Weight loss surgery such as gastric bands and biliopancreatic diversion are major medical procedures, and as you would therefore expect, they are not available to everyone. Many people who may want to undertake obesity treatment find they are excluded from, or recommended against, having the procedure, at least in the UK.
Your surgeon will assess your health and lifestyle in order to determine whether the potential benefits of the treatment outweigh the potential risks. There are a number of conditions that will make weight loss procedures more problematic such as lung disease, heart conditions, auto-immune disease, drug addiction and blood disorders. Patients over the age of 75 will also find it difficult to find a clinic willing to treat them.
Perhaps the most surprising condition that may exclude you from obesity treatment is obesity itself. If you are carrying too much fat, many surgeons will refuse treatment partly because it increases the difficulty of the operation, and party due to the increased risk of complications.
In terms of definite exclusions, there are very few instances where treatment will be absolutely refused. The most common of these are where the patient is pregnant, receiving cancer treatment, or suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. Other serious preexisting medical conditions may also discourage a clinic or surgeon from operating,
You may have noticed at the beginning of this article, that such exclusions apply in the UK. There are a number of countries around the world that will carry out a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy irrespective of the presence of one of more of these factors. Indeed, this is the very reason why many Brits choose to have obesity treatment abroad.
However, exclusions and recommendations are usually imposed for good reason, and weight loss treatment is no different. For example, if you are over 75 or you do have a history of heart disease, the risks of death are far greater. No matter how desperate you may be to lose weight, sometimes it's simply not worth it.
Common Bariatrics Questions
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How much pain will I experience during or after a stomach banding procedure?