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Availability

Weight loss surgery is available on the NHS for people who meet certain criteria.

It's also available privately, but you'll have to pay for it and it can be expensive.

NHS criteria for weight loss surgery

The criteria for weight loss surgery on the NHS can vary across England. Check with your GP if you think surgery could be an option for you.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines on obesity recommend that surgery should be provided on the NHS if you meet all of the following criteria:

If your BMI is 50 or over, surgery may be considered without needing to try other weight loss methods first.

If you've been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes recently, particularly if you have a South Asian background, an assessment to see if surgery is suitable may be considered if your BMI is below 35.

Private weight loss surgery

The cost of private weight loss surgery can vary.

Typical prices are:

You may not need a referral from your GP for private treatment, but it's a good idea to speak to them for advice first.

Before approaching a private clinic or surgeon, do as much research as possible into the different types of weight loss surgery and think about the questions you want to ask.

Some people consider having treatment abroad, where costs for private treatment can be cheaper, but make sure you weigh up any potential savings against the potential risks.

Standards may not be as strict when outside the UK and aftercare isn't always straightforward. Some clinics may not provide follow-up care either at all or up to the same standard as in the UK.