Tag Archives: support

Decisions Decisions – Part 2 – Choosing a Surgeon

2 Oct

Where I live, in Scotland, the chances of my accessing surgery via the National Health Service are next to zero, not because I’m not morbidly obese, which I am, not because my Primary Care GP doesn’t think it’s a reasonable idea, which he does, but because lack of resources mean that health care is rationed and in this health area they don’t choose to invest much in bariatric surgery. I’ve already been through the weight management service in my local NHS area, where you get nutritional support to lose ¬†around 10% of your weight in a target time. This worked for me, but like all dietary interventions, only temporarily, and when the programme came to its end I regained this weight and more.

So – the only option for me it to pay privately to have the surgery. I started investigating the cost of surgery privately in the UK (very expensive, but perhaps not as much as in the USA) and then I discovered, through online WLS forums that here are many private providers in mainland Europe who are much cheaper. Don’t get me wrong, cost isn’t the only factor, but I wouldn’t even have gone any further in investigating if it wasn’t affordable. I looked at a few providers but the one I was attracted to, and finally signed up with was the one which provided very clear information on the surgeon who would do the operation, his CV (with lots of information about his training) statistics about how many VSG and Gastric Plication procedures he had performed and his complication rates. I was then able to look at these complication rates in comparison to average complication rates for these procedures, to see if his rates were good, making him someone I would trust to operate on me.

If you are looking for a surgeon or health care company to arrange bariatric surgery for you you need to ask the questions:

Who is the surgeon – get a name so you can investigate

How many procedures have they carried out?

Complication rates?

Support afterwards – is there a community of patients or other follow up support offered.

I haven’t bought any follow up care, nutritional or counselling, but if I have any specific problems I’m expecting that the NHS will help me – after all other lifestyle choices hare supported (treatment for smokers or sporting injuries). I’m not anticipating any problems, although vitamin deficiencies are a possibility. The majority of support will come form the online community of patients who have already had the procedure done by the surgeon I’m going with, Dr Martin Hruby, in Turnov, Czech Republic. Being in touch with this group for several months prior to surgery has given me time and space to find out the good, the bad and the ugly about others’ experiences and I’m satisfied that I’m doing the right thing, with the right surgeon.