Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


Rejected by two bariatric surgeons but approved by two others - what do I do?

94 replies

weightlosssurgeryprobs · 16/03/2023 17:23

In a bit of a dilemma and would appreciate some anonymous, impartial advice if possible.

I’m 28, and up until I gave birth to my son in 2020 I have always been a size 10 - 12. I developed really horrendous postnatal depression and stopped exercising and looked to food as a comfort.

I am finally better but in three years I have gained almost 10 stone. I am now 20 stone with a BMI of 44 and I feel awful. Not just because of how I look but I get out of breath walking up the stairs, my back hurts standing too long, I snore incredibly badly and likely have sleep apnea.

I am eating healthily and trying to move more currently because I am determined to get back to my healthy weight. I have never felt so awful and I want to be healthy for my son as I am terrified of the consequences (I know I only have myself to blame).

I am looking into a gastric sleeve currently because I feel I really need help. However I am high risk as in 2015 I had my appendix and my colon removed in a sub total colectomy, a stoma bag for a year in open surgery & then another open surgery for a reversal and to close the stoma hole.

i have no issues since then; and in July 2022 had my gallbladder removed with no issues other than more pain due to the scarring.

I have consulted four surgeons so far - two have refused saying I am too complicated for the private sector and too high risk, however two surgeons have said yes, are skilled in operating on patients with experiences like mine and are confident it would be fine.

I don’t want to do it on the NHS as I have had a multiple failing by them in that my condition could have been treated with medication without surgery had they listened to me the entire year I was begging for help with my symptoms. I just can’t.

I’m not a silly person and I am concerned that two surgeons have said no. They both recommended I get other opinions which is why I have spoken to four but I don’t want to make the wrong decision and end up with complications or even death.

So I’m just looking for advice on if you were in my position what you would do. I know it’s ultimately my decision but any input would be much appreciated as my mind is mixed.

thank you.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

MarieRoseMarie · 16/03/2023 18:13

Cross post with @Lavendersquare

The solution here is Ozempic.


WeeOrcadian · 16/03/2023 18:14

googgodno · 16/03/2023 17:46

Nope. You can lose it all through calorie counting and exercise. Be strict, look forwards and do it for yourself and your son. You can do it.

Easy to say. Harder to do.

OP, I speak as someone who has had a sleeve gastrectomy on the NHS. It's a huge undertaking, and I don't mean because of prior surgeries you've had. I'd be inclined to trust the Drs hwo are saying "no", because they're erring on the side of caution.

If I were you, I'd find a healthy regimen that suits you, give it 12 months and see what you can achieve in that time. Reassess after that, you may find that you're doing so well that you don't feel the need for WLS.
Also, do some research on the doctors you're looking at, it can't hurt to know their stats (available online).
I say this kindly, please don't think (as MANY people do) that WLS is the easy way - having dieted many times, diets are easy in comparison. Maybe join some groups on FB, have a read of experiences.

P.S. Please PLEASE don't consider a band - they're absolutely vile and haould be banned across the board. My LA don't do them at all any more, they're that bad.


1FootInTheRave · 16/03/2023 18:15

I would err on the side of caution.

If you went for it privately, do they have an icu?

I believed ozempic (semaglutide) has been licensed for bariatric people in the uk now. Could this be an option?

Good luck whatever you do.


Lavendersquare · 16/03/2023 18:15

MarieRoseMarie · 16/03/2023 18:13

Cross post with @Lavendersquare

The solution here is Ozempic.

Are you using it too? How are you getting on?


LeroyJenkinssss · 16/03/2023 18:15

I have a slightly different take on this. Some private hospitals are not set up to deal with high risk patients in terms of hdu support etc. also each surgeon has a different attitude to risk / own surgical capability. Some won’t accept any level of risk at all, especially in the private sector and others will. That’s not to say the ones that take on risk are wrong.

I will say that no one can guarantee you a risk free procedure and I would run a mile from any surgeon who says they can. All procedures carry risk but it’s down to how confident you are at minimising/managing that risk and your ability to deal with a more complex procedure.

If I was contemplating high risk private surgery I’d want to know both how well the private hospital is set up for it and the surgeons experience. I’d want to look at where the surgeons operate in the NHS and whether they routinely do these sorts of procedures both on the NHS and privately.

If the surgeons who said yes work at specialist units in the NHS and routinely do high risk surgeries and the ‘no’ surgeons work in a general surgery unit with low volume bariatric surgery I’d feel better than of it were the other way around.


Snowsurprised · 16/03/2023 18:16

You sound REALLY motivated. I think you have a very good chance of doing this without surgery. Therapy. Good nutrition and exercise program. Lots of support. You can do it Flowers


ittakes2 · 16/03/2023 18:16

Have you had your thyroid checked?


KickHimInTheCrotch · 16/03/2023 18:17

No way. I've heard too many horror stories to ever have elective gastric weight loss surgery.


Chocolatetadpole · 16/03/2023 18:19

Oh OP I'm sorry you're struggling. I'd probably be cautious with this and be mindful that 2 surgeons being unwilling to do the surgery must mean the risks are considerable. My friend's husband recently had this surgery and ended up incredibly unwell in intensive care.

The Weight Loss forum on here is really supportive and helpful, you'll likely get some good advice on there.


MarieRoseMarie · 16/03/2023 18:19

Lavendersquare · 16/03/2023 18:15

Are you using it too? How are you getting on?

40 pounds down in 4 months. I absolutely love it!


gogohmm · 16/03/2023 18:20

The surgery shrinks your stomach size so you eat less, it doesn't actually make you lose weight any faster than if you just ate the same amount without surgery using will power alone. There's also medication that can reduce appetite. Have you spoken to your gp, been referred to a weight loss program?


ArmchairAnarchist2 · 16/03/2023 18:20

I had a total gastrectomy several years ago (not for bariatric reasons) and am on several pages on FB connected to this. The amount on WLS patients who almost died and later needed a gastrectomy is shocking. It isn't easy to live with. All I will say is go on gastrectomy sites and ask WLS patients for their testimonies. I think WLS pages can play down the risks. I wouldn't consider it when there are reputable surgeons saying no, especially if you have young children..


CatSpeakForDummies · 16/03/2023 18:21

When you had the stoma reversed, did you have an internal pouch created using a segment of your small intestine?

If so, you will already by high risk for absorption issues and complications. I'd talk to your GI surgeon who did that original surgery and I'm willing to bet he/she won't recommend a gastric sleeve. He/she also doesn't have a vested interest and will have the most knowledge on your situation.


StylishM · 16/03/2023 18:22

I'm exceptionally high risk due to cardiac issues and Tonic Surgery took me on as a patient. They have full aftercare & pre-surgery reviews with a dietician and psychologist, would highly recommend them. U.K. based and founded by a woman who had the surgery herself


Viviennemary · 16/03/2023 18:27

I would just have it done. It's not that unusual to have some surgeons refusing to operate for one reason or another. I knew a very elderly lady that needed an op some wouldnt do it but she had it done and it was fine.


googgodno · 16/03/2023 18:28

"This is such a simplification and shows no understanding of the social emotional and biological issues as to why people get fat and stay fat. If it was as simple as just eating less, far fewer people would be fat."

Nope, I understand it alright. Two surgeons have told her it's way too risky. She can do it as I said through diet and exercise.

Also, how she attempts to do it makes no odds to the success. Of the 4 people I know that have had surgery only one has kept the weight off. The problems didn't go away with that option either.


Imogensmumma · 16/03/2023 18:30

Hi @weightlosssurgeryprobs I had gastric sleeve surgery in January. With your part colon removal I wouldn’t. The surgery and after diet really messes up … umm how to say this.. going to the bathroom so if you already have gastric issues then I wouldn’t go near a gastric sleeve.

As part of having a gastric sleeve I had to go on a two week optifast diet I lost a lot doing that can I suggest optifast?


ichifanny · 16/03/2023 18:32

No chance I’d take the risk with a gastric sleeve after what you have been through with your bowel it’s sound away too risky , I’d just start slowly and try do it naturally it’s not worth the risk . I work on surgical setting and the state some people have came in post gastric band / sleeve is very sad .


whynotwhatknot · 16/03/2023 18:35

i too al overweight it crept up slowly oer the years and now is really hard to get rid of

if two surgeons who would take money say no id belive them over the others-


titchy · 16/03/2023 18:36

Given that you put on weight due to ppd, having had a healthy lifestyle up to that point, I'd have thought you could lose through diet alone. You don't have an entire lifetime of poor eating meaning you need a lifetime of correction, which surgery obvious would be.

Not worth the risk imo, esp as your eating is now back to normal and the weight should now start to drop off.


Inkblue · 16/03/2023 18:37

I know someone who died after bariatric surgery. He was very unlucky but it has changed my view on it.


bubbles2023 · 16/03/2023 18:37

Another recommendation for ozempic. Not risk free and some potential side effects (I had very little), but if you were willing to consider surgery then I'd go for this.


Viviennemary · 16/03/2023 18:38

Reading through all these posts maybe you should think again, it does sound risky.



whynotwhatknot · 16/03/2023 18:40

what is ozempic how does it work


SunshineGeorgie · 16/03/2023 18:48

Another vote for saxenda or ozempic!!

I. The time it's taking to research doctors you could have easily lost a stone!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

We're all short on time

Log in or sign up to use the 'See Next' or 'See all' posts by the OP (Original Poster) and cut straight to the action.

Already signed up?

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?