If you are overweight and have concerns that your weight may be affecting your health, then weight loss surgery could be right for you.

Surgery can be considered when other attempts at weight loss have been tried and have been unsuccessful.

There are internationally agreed patient criteria for performing weight loss surgery that are based on BMI measurements. The best way to find out if you are eligible for surgery is to make an appointment for an assessment with Dr Ian Baxter, or to meet for a free consultation with our Bariatric Educator who can answer all your questions.

In order to be considered for the weight loss surgery, you should:

  1. Be more than 50% above your ideal weight
  2. Be at least 16 years of age
  3. Have been obese for at least 5 years
  4. Have been unable to lose weight by other non-surgical methods, such as supervised diet or behaviour modification programs
  5. Have no medical problems that are causing your obesity
  6. Be willing to accept significant changes in eating habits
  7. Be willing to participate in post-operative follow-up visit at your surgeon’s office and to have 6 monthly blood tests.

As well as meeting the specific criteria for weight loss surgery which are based on BMI and other health co-morbidities.

  • BMI 40 or more, surgery is considered indicated as the risk of developing serious health problems is very high.
  • BMI 35-40 with obesity related health issues.
  • BMI 30-35 with obesity related health issues may be eligible however individual assessment is required.

You may be eligible for the bypass if you identify with one of the following conditions:

  • BMI of 35 and above, with associated obesity-related illnesses such as chronic reflux and Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2).

Dr Baxter will carefully assess your medical history, your age and your family history of obesity and associated serious illnesses.  He will then consider your particular case before making a decision about your eligibility for surgery.

To find out if surgery could be suitable for you please phone on (07) 5444 8594 to discuss your options with one of our team.

The term “morbid obesity” is used to describe severe, abnormal and debilitating obesity. Individuals suffering with this condition are prone to develop different medical problems through their lives.

The life expectancy of severely obese people is decreased by 10 to 15 years, mainly because of increased incidence of heart attacks, strokes, hypertension and diabetes. Severely obese people also tend to develop severe arthritis in the joints of ankles, knees, hips and lower spine, due to excessive weight bearing. Self-image is poor, and depression may result.

The most widely used method to assess a person’s weight is the body mass index (BMI), which is your weight in kilograms divided by your height in metres squared.

If your BMI is:

  • Between 25 and 29, you would be considered overweight
  • Between 30 and 40, you would be considered obese
  • Over 40, you would be considered morbidly obese

Another useful method is to measure around your waist. Men whose waist measurement is 94cm or more and women whose waist measurement is 80cm or more are more likely to develop obesity related health problems, such as Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer.

If you feel you are eligible or you would simply like to discuss this further, we encourage you to contact our team to make an appointment.

Yes, you require a referral to see any specialist. This can be obtained from your GP and will allow you to claim a Medicare rebate for your consultations and surgery.

If Dr Baxter deems you are a suitable candidate for surgery and you decide that you would like to go ahead with a procedure, the team will organise your appointments with the dietitian and psychologist. You will then see Dr Baxter once more to ensure the whole team are happy to proceed with surgery. A date will then be booked for surgery and the admin team will go through all the information regarding your procedure and any book necessary appointments.

Successful treatment for obesity involves continued treatment, guidance & support. We will continue to work closely with you to firstly find the best regimen for you, to provide a supportive environment for you to continue to lose weight & establish new ways of living & to ultimately help you to achieve your weight loss goals.

We inform the ATO you did not proceed with the surgery as the application we provided to you was under the understanding you were accessing your superannuation for a ‘chronic condition’ as a ‘Compassionate Release of Superannuation’ based on hardship.

Only small amounts of water can be digested, particularly for the first few months after your surgery, so frequent sips are the key. The amount you can comfortably ingest does increase over time, however as for guzzling a whole glass or drink bottle of fluids is generally difficult, causes discomfort and is not advised. However, many people can increase their fluid intake to over 2 litres per day.

Well the good news is, YES, you will be able to eat foods you once loved. You may find you no longer crave them or have the same level of love for them, but after you have healed and formed your new, healthier eating habits, nothing is off limits, it’s whether you still like it or not.

Obviously, things like take away, high fatty, sugary foods are something to have in absolute moderation, but this is how it’s meant to be with or without weight loss surgery.

It does take some time for your new smaller tummy to adjust and work out what sits well, appeals to you and what you feel like eating.

Remember, your life is what you make it. If food is the only thing that you feel is great in your life, it just means you have some work to do in finding new, healthy, fun, creative habits to rely on rather than using food to fulfill you.

Many people who struggle with their weight often have a lot of ‘head chatter’ that thinks, dreams and wishes for food a lot of the time.

Weight loss surgery is a procedure to create a very effective tool to limit how much you can comfortably eat, and can also suppress your appetite considerably, particularly in the first 12-18 months. Surgery does not fix the ‘head chatter’, this is something YOU need to work on and often in collaboration with our dieticians and psychologists.

I remind all our patients, life becomes about Quality over Quantity, which is exciting because you can pick the best of the best (entrée size normally), feel guilt free, no bloating, no more of that ‘food coma’ feeling, and the big bonus is, you become a cheap date.

Some people certainly do put their previous weight amount back on and sometimes more. After we have extensive discussions with the patient about what has changed for them for this to happen, it is generally related to gradually returning to their old habits, not following the ‘fundamentals’ we teach for long term success or other areas in their lives. The ‘tools’ for success are repeatedly explained and discussed with the patient before surgery and continues in the first 12 months of support we provide.

Yes, this is correct! Taking specifically designed bariatric vitamins and calcium daily ensures you are receiving what your body requires, if you are not getting enough vitamins, minerals and calcium through your food choices. Remember, what you save on your food bill, is now replaced with what you require for your new life after WLS i.e. vitamins, calcium and protein powders.

Yes, there is a period, generally between 4-7 months where you will experience some hair loss. If you follow what you are guided to do by our expert team, this will be limited i.e. taking your vitamins, having sufficient protein, living a healthy lifestyle.

The short answer, yes, more than likely. A lot depends on your –

  • age,
  • the amount of weight loss,
  • the areas you predominantly carry weight,
  • the integrity of your collagen and elasticity with your skin,
  • if you exercise throughout the weight loss process

We advise to visit this topic at least 2 years after your surgery, and once you have maintained a stable weight for at least 6 months.  We also discuss focusing on one step at time, so step one is to have your surgery and form the ‘fundamental’ habits to set you up for long term success.

Approximately 5% of people who have WLS develop reflux at some stage, unfortunately, we don’t know who will be affected by this.

To try and alleviate people needing revisional surgery later, due to reflux issues, we have all of our patients conduct a Contrast Swallow test to determine if you suffer from reflux or silent reflux, prior to your surgery.

Pre-Surgery

We need to ensure that we have all the relevant information we require prior to your surgery. We require routine blood tests and a radiology examination called a barium swallow (an X-ray to help us examine the digestive system and your oesophagus).

Yes. Telehealth consultations are available for new and existing patients who live in remote areas. Please contact our friendly team for further information.

Yes. Before bariatric surgery, you are required to have a very low energy diet (VLED), such as Formulite/Optifast or similar meal replacements. This helps to reduce the size of the liver, which facilitates a safer and more effective operation. The diet is required for up to 2 weeks prior to surgery. Your dietitian will give you your VLED instructions and our administration staff are well versed in helping you navigate your way through this pre-operative phase.

Surgery

We usually recommend a 2-week recovery following your weight loss surgery; however if you are a FIFO worker or your work requires heavy lifting/manual labour such as a miner, builder or concreter, you will require between 2-4 weeks off or on modified/light duties.

Each patient recovers differently from surgery. For patients who have Gastric Sleeve or bypass, it is usually a 2-3 night stay in hospital. Lap band patients require an overnight stay.

If you live remotely, we recommend you stay on the Sunshine Coast for approximately 10 days so that you can be see post-operatively prior to travelling home. However, this is assessed on a case-by-case basis by Dr Baxter.

Post-Surgery

Dr Baxter and his team are committed to providing comprehensive specialist care on a long term basis.

You will require two post-operative appointments with Dr Baxter, and three post-operative appointments with our dietetics team within the first three months of your surgery.

Are you ready to find out more?

Call us today for a complimentary 30-minute consultation with our Bariatric Nurse Educator or one of our Bariatric coordinators.