Bariatric Surgery Experience
Why is it important that surgeons who perform Weight Loss Surgery are NHS Bariatric Surgeons?
Just like cancer surgery, weight loss surgery is complex, the surgery is demanding, the patients can be challenging and the management of complications can be difficult. In the NHS a non-cancer surgeon, would not be allowed to perform cancer surgery and non-bariatric surgeons are not allowed to perform weight loss surgery. Private surgery should not be different.
Before now, private surgery has not been so well regulated. There are lots of non-bariatric surgeons, performing bariatric surgery. It is very easy to find out whether or not your surgeon is an NHS bariatric surgeon, by visiting the National Bariatric Surgery Registry website. If in doubt, ask your surgeon.
Steps have been taken to regulate private surgery. Private hospitals now have to submit outcome data to the Private Hospitals Information Network (PHIN).
NHS consultants are appointed, by a competitive interview process. Posts at NHS bariatric surgery units are advertised, in the medical press, so that surgeons who want to practice weight loss surgery can apply for those posts. In the interview process, their training in bariatric surgery and their experience will be assessed to ensure they are competent safe surgeons.
If your surgeon is not an NHS bariatric surgeon, you need to ask yourself why not? Maybe he wasn't sufficiently interested in weight loss surgery to apply to an NHS bariatric surgery unit, or was unsuccessful in his applications.
NHS bariatric surgeons, have to submit all their NHS outcome data to a National database to ensure they continue to be safe and operate well. My data can be found by following the link below.
Learning to operate is a practical skill. To become the best sportsman, musician or artist takes many, many hours, with the very best having 10,000 hours of practice. Bariatric Surgery is no different; to build up 10,000 hours of practice in bariatric surgery, in the UK, without an NHS practice, is not possible.
It would not have been possible, for me to have an experience in excess of 2000 weight loss surgery procedures, without my NHS practice.
Similarly, I would not have my low complication rate, without my NHS experience and without my NHS experience, I would be much less competent in the management of those complications.