Information for the public

This procedure can be used to treat obesity in adults because it works well and there are no serious concerns about its safety in this condition.

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of whether someone is a healthy weight for their height. Obesity is a BMI of 30 and over, or 27.5 and over for people with South Asian, Chinese, other Asian, Middle Eastern, Black African or African-Caribbean origin.

In this procedure, a flexible tube with a camera on the end (an endoscope) and a special stitching device are passed through the mouth into the stomach under general anaesthesia. Using the stitching device, 1 or more large folds are made in the stomach wall and sewn together (sleeve gastroplasty). There is no cutting or stapling, and none of the stomach is removed, so the procedure is potentially reversible. People can usually go home on the same day as the procedure. The aim is to reduce the volume of the stomach by about 70% to 80%, and so reduce the amount of food that can be eaten before you feel full.

Is this procedure right for me?

You should be included in making decisions about your care.

Your healthcare professionals should explain the risks and benefits of this procedure and how it is done. They should discuss your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. They should offer you more information about the procedure. Your family or carers can be involved if you want or need them to be.

You will be asked to decide whether you agree (consent) to have the procedure. Find out more about giving consent to treatment on the NHS website.

Some questions to think about

  • How many appointments will I need?
  • What are the possible benefits? How likely am I to get them?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • Will I have to stay in hospital?
  • What happens if it does not work or something goes wrong?
  • What happens if I do not want the procedure?
  • Are other treatments available?

Information and support

The NHS webpage on obesity may be a good place to find out more.

You can search the NHS website for information about consultants and hospitals that offer this procedure.

You can also get support from your local Healthwatch.

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