Gastric sleeve procedures are available on the NHS and in private clinics throughout the UK. However, although you should have little problem having the operation at a private clinic, NHS treatment can be much more difficult to secure.
In theory, if you meet your local Primary Care Trust's criteria on obesity surgery, you should be offered treatment on the NHS. The rules vary a little from hospital to hospital but usually involve the following requirements:
- your BMI indicates that you're clinically obese.
- you have, or are likely to develop, a serious health condition as a result of your weight.
- you have fully explored other methods of weight loss.
However, in realty, even if you do qualify for a gastric sleeve on the NHS, you may still be a long way from actually receiving treatment. Not all hospitals in the UK provide full funding for obesity treatment, and those that do, tend to have very long waiting lists. Some women have waited well over a year for treatment.
This is why so many patients choose to have the procedure at private clinics in the UK. You will find specialist obesity clinics or cosmetic surgery clinics providing weight loss treatment throughout the UK. Standards of care are generally very high, with very few inferior clinics. Costs of gastric sleeve surgery range from £8,000 to £10,000.
You can, of course, choose to have a gastric sleeve operation abroad. Indeed, prices can be up to 40% lower than those found in the UK. However, levels of care my not be as high, and there can be a greater risk of things going wrong.
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