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If you're struggling with severe obesity and have been unable to lose weight through diet and exercise, you may be a suitable candidate for bariatric surgery, commonly known as weight loss surgery. Bariatric surgery is a major surgical procedure that involves making changes to the digestive system to help you lose weight and improve your overall health.

Bariatric surgery is typically recommended for people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above, or a BMI of 35 or above with obesity-related health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea. Other eligibility criteria may include a history of failed attempts at weight loss through other methods, and a willingness to commit to a healthy lifestyle after the surgery.

The goal of bariatric surgery is to help you lose weight by reducing the amount of food that your stomach can hold or limiting the absorption of nutrients. This can help improve or even resolve obesity-related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea.

Bariatric surgery is a major surgery that carries risks, such as infection, bleeding, and blood clots. However, with the right precautions and follow-up care, it can be a safe and effective way to achieve long-term weight loss and improve your overall health and well-being.

If you're referred to a hospital for bariatric surgery, you will work closely with a team of healthcare professionals, including a bariatric surgeon, dietitian, and other specialists, to ensure that you are getting the best possible care and support throughout the process. It's important to have a thorough understanding of the procedure and its potential risks and benefits, and to have realistic expectations about the outcome. With the right care and support, bariatric surgery can be a life-changing experience for those struggling with severe obesity.

Weight Loss Surgery at Blackrock Health

At Blackrock Health, we have extensive experience in performing highly specialised weight loss procedures. At our Blackrock Clinic and Hermitage Clinic hospitals, we provide expert and personalised care tailored to your own weight loss goals - delivered by our multi-disciplinary teams. We offer the latest technologies - such as minimally invasive (keyhole) and robot-assisted surgeries. This ensures that you receive the best possible care before, during and after your surgery. As all surgery has an inherent risk, we also offer you the reassurance that comes from having access to this kind of expert medical care close to home. Our team is committed to providing compassionate care and support to all our patients. We also work closely with other specialists to ensure that you receive the best possible treatment plan for your condition. Whether you are considering weight loss surgery for the first time or need ongoing support, we are dedicated to helping you. We want to see you achieve your goals and improve your overall health and well-being. 

There is no single best solution to suit every patient, so it is essential to have a full and open consultation with your surgeon in the first instance. Our bariatric team offers a variety of procedures. Your weight loss surgeon will find the right one for you.

Health Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery

  • Effective treatment for morbid obesity
  • Long-term remission for Type 2 diabetes
  • Improved fertility
  • Correction of venous stasis disease
  • Eliminate obstructive sleep apnea
  • Lowering of cholesterol levels
  • Relief from depression

Taking the First Step

There is a defined route towards weight loss surgery. The first and most important step is to embrace your decision and talk to your GP. Your doctor can then refer you to a bariatric (weight loss) surgeon. You are now underway.


Your introductory visit to your surgeon will cover a lot of ground. Before any decision is made about surgery, you will meet a number of the other team members, including dietician, psychologist, and endocrinologist.


For most people, surgery will be performed by a minimally invasive method, usually by means of a laparoscope (keyhole surgery). Some of our surgeons also do robot-assisted bariatric surgery.

Surgical Options

The weight loss operations recognised as effective by most surgeons include Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric banding (adjustable or non-adjustable). Our bariatric team uses the procedures with the highest long-term success rates.

Roux En Y Gastric Bypass

The Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass (pronounced roo-on-y) procedure involves dividing the stomach and using part of it to form a small gastric pouch. Then instead of the normal outflow to the duodenum, a direct connection is made between the new small stomach and further down the small intestine. This effectively bypasses 5-8 feet of bowel, meaning less food and nutrients are absorbed. The stomach is not actually removed, just bypassed.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

The Sleeve Gastrectomy involves removal of at least 75% of the stomach. This changes it  from a round, bag shaped structure, to a shape more like a tube or a banana.

Our multidisciplinary approach to weight loss

Our bariatric team has a patient inclusive, multi-disciplinary approach to weight loss. As the patient, you contribute to the development of the treatment plan with your healthcare professionals. It is your own motivation which will underpin the success of your gastric bypass or gastric sleeve treatment.

The nature of excess weight is to exacerbate any underlying conditions a patient may have, as well as to introduce other incapacitating complaints. Along with progressive ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnea, many patients find their lifestyles disrupted. Fertility can be impaired, depression can become overwhelming. With this in mind, your team will include a variety of medical disciplines, each experienced in bariatric care.

Total Patient Care

Weight reduction surgery has been reported to improve conditions such as sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Many patients report an improvement in mood and psychosocial functioning after gastric bypass or gastric sleeve treatment.

Our treatment method is inclusive so you will be involved in every step of the plan. 

We will guide you through the early stages, helping you understand and implement your pre-operative diet.
Our multi-disciplinary team will work with you to ensure that you are physically and mentally ready for your gastrectomy or gastric bypass surgery.
Your hospital stay will be in a private room within our hi-tech hospitals, with specialist nursing, physiotherapy and consultant supervision throughout.
You will be discharged with a thorough understanding of your post operative plan -  that is when your work  starts.
With our continued support for the next two years, you will learn to embrace and love your new lifestyle.

The Process

Initial Consultations

Your introductory visit to your surgeon will cover a lot of ground. It may take some time, so please prepare for this. You will meet the surgeon and dietitian and undergo a comprehensive medical assessment, covering your general health history and expectations.

The information assimilated will help the surgeon to determine whether other tests and specialist consultations are required prior to becoming a candidate for gastric bypass surgery or sleeve gastrectomy. You may progress to meet a number of healthcare professionals in advance of surgery should that prove necessary. 

Please make a list of any questions you may have in advance. You may also benefit from bringing a friend or relative along with you should you wish. 

Following all evaluations, if deemed suitable for gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, a pre operation plan is arranged, including both pre and post operative diet education. 

There are numerous different types of bariatric surgery. We have chosen the weight loss procedures which we feel are the most beneficial to our patients, bearing in mind the advantages and disadvantages of each procedure.

Lead up to Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Bypass Surgery

When you have been given a positive evaluation for gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery, a preoperative plan and dietary regime will be arranged in the lead up to the operation date.

You will need to follow a low carbohydrate diet plan for the two weeks preceding your operation. This eating pattern is designed to increase the chance of your surgery being performed laparoscopically (by keyhole).


Most of our patients experience weight loss surgery by minimally invasive techniques (laparoscopic surgery). This allows smaller abdominal incisions, offering the advantages of reduced post-operative pain; shorter hospital stays; fewer wound complications; faster recovery times.

However, for a small number of patients, this method might not be an option. In such a case, your surgeon will choose the "open" method. This may be recommended to minimise the risk of complications in certain circumstances. There are several factors which may contribute towards this decision, such as dense scar tissue caused by previous abdominal surgery.

Different Types of Weight Loss Surgery

Some of the most common types of bariatric surgery are:

  • Sleeve Gastrectomy
  • Gastric Bypass
  • Lap Band, or Adjustable Gastric Band
  • Gastric Balloon
  • Robotic Weight Loss Surgery

As part of our surgical weight loss options, we offer sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass surgeries.

Which Weight Loss Surgery is Best for Me?

We offer what we consider to be the best weight loss surgery options for our patients. Contact our bariatric specialists to discuss the types of weight loss surgery available, and which option would be best for you.

It's good to know that with over 30 years experience, Blackrock Heath offers you access to some of the leading experts in medical care in Ireland. We understand that weight loss is a complex arena, and consultants from many of our specialties will join forces in ensuring that your gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy treatment is complete from every angle.

Roux En Y Gastric Bypass

The gastric bypass procedure involves dividing the stomach and forming a small gastric pouch.

Robotic Surgery

Robotic surgery is a new and exciting development. The surgeon still does your surgery, but the robot drives the instruments in a more precise and efficient manner. The robotic-assisted instruments are usually inserted through small keyhole incisions in the abdomen, but occasionally can be used in open surgery.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

The sleeve gastrectomy involves removal of at least 75% of the stomach, reducing the volume capacity of the stomach.

Why not Gastric Band?

Long term studies show that the gastric band is not as effective as other weight loss surgeries. Patients have been found to require more surgeries and have lower rates of weight loss.

About Gastric Bypass

The gastric bypass procedure involves dividing the stomach and forming a small gastric pouch. The new gastric pouch is connected to varying lengths of your own small intestine constructed into a Y-shaped limb (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass). 

Gastric bypass surgery thus both reduces portion sizes as well as gently limiting calorie absorption, to allow for enhanced weight loss. 

Health Benefits

The health benefits of Gastric Bypass include:

  • 70 -75% average estimated excess body weight loss 
  • Approximately 70% reversal of diabetes 
  • 60 % resolution of sleep apnoea
  • Improved mobility 
  • Resolution of acid reflux 
  • Improved fertility for females 
Advantages of the Laparoscopic Approach:
  • Reduced post-operative pain 
  • Shorter hospital stay 
  • Fewer wound complications 
  • Return to work 2-3 weeks 

      About Sleeve Gastrectomy

      The sleeve gastrectomy involves removal of at least 75% of the stomach. This reduces the volume capacity of the stomach and allows for smaller portions and reduced absorption of nutrients to facilitate weight loss. 

      Health Benefits

      Positive health benefits to sleeve gastrectomy surgery include:

      • 60 -70 % average estimated excess body weight loss
      • Approximately 70% reversal of diabetes
      • 60% resolution of sleep apnoea
      • Improved mobility
      • Resolution of acid reflux
      • Improved fertility in females 
      Advantages of the Laparoscopic Approach:
      • Reduced post-operative pain 
      • Shorter hospital stay 
      • Fewer wound complications 
      • Faster return to work 


        Do I Qualify?

        Under current Irish insurance rules, to be eligible for bariatric surgery you should have a BMI over 45 or over 40 with weight related medical conditions. Current international guidelines stipulate a BMI of over 40 or over 35 with weight related medical conditions. If you are self paying, the international guidelines will apply. Surgical, medical, psychological and dietary evaluations are all usually required prior to deciding if you are eligible.

        What Preparation is Required?

        A thorough multidisciplinary evaluation to determine if you are a candidate for sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass surgery, which includes a nutritional, psychological and consultations from other medical specialists if deemed necessary. In addition you are required to quit smoking prior to surgery.

        What Happens if the Operation Cannot be Performed by the Laparoscopic Method?

        In a small number of patients the laparoscopic method cannot be performed. Factors that may increase the possibility of choosing or converting to the "open" procedure may include a history of prior abdominal surgery causing dense scar tissue, inability to visualise organs or bleeding problems during the operation. When the surgeon feels that it is safest to convert the laparoscopic procedure to an open one, this is not a complication but rather sound surgical judgement. The decision to convert to an open procedure is strictly based on patient safety.

        What Happens on the Day of Surgery?

        You will arrive at the hospital the morning of the operation. Preparation for surgery includes changing into a hospital gown. Pre-operative medications may be necessary including a blood thinning injection to reduce the risk of clots. You will also meet the anaesthetist in advance of your surgery.

        What are the Expected Results after Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery?

        The success rate for weight loss is reported as being slightly higher with the gastric bypass than the sleeve gastrectomy but both techniques have shown excellent results. Most reports show a 50% or greater excess weight loss after one year. Weight loss generally continues for all the procedures for 18-24 months after surgery. Some weight gain is common about two to five years after surgery.

        Pregnancy after Bariatric Surgery?

        Bariatric surgery can produce a sudden positive change in your fertility. Women who become pregnant after any of these surgical procedures need special attention from their doctors and clinical care team. To protect women and their babies from potential malnutrition, doctors recommend that women not get pregnant until 18 months after sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass surgery.

        Total Patient Care

        You will usually be in the hospital for 2-4 days after a laparoscopic procedure. You may have a tube in your nose on the first day, out of bed sitting in a chair the night of surgery and walking by the following day.

        You will need to participate in breathing exercises and chest physio & will receive pain medication when required

        After Surgery

        Typically, you will remain an inpatient for 2-4 days after gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, during which you will participate in breathing exercises and chest physiotherapy. It is important that you continue with these exercises when you return home. 

        You will receive pain medication when you need it, although pain after laparoscopic surgery is generally mild.

        Prior to going home, you will begin a three week course of subcutaneous injections of a blood thinner to protect you from clots.

        When you leave the hospital, you will be encouraged to walk and engage in light activity. You will probably be able to resume most of your normal activities within one to two weeks, such as showering, driving, walking up stairs, work etc.

        You will receive a comprehensive diet plan for the weeks after your operation, and it is essential that you stick to the guidelines. You will also be given information regarding vitamin and mineral supplements which you must take as part of your new regimen. 

        The procedures available are proven to be safe, although complications can occur in the short or longer term. You will leave the hospital with all the information and contact numbers you need, along with a follow up appointment date. 

        Some of the specialties working with you will be:


        Endocrinology is the study of medicine relating to the endocrine system, controlling hormones. As well as overseeing your care relating to diabetes, the endocrinologist covers a wide range of bodily functions including respiration, metabolism, fertility, sensory perception and movement. 


        A dietitian will be with you at every stage of your gastric bypass or gastrectomy treatment. You will be educated in your pre-operative diet, and staged post operative eating requirements, along with essential vitamin and mineral supplementation.


        After surgery, you will need to participate in breathing exercises and chest physio. A chartered physiotherapist will visit you soon after surgery and begin a course of exercises. You will be tutored how to continue the exercises at home.


        Excess weight gain will have added stress to your heart and vascular system, and you will probably be suffering from conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and "venous stasis". This is a medical condition in which veins are unable to pump enough blood back to the heart and is a risk factor for forming blood clots. Our cardiovascular team is one of the strongest in Ireland and will be a constant presence during your gastric bypass or gastrectomy treatment.


        The risk of chronic respiratory diseases increases with excess weight gain. COPD, asthma and obstructive sleep apnea are common associations. Our respiratory physician will oversee your recovery and ensure your well being throughout. 


        Your decision to enter into weight loss surgery has enormous implications on your future lifestyle. Your understanding, your strengths, and any weaknesses will be assessed so that we may guide and support you in your choice to undergo gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy treatment.

        How do I get this?

        You will need a referral letter from your GP or consultant before you make an appointment

        Is this insured?

        Under current Irish insurance rules, to be eligible for bariatric surgery a patient should have a BMI over 45, or over 40 with weight related medical conditions. If you intend to apply to your insurer for cover, this is one item they will use in their pre-authorisation process. Your surgeon will present your medical case to your insurance company, allowing them to assess and pre-authorise your cover for sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass surgery.

        All facilities are available to patients with health insurance, on a self-paying basis, or a combination of both. It's important to consider that patient shortfalls are waived on many plans. 

        If you want to find out how you are covered, discuss the pre-authorisation process, or talk to us about self-funding gastric sleeve or gastric bypass prices, please contact us at the details below.

        How do I pay?

        If you do not have health insurance or your health plan does not cover the full cost, you will need to pay the balance due before your treatment or procedure. You may be able to claim back some fees on your insurance. To pay an excess not covered by your insurance or any other inpatient fees, please visit our payment page. If you have any queries about paying for your care, please contact the finance team in your hospital.

        Available at:
        • Blackrock Clinic
        • Hermitage Clinic

        Blackrock Clinic

        Rock Road, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, A94E4X7
        Weight Loss Surgery

        Prof. Mayilone Arumugasamy

        General surgery

        Blackrock Clinic

        Mr. William Robb

        General surgery

        Blackrock Clinic
        + other locations

        Hermitage Clinic

        Old Lucan Road, Dublin, D20 W722
        Weight Loss Surgery

        Mr. William Robb

        General surgery

        Blackrock Clinic
        + other locations