FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Your initial consultation with the surgeon will be $240. If you have a referral from a GP or specialist, you may be eligible to receive a Medicare rebate. This changes yearly and is around $75.

  • A referral is required from your GP or specialist so you can claim a rebate from Medicare. If you don’t have a valid referral on the day of the appointment you will have to pay the full fee.

  • Associate Professor Justin Bessell consults and operates from Calvary Adelaide Hospital.

  • Generally, patients are eligible for weight loss surgery if they have a BMI of 35 or more, or 30 or more and one or more obesity-related health issues. Talking to the surgeon will be the best way to determine if you will be eligible.

  • Yes, you will need to alter your diet both before and after surgery. Before surgery you may be required to go on a meal replacement to help reduce your weight and shrink your liver. After surgery you will be restricted to liquid foods, then soft foods. In the long term you will be able to eat a reduced amount due to the smaller size of your stomach.

  • This can vary from patient to patient, but generally we advise the following:

    • Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy: two days in hospital and three weeks off.
    • Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass: two days in hospital and three weeks off.

    Regional & remote patients need to stay in town for another 48 hours after their discharge.

  • You can start gentle exercise again immediately after you have been cleared by your surgeon; in fact, it’s important to keep moving to help you recover and avoid DVT. It will be a few weeks before you can do anything more than walking, and around 12 weeks before you can re-commence high intensity exercise and weight-lifting. Your surgeon and exercise physiologist can help you with this.

  • We can get you in to get started with the bariatric surgery process (or at least the initial discussions) within several days.

  • There is no superior operation. It depends on your personal circumstances. Your surgeon will discuss the pros and cons of each operation with you to help determine what is right for your situation.

  • The cost of surgery depends on whether you have health insurance or not. You can find out more about costs.

  • If your BMI is 30 or more but under 35, you may still qualify for surgery. You will need to have one or more weight-related medical problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, atrial fibrillation, fatty liver, sleep apnoea, osteoarthritis of hips/knees, PCOS & infertility. Sometimes these conditions are diagnosed for the first time on the blood tests we do.

  • This depends on your personal circumstances, including which surgery you have and how much weight you need to lose.

  • Some procedures are reversible, and some aren’t. If this is a concern to you, talk about it in your initial discussions about which surgery might be right for you.

  • No, you can have bariatric surgery with or without health insurance. However, the costs are different depending on whether your health fund will be covering your hospital related expenses. We can help tailor a package to suit your needs.

  • We are often asked to recommend Private Health Insurance for our patients. While we can’t recommend one over the other, you should ensure you choose a gold-level policy to ensure there are no exclusions for bariatric surgery.

    It is recommended to double check your policy when you commence your journey. Ask your insurer if you will be covered for item number 31572 (gastric bypass), 31575 (sleeve gastrectomy), and 31584 (Lap-Band® removal) as a private patient in a private hospital (as some only provide cover as a private patient in a public hospital, which will not be sufficient).