Make an appointment
When you are ready to take the first step in your surgical weight loss journey, make an appointment by giving us a call, emailing us, or using our contact form. The details are on our Contact Us page. You do not require a referral from your GP.
Depending on the COVID-19 alert level, you will be offered either an in-person or video consult. Video consults require you to get a medical exam by your health practitioner prior to your appointment.
Before your initial consultation
Once an appointment has been made for you, we will email you “Module 1 – Overview”. This is an introductory module which will review some obesity facts and provide information about your surgical options. We suggest you read this prior to your initial consultation.
You will also be provided a blood form for you to get a blood test. This must be completed prior to your initial appointment. This is to check for any deficiencies (such as iron or vitamin D) which we may need to correct prior to surgery.
These pre-operative appointments are an essential part of your journey as our team provide you with information about what to expect before and after your surgery. We understand that once you have made the decision to have surgery, you may want it straight away but preparation is very important to ensure your surgery is a success.
Your first consultation will be with Mr Jon Morrow (bariatric surgeon), who will review your medical and surgical history, determine if you are suitable for weight loss surgery, and discuss your surgical options. A date for surgery may be given at this appointment and the consent completed.
Appointments will then be made with Kendall Parkinson (dietitian), and Sherman Waitai-Cross (health and wellness coach/personal trainer).
You will be emailed “Module 2 – Dietetics” before your consultation with Kendall, where she will discuss your pre- and post-operative diet. The pre-operative very low calorie diet (VLCD) will also be discussed.
You will have two sessions with Sherman. You will be emailed “Module 3 – Wellness” prior to your first session. At these sessions, your motivations will be assessed, goals set and a personalised fitness programme will be designed for you. You will also be given, and taught how to use, an incentive spirometer. This is a device which encourages you to take deep breathes after surgery to reduce your chances of getting a chest infection.
If you or any of our team feel you require psychological input, we will refer you to Dr Susan Mahon (registered psychologist) for assessment.
If you are still unsure about which operation you would like, or additional information/investigations are required, Jon will review you after these investigations and above assessments to discuss your options. A date for surgery will then be confirmed and the consent completed.
Two to four weeks before surgery
You will need to start your Optifast VLCD (or alternative) two- to four-weeks before surgery, depending on your initial BMI:
- BMI 30 – 40kg/m2 Optifast THREE times a day for TWO weeks
- BMI 40 – 50kg/m2 Optifast THREE times a day for THREE weeks
- BMI > 50kg/m2 Optifast FOUR times a day for FOUR weeks
In addition, you can also have up to two cups of vegetables or salad per day.
One week before surgery
- We will contact you and advise you of what time to come in to hospital.
- You will need to pay your surgical package fee.
- You will start using your incentive spirometer and this will continue until one week after surgery.
You will be contacted and asked several screening questions assessing for risk of COVID-19 infection.
The day before surgery (Tuesday)
Dr Adam Harper (anaesthetist) will contact you the day before surgery. You will have the opportunity to discuss your anaesthetic and what medications to take (if any). This is particularly important if you are taking medications for diabetes and/or high blood pressure.
Day of Surgery (Wednesday – day 0)
Your surgery will be performed at Ascot Hospital, Greenlane, on Wednesday.
You will be informed of, and need to follow all current social distancing policies and procedures at Ascot Hospital.
On arrival at admissions, you will be checked in.
Immediately before surgery
A nurse will take you (and any support people) through to the pre-op area to get you ready for surgery.
Your vital signs (pulse, blood pressure, breathing rate) will be recorded, paperwork will be completed, and you will be changed into theatre attire which includes stockings to prevent blood clots.
Jon will see you, answer any final questions, confirm the consent, and do some marking on your abdomen. Adam will see you and complete the anaesthetic consent.
A theatre nurse will collect you and walk you into the operating theatre where several staff members will be present. Monitoring equipment will be placed on your body and a drip placed in your arm. You will be given your general anaesthetic which will make you drift off to sleep. The operation will then commence.
Immediately after surgery
After the surgery, you will be transferred to the recovery room to wake up. Jon will phone your contact person (if you have provided one) and update them about your progress.
Going to the ward
After approximately one hour, you will be transferred to the ward.
You can have sips of water as soon as you feel comfortable to do so. Do not use a straw. Drink directly from a cup, or use a teaspoon. Drink room temperature/warm fluids only as drinking ice cold fluids may be uncomfortable.
Within five hours of returning to the ward, you can start to gently move around – to the chair, to the toilet, and eventually doing some laps around the ward. Make sure you ask for assistance when mobilising at first as you may be unsteady on your feet.
Day ONE after surgery (Thursday)
You will be reviewed by Jon, Adam and Kendall in the morning. Over the course of the day, you will gradually progress from fluids to soup broth to pureed foods as tolerated. You will also start using your incentive spirometer every hour. You need to continue mobilising on the ward.
Day TWO after surgery (Friday – day of discharge from hospital)
Jon will review you in the morning. By mid-morning, you will be discharged. You will be given a script for medications which will help with pain, nausea, constipation and acid reflux. You will need to continue using your spirometer for the next week and continue with fluids/pureed foods for the next three weeks.
Week ONE post-op
You will have your first post-op review with Jon. Your dressings will be removed and your wounds checked.
Week THREE post-op
Kendall will review you as you transition from puree to soft diet.
Week FOUR post-op
You will have your first appointment with Cecilia Westmacott (bariatric clinical nurse specialist), who will continue to follow you up over the next two years. You can return to normal activities as you feel comfortable e.g. gym, running, swimming.
The first TWO post-operative years
The best results are achieved when follow-up is attended, particularly during this period of significant change. You will be monitored for any potential complications. During the first two years following your surgery, you will have regular follow-up appointments with:
- Kendall Parkinson – dietitian
- Sherman Waitai-Cross – health and wellness coach/personal trainer
- Cecilia Westmacott – bariatric clinical nurse specialist
These appointments are included in your package at no additional cost. Appointments with Dr Susan Mahon (psychologist) are an additional cost of $200 per session.
For your convenience, follow-up can be:
- via the internet using video, or
- via telephone.
However, due to the pandemic, and to eliminate uncertainty due to alert levels, video or telephone follow-up will be offered preferentially.
You will also receive daily text messages to help keep you motivated.
After TWO years
You will need lifelong monitoring for nutritional deficiencies and potential complications, with blood tests and clinical review. These can be done by our team (at our standard rates), or by your family doctor.
If you’re ready to discover a new you, contact us to make an appointment.