Compare financing options for weight loss surgery

For those who meet a certain criteria, weight loss surgery is covered by the NHS. Here's a guide to funding for this major operation.

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Compare finance for weight loss surgery

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Name Product Ratings Customer rating Finder score Total Payable Monthly Repayment Representative APR Link
Novuna Personal Loan
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
User rating
★★★★★
Expert analysis
Check eligibility
View details
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 7.4% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 7.4% and total payable £11,142.00 in monthly repayments of £309.50.
My Community Bank Personal Loan
Finder score
★★★★★
Not yet rated
★★★★★
Expert analysis
Check eligibility
View details
Representative example: Borrow £5,000 over 48 months at a rate of 25.0% pa (fixed). Representative APR 28.1% and total payable £7,955.24 in monthly repayments of £165.73.
Fluro (formerly Lending Works) Personal Loan
Finder score
★★★★★
Not yet rated
★★★★★
Expert analysis
Check eligibility
View details
Representative example: Assumed borrowing of £7,500.00 over 48 months at 17.9% APR representative. Monthly cost of £214.79. Total amount repayable of £10,309.78. Interest rate of 16.6% p.a.(fixed) and total fees of £150.00. Available for loan amounts between £5,000 - £25,000.
Lendwise
Finder score
★★★★★
Not yet rated
★★★★★
Expert analysis
View details
thinkmoney Personal Loan
Finder score
★★★★★
Not yet rated
★★★★★
Expert analysis
View details
Representative example: If you borrow £29,100 over 12 years, initially on a fixed rate for 5 years at 8.885% and for the remaining 7 years on the Lender's standard variable rate of 9.285%, you would make 60 monthly payments of £375.53 and 84 monthly payments of £380.29.
Tesco Bank Personal Loan
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
User rating
★★★★★
Expert analysis
View details
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 6.5% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 6.5% and total payable £11,003.04 in monthly repayments of £305.64.
Zopa Personal Loan
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
User rating
★★★★★
Expert analysis
View details
Representative example: Borrow £1,500.00 over 3 years at a rate of 22.9% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 22.9% and total payable £2,028.60 in monthly repayments of £56.35.
Barclays Existing Current Account Loan
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
User rating
★★★★★
Expert analysis
View details
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 6.1% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 6.1% and total payable £10,941.12 in monthly repayments of £303.92.
Lloyds Bank Existing Customer Personal Loan
Finder score
★★★★★
Not yet rated
★★★★★
Expert analysis
View details
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 6.7% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 6.7% and total payable £11,034.00 in monthly repayments of £306.50.
Plend personal loan
Finder score
★★★★★
Not yet rated
★★★★★
Expert analysis
View details
Representative example: Borrow £8,000 over 48 months at a rate of 16.66% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 17.99% and total payable £11,013.12 in monthly repayments of £229.44.
Tesco Bank Clubcard Personal Loan
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
User rating
★★★★★
Expert analysis
View details
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 6.1% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 6.1% and total payable £10,941.12 in monthly repayments of £303.92.
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Please note: You should always refer to your loan agreement for exact repayment amounts as they may vary from our results.
Late repayments can cause you serious money problems. See our debt help guides.

Overview

Weight loss surgery, also called bariatric or metabolic surgery, is sometimes used as a treatment for people who want to lose weight. While it can lead to weight loss and help improve many obesity-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, it’s still a major operation and should only be considered after taking medical advice.

If you do decide on surgery and you don’t qualify for NHS funding, there are several financing options that can make the payment process more affordable.

Is weight loss surgery covered by the NHS?

Weight loss surgery is available on the NHS for people who meet certain criteria which include:

  • You have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more, or a BMI between 35 and 40 and an obesity-related condition that might improve if you lost weight (such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure).
  • You can show that you tried all other weight loss methods, such as dieting and exercise, but have struggled to lose weight or keep it off.
  • You agree to long-term follow-up after surgery – such as making healthy lifestyle changes and attending regular check-ups.

You should always speak to your GP when considering elective surgery.

What is BMI?

BMI is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy. The BMI calculation divides an adult’s weight in kilograms by their height in metres squared. For example, A BMI of 25 means 25kg/m2.

Can I pay for weight loss surgery with a personal loan?

If you don’t qualify for weight loss surgery under the NHS criteria and you don’t have private health insurance, a personal loan may be an option if you are serious about getting the surgery. You should declare the purpose of a loan when you apply for it, and in some cases, lenders may not be willing to lend for weight loss surgery.

Start with your healthcare provider first

A good place to start your search for weight loss financing is with your surgeon and other medical professionals. Hospitals often have relationships with companies that can offer patients medical loans at low interest or a discount.

To understand what you’re getting into, speak with the company financing your payment plan, rather than just your hospital, so that you aren’t surprised by unexpected fees or interest rates.

Look at multiple types of providers

Also turn to your local bank or building society to learn the types of personal loans they offer, and compare online.

If you need faster financing, consider borrowing from an online lender, many of which offer loans specifically for medical procedures.

How much does weight loss surgery cost?

How much your surgery costs varies depending on the type of surgery you’re interested in, whether the NHS covers it, or if you have private health insurance that covers part of it.

Most weight loss surgeries are a type of bariatric surgery — procedures that involve altering the digestive system. Cosmetic procedures like liposuction or a tummy tuck can also help you lose weight initially, though they might not allow you to keep it off.

Speak with a medical professional before deciding on any surgical procedure.

Gastric bypass

Gastric bypass is a type of restrictive bariatric surgery that reduces or otherwise changes the size of your digestive system. In a gastric bypass, your stomach is divided into 2 pouches — one smaller than the other, with both connected to your intestines.

Ultimately, the surgery reduces the volume of food your stomach can hold and the calories (and nutrients) your body can absorb. It’s typically reserved for patients with a BMI that’s 40 or higher.

  • Gastric bypass surgery typically costs from £8,000 to £15,000.

Gastric sleeve

A gastric sleeve is a type of restrictive bariatric surgery that involves removing part of your stomach — sometimes as much as 80%. This surgery restricts the amount and types of food you can eat at once, and like a gastric bypass, you aren’t able to absorb as many nutrients as you would with a full-size stomach. It’s also typically reserved for patients with a BMI of 40 or higher.

  • Gastric sleeve surgery typically costs from £8,000 to £10,000.

Lap band

Lap band surgery — also called gastric lap band surgery or gastric band surgery — is a type of restrictive bariatric surgery. Less invasive than other options, this procedure places an adjustable band around an area near the top of your stomach to create a smaller section where food can enter.

Doctors suggest using a lap band in addition to a weight loss plan, because it likely won’t reduce hunger and can be minimally effective if you don’t also change your diet.

  • Lap band surgery typically costs from £4,000 to £8,000.

Gastric balloon

In this restrictive bariatric procedure, a doctor inserts a balloon into your stomach through your mouth. Your surgeon then fills it with saline to reduce your food cravings. It’s a less invasive alternative to bariatric surgery for patients with a lower BMI.

  • Gastric balloon procedures typically cost from £2,000 to £5,000.

Duodenal switch

Duodenal switch generally combines a gastric sleeve and a gastric bypass. During this procedure, a surgeon removes a large portion of your stomach, leaving the smaller part of your stomach connected to the upper part of your intestines, called the duodenum.

Your surgeon will also alter your intestines to speed up the digestive process and reduce the number of calories your body absorbs. A duodenal switch is generally only recommended for people with a BMI of 50 or higher.

  • Duodenal switch procedures typically cost from £10,000 to £13,500.

Restrictive vs malabsorptive procedures

When researching bariatric surgery, you might come across the terms restrictive and malabsorptive to describe specific procedures.

In short, restrictive refers to procedures that decrease the stomach’s capacity to hold food, like gastric stapling or banding.

Malabsorptive surgery typically refers to rerouting the intestines to bypass a part of the small intestines, where fats, proteins and vitamins are absorbed. Fewer nutrients absorbed by your digestive system can mean faster weight loss. But it might also require lifetime supplements to keep your body healthy.

Speak to a medical professional before deciding on any medical procedure to make sure it fits your lifestyle and long-term goals.

Liposuction

Liposuction is a type of cosmetic surgery in which excess fat deposits are removed from your body. It can’t treat weight-related health problems, and experts recommend it for people within 9 to 14 kg of their healthy weight (or 24.9 BMI).

  • Liposuction typically costs from £2,000 to £8,000 per targeted area.

How else can I pay for weight loss surgery?

First, you must be absolutely sure of your intent to proceed with the surgery. All medical procedures come with inherent risks and potentially long and costly aftercare. Taking on a sizeable amount of debt at the same time is a serious decision especially when the procedure means that you might not be able to work for a long time. It’s always important to exhaust all other financing options that might come with fewer risks attached before taking out a personal loan.

Here are some alternative financing options for those who are not eligible through the NHS:

  • Friends and family. While it may be uncomfortable at first, if you have trouble pulling together the funds, consider asking relatives or loved ones for financing. It’s likely that they won’t charge you interest, though it could hurt your relationships if you fail to pay them back.
  • Medical payment plans. Many hospitals and medical practices offer financing schemes that allow patients to pay their bills in instalments, rather than all at once, often without interest.
  • Credit cards. If your procedure doesn’t cost more than your credit limit, it might be easier to put it on your credit card if you know you can pay it off quickly. You may wish to consider applying for a credit card with a 0% introductory rate to minimise interest. Credit cards typically come with higher APRs than personal loans but often have introductory rates that are lower than most loans.

Tips to help you prepare for weight loss surgery

  • Expect to lose income. It’s not uncommon for patients to be out of commission longer than their paid leave will cover, what with recovery and potential unexpected side effects. Prepare a budget to cover any time not covered.
  • Voice your concerns. Speak to your doctor about any doubts or physical concerns you might have before going under the knife. You might end up discussing a topic you didn’t realise was important but could potentially alter your procedure for the better.
  • Quit smoking. Many doctors may require you to quit smoking. Even if yours doesn’t, stopping at least a month ahead of surgery might speed up your healing time and prevent complications. You’ll likely need to avoid smoking at least a month after your surgery to avoid respiratory complications.

Bottom line

Any surgery is a major undertaking that needs advice from a medical professional. If the NHS doesn’t cover you, there are personal loans, hospital financing schemes and medical loans that can help if you’re not covered by private medical insurance.

Frequently asked questions

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

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