Weight loss surgery is available on the NHS but the criteria is strict and the availability of treatment is often far outweighed by the demand so there may be a lengthy wait. Weight loss surgery is available on the NHS for patients that have a BMI of over 35 who have tried all other avenues of losing weight and are struggling with health conditions relating to their excessive weight (these include heart and lung problems, sleep apnoea and diabetes). Some procedures are not recommended for patients with a BMI of over 45 as the risks of undergoing surgery are too high.
Patients must also agree to a lifelong change in the way they live their lives; weight loss surgery is extremely expensive and if the patient isn’t willing to commit to eating well and exercising in the future, this will be a huge waste of money and resources that could have been used to treat patients that are desperate to change their lives around.
Availability of treatment depends on the area you live in as the Primary Care Trusts are responsible for drawing up budgets to treat local patients as comprehensively as possible; as this procedure is so expensive, treatment is only offered to patients when surgery is considered the only option.