What is bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery is a group of surgical procedures: restrictive; malabsorptive and combined procedures. The procedures may be used to promote weight loss for people who are considered obese.
Obesity is defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30kg/m2 or more. These surgical procedures are usually performed by keyhole surgery (laparoscopically), which means patients spend a shorter time in hospital and the recovery time is quicker.
- Restrictive procedures help to limit the amount of food the stomach can hold.
- Malabsorptive procedures shorten or bypass a section of the intestine to reduce the amount of food intake.
- Combined procedures use elements of restriction and malabsorption to aid weight loss.
Bariatric surgery is a restricted funded procedure. The patient’s local NHS commissioning organisation (CCG), who is responsible for buying healthcare services on behalf of the population, will only fund the treatment if a patient meets one of the following eligibility criteria:
- A BMI of more than 35kg/m2 and has Type 2 diabetes mellitus which has been diagnosed within the last 10 years
- A BMI of more than 50kg/m2.
This means the patient’s NHS commissioning organisation (CCG), who is responsible for buying healthcare services on behalf of patients, will only fund the treatment if an Individual Funding Request (IFR) application has shown exceptional clinical need and the CCG supports this.
Advice and further guidance:
- Read the evidence review
- NHS England. Clinical Commissioning Policy: Complex and Specialised Obesity Surgery. 2013
- NICE: Obesity identification, assessment and management
- NHS website
- Choosing Wisely UK is part of a global initiative aimed at improving conversations between patients and their doctors and nurses.
Treatment policy for patients covered by NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG