And its successes includes one woman who became a mum of twins as well as tackling problems with diabetes.
The bariatric team at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has completed more than 850 weight loss procedures since it started work in 2011.
Each keyhole surgery works to reduce the size of the stomach so that it limits food intake and helps patients to lose weight.
Three different types of weight loss surgery can be performed and they are gastric sleeves, gastric balloons and gastric bypass.
Bariatric surgery is available to people who are prepared to commit to big changes in their lifestyle to improve their ability to live life the way they would like to – whether that’s running around with the kids, enjoying gardening or being able to do a spot of shopping.
And one success story is a woman who wishes to remain anonymous and who has undergone an incredible transformation.
She had type 2 diabetes, struggled with her fertility and underwent bariatric surgery so that she could have in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment.
She lost 100% of her excess weight and, after her IVF, had twin daughters. Her diabetes also went into remission.
Lorraine Oliver, a specialist bariatric nurse at the Trust for more than eight years, said: “Working as part of the bariatric team is the most rewarding post I’ve worked in during my career in nursing. I can’t even begin to express how eye-opening it is working with bariatric patients.
“Change is difficult for everyone. Those who seek weight loss surgery have the willingness and courage to make often-dramatic lifestyle changes. Being part of a bariatric patient’s journey and seeing their change is profound.”
During her 32 years in the trust, Lorraine has worked in several other surgical roles but enjoys the opportunity in bariatrics to continue working with patients after their surgery.
Lorraine continued: “Our team is passionate about providing exceptional care, tailored to meet individual patients’ needs.
She added: “If you ask me to tell you my favourite part of the job, I will always say the patients.”
All referrals for weight loss surgery come from specialist weight management services of a patient’s GP.
To qualify for the surgery, patients need to be at least 18-years-old, have a BMI of 35 or more and a medical condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnoea or a BMI of 40 or more with no medical conditions.
Any patients with a BMI which is below 50 are first referred into a specialist weight management service so that no stone is left unturned before carrying out surgery.
Vanessa Osborne, a senior dietitian, said: “As a team we understand that there often isn’t a single cause of weight gain and everyone’s background is different.
“Weight gain is a complex interaction between the individual’s biology, food consumption, psychology and their activity. Environmental factors such as societal influences and food availability is also a contributing factor.”