Availability Weight loss surgery
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 a 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:
- you have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more, or a BMI between 35 and 40 and a serious condition that might improve if you lost weight (such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure)
- you’ve tried all other weight loss methods, such as dieting and exercise, but have struggled to lose weight or keep it off
- you agree to long-term follow-up after surgery – such as making healthy lifestyle changes and attending regular check-ups
- you’re fit and healthy enough to have surgery under general anaesthetic (where you’re asleep)
- you’ve been receiving or will receive treatment from a specialist obesity team
- If your BMI is 50 or over, surgery may be considered without needing to try other weight loss methods first.
If you’ve been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, 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.