diet & weight loss

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Am I suitable for weight loss surgery, and what is the criteria for having such treatment?

In the UK, a patient's suitability for obesity surgery is determined by her GP and prospective surgeon in accordance with the recommendations set out by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE).

The criteria in the UK is generally tighter than most other countries around the world. This is the very reason why many patients who have been refused treatment in the UK, head abroad to a country where they are viewed as suitable candidates for such procedures.

The three main points set out by NICE to determine whether an individual is suitable for obesity treatment are as follows:

- your BMI indicates that you are clinically obese.
- you have, or are likely to develop, a serious health condition as a result of your obesity.
- you have explored other methods of weight loss such as diet plans, exercise programs, slimming pills, and obesity medication.

You will also need to demonstrate your willingness to make changes to your eating habits and lifestyle. If your surgeon does not believe you have the discipline or determination to make such changes, you may be refused treatment.

However, increasingly, suitability for weight loss surgery is being assessed on a case by case basis. In many ways, this is a healthy trend, as no two patients are the same. One woman who doesn't meet the required criteria could in fact be a better candidate for the procedure than one who does. But on the other hand, this has given surgeons more scope to offer the treatment to individuals who really shouldn't be going under the knife.



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