Bariatric surgeons at St George’s carried out the first day case gastric bypass procedure in the UK.

Derek Carpenter, 46, underwent the gastric bypass surgery to eliminate his symptoms of diabetes on 30 January.

This would usually involve a two night hospital stay, however surgeons at St George’s have streamlined the patient pathway and improved and updated protocols to successfully carry out Derek’s procedure as a day case. This means that he arrived and left hospital within eight hours of his surgery.

Over 3000 gastric bypass operations are undertaken in the UK every year – but this is the first to be carried out as a day case, paving the way for more routine bariatric day case operations in the future.

Derek, who lives in Caterham with his wife Emma, said: “I feel very special and very privileged to be the first person to have had this surgery in the UK.

“I can’t praise Mr Reddy, Mr Khan and the whole St George’s team involved in my care enough – I was in the best hands possible!”

Derek, who has had diabetes for 22 years, started preparing for his operation in mid-January two weeks before surgery by going on a very low calorie ‘liver shrinking diet’ consisting of mainly soups.

The operation involves joining the small intestine to the top part of the stomach resulting in changes in the levels of gut hormones. This in turn can cure diabetes within 48 hours, as well as resulting in significant weight loss in the longer term.

Derek said: “I’ve already lost 2.5 stone and can see a visible difference. But the best thing is that my blood sugar levels have gone from being very high – around 12-15 – to normal range of 4-7. I haven’t felt any discomfort or pain from the operation either!”

Mr Marcus Reddy, Consultant General Surgeon, said: “I am delighted to have introduced day case gastric bypass surgery to the UK. As part of the team that first introduced day case abdominal surgery to St George’s over 14 years ago, I see this development as part of the natural evolution of surgery where we are able to perform more and more complex procedures safely with same day discharge.”

Mr Omar Khan, Consultant General Surgeon, said: “The advantages of day case surgery are well documented with faster recovery and better clinical outcomes. Although day case bariatric surgery will not be suitable for everyone, we do think it may be advantageous for carefully selected patients.”


Photo caption: Derek Carpenter

Notes to editors

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