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Douglas Whitelaw: Consultant Obesity Surgeon, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

Consultant Obesity Surgeon, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire: Douglas Whitelaw
Consultant Obesity Surgeon, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire: Douglas Whitelaw
A highly experienced obesity surgeon based in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, offering laparoscopic gastric banding, gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy.

Mr Douglas Whitelaw is Consultant Bariatric and Pancreatobiliary Surgeon at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.  He provides private treatment for obesity, including weight loss surgery, at Spire Harpenden Hospital, the Cobham Clinic (a small private patient unit located within the Luton and Dunstable Hospital) and Pinehill Hospital, Hitchin. 

An expert in Obesity surgery

Mr Whitelaw is a highly trained gastrointestinal surgeon specialising in laparoscopic (keyhole) obesity surgery.  His position at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital, a National Centre of Excellence for bariatric surgery, puts him among the most experienced surgeons working in this field in the UK, and he is actively involved in research programmes at the Hospital's Centre for Obesity Research.

Collaborating with a multidisciplinary team of endocrinologists, psychologists, dieticians and specialist anaesthetists and nurses, Mr Whitelaw aims to provide a caring and comprehensive weight loss service that offers lasting results.  He is able to treat the most complex cases and offers revision surgery for patients whose previous weight loss surgery was unsuccessful.

Mr Whitelaw is the clinical lead for obesity/weight loss surgery at The Luton and Dunstable Hospital. He has performed over 1000 bariatric procedures including 600 gastric bypasses. He also offers band refills and band re-adjustments at his private practice at Spire Harpenden.

Offering expert laparoscopic obesity surgery

Mr Whitelaw is skilled in laparoscopic (keyhole) techniques for obesity surgery.  The insides of the abdomen can be viewed using a thin tube containing a light source and camera (laparoscope), which is inserted through a small incision.  Other small instruments are then inserted through further small cuts to carry out the procedure.  Compared to traditional open surgery, laparoscopic surgery is associated with less postoperative pain and complications, and faster recovery rates.  Mr Whitelaw can advise each individual patient on the procedure that would be most suitable for him or her, including:

Laparoscopic gastric band surgery

Gastric banding is reversible procedure to reduce the size of the stomach, restricting the amount of food that a person can eat.  An adjustable band is placed around the stomach laparoscopically, creating two compartments with a narrow opening connecting them so the food can pass through in the normal way, albeit more slowly.  The small pouch at the top also has limited space, creating a sensation of fullness.  The band can be adjusted following the procedure depending on how much weight is being lost and how quickly.

Laparoscopic gastric bypass

Suitable for morbidly obese people, gastric bypass surgery usually results in more weight loss than gastric banding.  The procedure works by restricting the amount of food that the stomach can hold and bypassing part of the digestive system, reducing the amount of calories that can be absorbed.  Gastric bypass surgery can greatly improve health and mobility, however it is not reversible and long-term changes to diet are required.

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy is suitable for people with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or over.  The size of the stomach is reduced by up to three-quarters in a laparoscopic operation.  Like the gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy restricts the amount of food that can be eaten without affecting the rest of the digestive system, although unlike gastric banding the procedure is not reversible.  A drop in appetite is also often reported as the amount of hunger hormone that the stomach produces is reduced.

Sleeve gastrectomy can be performed as a stand-alone weight loss procedure or as an initial procedure to help patients who are severely morbidly obese lose enough weight to be suitable for gastric bypass surgery.

GMC Number:


Check this doctor’s GMC registration

Date of registration:

01 Aug 1990



Accreditation and admitting rights at private hospitals


Mr Douglas Whitelaw is an accredited consultant for the UK's leading private healthcare providers and private hospitals, including Spire Healthcare
Spire admitting rights



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Mr Douglas Whitelaw

The Cobham Clinic

Luton and Dunstable Hospital, Lewsey Road, Luton, LU5 0DZ

Tel: 01582 718 278

Mob: 07530 430 741

Fax: 01582 718 278


Places of work

Private practice

Spire Harpenden Hospital, Ambrose Lane, Harpenden, Herts, AL5 4BP

Tel: 01582 714420

Website: www.spirehealth.com

Consultation times: Tuesday Evenings


The Cobham Clinic

Luton and Dunstable Hospital, Lewsey Road, Luton, LU5 0DZ

Tel: 01582 497433

Fax:01582 497450

Website: www.cobhamclinic.co.uk


Pinehill Hospital, Benslow Lane, Hitchin, Herts, SG4 9QZ

Tel: 01462 427221/427216

Website: www.pinehillhospital.co.uk

Consultation times: Saturday Mornings (alternate)


NHS practice

Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS, Foundation Trust, Lewsey Road, Luton
, LU4 0DZ

Tel: 01582 718278

Website: www.ldh.nhs.uk