You May Be Waiting Up To 10 Years On A Public List For Weight Loss Surgery

Written 2 months ago by Angel Croitor


Dr. Helen Heneghan, a surgeon at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, knows of nine overweight patients who have died in the last five years waiting for a gastric bypass. They developed complications while simply waiting for a life saving surgery.

Alan Smyth, the Portlaoise man who lost an incredible 13 stone, says that waiting on a public list for, what was, crucial weight loss surgery was not an option.

He spoke to Will Faulkner on Midlands Today about the other options that were on the table for Alan before he settled on the private medical route.

“I had to make a choice in February 2017. When I looked into Loughlinstown, into the weight loss surgery, the waiting list was five to nine years. I was developing high blood pressure, cholesterol, my joints were hurting.”

Alan’s doctor didn’t spare him the bad news. He was told that if he didn’t take action against his obesity the outcome would morbid and far sooner than Alan could comprehend.

“34 stone at 31 years of age is too big – you’re carrying so much weight on your shoulders.”

Alan has explored multiple weight loss options such as Slimming World, Weight Watchers, LipoTrim, etc. which he says have worked for some but hasn’t worked for Alan at the size that he was.

In the end the only viable option for Alan, at his biggest, was a gastric bypass. He managed to get the funds needed from his family and from saving by himself. Now – the loan itself was €20,000 but Alan says it was a small price to pay for the life he gets to live now.

“I don’t have those bills on top of me that other people might have.”

He received no assistance from the state to aid him on his journey – even if he was on illness benefit.

Alan has even looked so far as to go abroad to avail of the operation but that would’ve ended up cheaper but he says that the cheaper option doesn’t always mean the best one.

What do you make of the waiting times? Would you fear for your life or the life of a loved one during that time? Let us know at midlandstoday@midlandsradio.fm.

You can hear the full interview up above.