NHS & Funding for Operations (Scotland)


Does anyone have any experience of their local NHS and funding. I am a candidate for surgery (Lipo) but it's looking as if I have a fight on my hands to get funding approved as apparently it's not yet proved to be safe enough and the efficacy of it. Not enough clinical evidence. Excuse my terminology as I am not up on how these things work in the NHS. Seems to me to be a post code lottery as if I lived in Dundee it wouldn't be a problem.

Feeling very down today and just needed to know people's thoughts.


Not so Happy2015

12 Replies

  • Are you in Scotland? Have you had an assessment with Alex Munnoch?

  • Yes! He will do it, just had knack back from Ayrshire & Arran!

  • I'm not in Scotland, but NHS England take the same view. I had bi-pass surgery rather than lipo - had to fund it myself. I have private insurance & they didn't want to fund either on the same reasoning, but when my surgery was so successful (60% reduction in 6 months) they paid 50% cost.

  • That's great news for you. I have private too but not covered. I'll look into that though. Thanks

  • Can I ask, what surgery did you get?

  • I have had all of these on the NHS, but I genuinely believe we, as patients, ask the wrong questions of the NHS.

    Liposuction for lymphoedema only helps alleviate some (or a lot) of the size of your limb. It isn't a cure. The NHS will look at this similarly to how they look at those cancer drugs that keep people alive for longer. If there is no chance of cure, they won't fund the treatment.

    I got my treatment through asking to be referred to a consultant who uses surgical techniques, to try and cure and reduce my lymphoedema. As part of my treatment I had liposuction to remove over 3kilos of fat from my leg.

    My referral did have to go through the local health panel, but as they are already funding tights and therapy for the rest of my life, and I am fairly young and fit, I believe they must have thought it was worth the risk.

    The only thing I have dug deep for in my lymphoedema treatment is a Lymphapress machine, which early signs indicate is money well spent.

  • Thanks! I asked to be referred too and like I said, I am a candidate for surgery but it's the funding part I need to now challenge.

    What area are you in? I'm keen to know what health boards support.

    What's a lymphapress and how does that now help you?

  • I'm in SE London. I found a consultant who was happy to accept NHS patients, and then I stated my case through my GP.

    My point is that if liposuction is all that's being offered, then they will say no because it is not curative. Liposuction was the last thing my surgeon done for me, and that was purely to debunk the leg. Don't think this is a nice procedure. Very painful few days after the operation.

    A Lymphapress is a machine that attaches to some specially made garments and it uses air to inflate the garment sequentially to massage the affected limb. Costs around £3500.

  • Hi,

    please could I ask you for advice, I have had liposuction performed by Mr MUnnoch, but I am thinking of lymph node transfer, I want to have this funded by the NHS do you know if this is possible?


  • Sorry, I wouldn't know. I've heard of that surgery. I'm still trying to find evidence to support my case that lipo is safe and effective. Post again to see if anyone else can help you.

  • Hi, can I ask what Health Board you are under? I had my request refused but I am appealing. How did you find the op, surgery and are you pleased with your results?


  • There are NICE guidelines in place I believe regarding the use of liposuction for Lymphoedema.

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