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Considering Weight Loss Surgery? Here’s What to Expect on Your Journey

If you are contemplating weight loss surgery and want to understand the process, let us guide you through the journey. When you call the Surgery Gold Coast clinic, our friendly staff will send you an information pack. This includes a detailed overview of obesity, how it affects your life, and the dramatic improvements surgery can offer. You will find descriptions of the journey ahead, photos, links to videos of the procedures, and more.

Weight Loss

Your First Steps

An appointment can be made at our clinic in Benowa. When you visit, you will meet Dr Jason Free, who will discuss how obesity impacts your health and lifestyle. He will review your weight history, any medical or surgical issues, and measure your height and weight. This information will be entered into our weight management program, where you will see realistic weight loss targets for various procedures.

Exploring Your Options

If you are a suitable candidate, Dr Free will explain all surgical weight loss options, including photos and videos. You will learn how each procedure works and how it will interact with your lifestyle, diet, and any medical conditions. The pros and cons of each option will be discussed to tailor a specific procedure that best suits your needs. It is important to understand that what works for one person may not be the best for another. We ensure you understand all relevant aspects and potential risks of the procedures.

Preparing for Surgery

Once you decide to proceed, we will set a surgery date and begin our intensive pre-operative education program. You will meet with our dietitian to learn about early and long-term changes in eating patterns crucial for success after surgery. If needed, appointments with a psychologist and exercise physiologist can be arranged through our clinic.

We will conduct blood tests to assess vitamins, minerals, and trace elements, with results forwarded to your GP. Any other necessary investigations will be arranged, and we maintain ongoing correspondence with your GP and other specialists, such as endocrinologists and cardiologists.

Leading Up to the Operation

We stay in touch to ensure you are well-prepared for the procedure. About 1-2 weeks before surgery, you will start a Very Low-Calorie Diet (VLCD) program, replacing most meals with specific shakes and food replacements. This is done with the support of our in-house dietitian Sharnie Dwyer. This helps induce initial weight loss and shrinks your liver, making the surgery safer and more effective.

A few days before the procedure, our staff will contact you to streamline the process and ensure you know where to go on the day of surgery.

Day of Admission

When you arrive at the hospital, the reception staff will direct you to the operating theatre reception. After checking in, you will meet the anaesthetist and Dr Free, who will again discuss the procedure and answer any last-minute questions. Once prepared, you will be transferred to the operating theatre.

Weight loss procedures are performed under general anaesthetic, typically as laparoscopic (keyhole) surgeries. This involves a few small incisions for inserting a camera and instruments.

Post-Surgery Care

After your procedure, you will wake up in the recovery room and then be transported to a private room with an ensuite in the ward. Dr Free will visit you that evening to discuss your post-operative care over the next 1-2 days. You will be cared for by experienced nurses and may be visited by dietitians, the anaesthetist, and sometimes Dr Free’s trainees.

Dr Free will:

– Ensure you are comfortable

– Check your pulse, temperature, blood pressure, and oxygen levels

– Monitor your diet progression

– Review your medications and pain relief

Going Home

Usually, you will be ready to go home on the second day. The hospital dietitian will see you again to answer any questions and provide a detailed dietary regimen booklet. You will also receive oral painkillers and an appointment to see Dr Free within a couple of weeks. If you have any concerns after leaving, you can call the clinic anytime.

A day or two after you go home, we will call to check on your progress.

At Surgery Gold Coast, we strive to make your journey from the initial phone call to many years after your operation as smooth and rewarding as possible. Your care remains our priority for life.