Bariatric Surgery- what are the practices responsibilities?
When patients have bariatric surgery, they usually have this done at regional centres, though some patients choose to have private surgery further afield or abroad. Practices are often asked to perform pre-operative and post-operative checks for these patients, but what is the practices responsibility to perform these checks?
Practices are not contracted to perform pre-operative checks for patients, so there is no compulsion to do this. However, bariatric surgery is beneficial for long term health, and travelling to a regional centre may be difficult for a patient, so practices can choose to support patients by performing the pre-operative tests.
Post-operative tests re also required to ensure adequate nutrition is maintained. These tests are part of the patient’s follow-up which the surgical provider should provide, however, for pragmatic reasons practices can perform the phlebotomy and send the results to the surgical provider.
If the patient chooses to have surgery privately, the practice’s responsibility is the same, as patients have the right to move between private and NHS at any time. It remains the responsibility of the private provider to advise the patient and practice of management of any abnormalities found. If the private provider is outside the UK the practice can seek Advice and Guidance from local gastroenterologists.
A guide to what blood tests patients should have post bariatric surgery is available at gpnotebook.