      Hehe, I must be old as I'm the wrong side of 40 wink

      After reading about the dumping syndrome and having to have 4 deep muscle injections each year that was enough to put me off the bypass as I'm needle phobic despite being a type 1 diabetic, the irony! I'm opting for the sleeve as the bypass may be too extreme for me personally. I eat a very healthy diet, I cook almost everything from raw ingredients and so on, it's just portion control I need help with. Everyone has different needs and after doing loads, and I mean loads of research I feel the sleeve may be my best option. smile

    • Posted

      Hehe that's not old! I've just turned 24 so apparently was too extreme for me!

      Yes you have to do whatever is best for you, good luck in your journey x

    • Posted

      Hi beano just been reading through this forum. I've today just been referred for biatric this is 2years ago now have u had surgery .and how did it go and which hospital did u go to.i am based 45 mins from norwich

    • Posted

      Hi Rebecca what was your weight when you asked your go. For sugery? As I'm 26 myself tried every diet under the sun nothing as eorked and have an appt next week to with my go to ask for.sugery but quite nervous xx

  • Posted

    I forget to say, since first asking my doctor for help it's been at least 3 years until now although I would like to hope other's wouldn't have to wait that long smile

    I also felt the same about the food classes and ended up teaching them things as I learnt to count carbs 30 years ago smile

  • Posted

    I forget to say, since first asking my doctor for help it's been at least 3 years until now although I would like to hope other's wouldn't have to wait that long smile

    I also felt the same about the food classes and ended up teaching them things as I learnt to count carbs 30 years ago smile

  • Posted

    Hi Shibby!

    Although I wasn't referred on the NHS for the bypass I was referred for a gastric band and had to go through the process and saw people wanting bypasses etc!

    For our area, I had to go to interviews with a dietician, a phycologist and a personal trainer (all separately) I then was put on the program which intailed attending an exercise class once a week and on a different day once a week, a weigh in/group session! This would of been for 16 weeks and then they would monitor me for 2-3 years and wasn't guaranteed surgery at the end of this!!

    I had already had my mind set on getting a gastric band and after the initial interviews and the fact that I would have to take 2 afternoons off from work a week to travel to these classes for the next 16+ weeks I decided to go privately because I would of been too devastated if I had gone through all of that for so long and not got any surgery at the end of it!

    I had my band fitted end of October 14 and so far have lost 5.2 stone, it's coming off steadily and I'm loving it! So glad I went for it, although still paying for it, but will all be paid off by next year!

    Just really think if you want the surgery and if the program will be worth it and fit in with you.

    All programs are different I'm sure but I met a lady at these classes that had been on the program for nearly 5 years for a bypass!


    • Posted

      Hi Rebecca,

      do you mind telling me where did you do your band? Thank you.

  • Posted

    Hi good luck with your journey, hope you don't have to wait too long! I'm the old one Im 60 lol and had my band fitted 10 days ago, all going very well have lost 20lb since starting the liver shrinking diet on 1st May, I had my band fitted in Brentwood, no regrets!! xx
  • Posted

    Hi I had my surgery on NHS, three years ago. I saw my doctor who put me forward to The Primary Trust who gave me full funding, that part took a week ! I chose where I wanted my surgery. Had an appointment at the hospital and saw the doctor, nutritional it's and physchologist. Went on a milk diet to lose weight for a month, lost a stone and a half. Then saw surgeon again and decided whether he would do surgery and if a band or bypass. As I had diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholestrol, sleep apniea,and a history of heart disease in the family it was decided to do the bypass. Set date for surgery and then had to try and keep weight off, then two weeks prior to surgery had to,do milk diet again to shrink liver ready for surgery. I had surgery but had complications due to a blood clot forming in my bowel afterwards. They had to open me up again and sort it out, so from only being in hospital for two nights I was in for fourteen. Took a long time to heal and get back on my feet. Lost nearly six stone, have put on about two stone in past twelve months due to stress related anxiety and depression. Not by eating too much but by going back to bad habits and eating wrong foods. have also been diagnosed in last six months with underactive thyroid which is still being sorted. 

    What I will say is that it does change your life and I am glad I had it done as I would have never got my weight under control and would have been looking at early death.

    Hope this has helped and not put you off. Good Luck ! 

    regards. Sue

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