There are many things to consider when choosing who you want to do your surgery:
- The NHS or private – the NHS will be unlikely to offer you a gastric band. Other surgeries are available on the NHS but it is often a long process with strict eligibility guidelines
- Abroad or in the UK – a lot to consider, abroad is usually cheaper but the aftercare may be less comprehensive
- The Team – does the provider have a team of experts on hand – nurses, dietitians, band adjustment professionals
- The surgeon – off course the surgeon plays a pivotal role in your surgery – are they accredited surgeons and a member of the General Medical Council surgeons register. Have they got good reviews, how long have they been practicing, how many similar surgeries have they done, what are their outcomes like
- Pre – operative care – this is an important part of your journey and the operation should be explained to you in detail. Ideally you want to meet your surgeon beforehand and also have pre – operative consultations with a nurse and dietitian
- Post – operative care – the aftercare is extremely important – check what is included in your aftercare, how long it is for, what happens if something goes wrong, if your provider is abroad where do you go if you have a problem. With a gastric band aftercare is especially important because you will have to come into clinic for your band adjustments – check where they will be carried out, how many are you entitled to.
- Aftercare expired – what happens once you no longer have aftercare – does your provider offer an extension package to this, how much are band adjustments individually, what support do you get longer term
There are many things to consider – do your research thoroughly and don’t be scared to ask questions – you are having surgery after all.