Upper GI Conditions


How do we define obesity?


Obesity occurs when there is excessive body fat, and is measured  using the Body Mass Index (BMI) which is based on the weight and height of an individual adult.


The BMI categories are:


BMI : 18.5 to 25 - Normal weight

BMI : 25 to 30    - Overweight

BMI : 30 to 40    - Obese

BMI:  >40           - Morbidly obese


The Body mass index is calculated by the equation below:

BMI =       weight (kg) divided by height squared (m2

Click on the BMI CALCULATOR  to check your BMI.


Who should consider weight loss surgery?


Weight loss surgery is usually considered in patients who are morbidly obese (ie BMI >40).  For these patients, surgery has been found to be the best long-term way of reducing weight and improving some of the medical problems that may be caused or associated with increased weight.


Why should you worry about obesity?


Obesity can affect your health in many ways and has been shown to lead to medical problems such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes (Mature onset or Type 2 diabetes)
  • Breathing problems, such as:
    •  Asthma or
    • Obstructive sleep apnoea (difficulty breathing when asleep or lying down)
  • Heart disease such as angina and heart attacks

  • Fatty liver leading to a type of hepatitis

  • Acid reflux

  • Joint pains and early arthritis

  • Impaired fertility, irregular periods and polycystic ovaries

  • Increased risk of certain types of cancer

  • Who is eligible for surgery?

    In the United Kingdom, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published their guidelines on eligibility for weight loss surgery in the NHS.

    Patients are eligible if they are:

    • At least 18 years of age
    • Have a BMI of >50
    • Have received treatment in a specialist obesity clinic at a hospital AND have tried all other methods of losing weight AND
      • Have a BMI >40 OR
      • Have a BMI > 35 with at least 2 of the medical conditions linked with obesity (as above)
    • Medically fit enough to undergo an anaesthetic and the surgery
    • Have no specific psychological reasons or psychiatric illnesses which would preclude them having the operation
    • Committed  to attend long term follow up and to changing their diet and way of life as a result of the surgery.

     Why should I consider weight loss surgery if I don't really mind the way I look?


    If you are morbidly obese then you are at high risk of developing one or more of the medical problems listed above, or may already have them.  Undergoing weight loss surgery will help you achieve significant long term weight loss which will either improve or even cure your medical problems as welll as prevent your developing further problems. 


    Can you tell me more about the operations?


    Please look at the Weight Loss Surgery page.