Most patients are unsure about what they will need to do prior to surgery. Our goal is ensure the journey is as safe and well supported as possible.
Everyone’s needs are unique but most people will undergo a similar ‘safety for surgery’ check-up. After an initial consultation with Dr Freeman she will usually ask a patient to complete some or all of the following:
1) Dietitian review
Our experienced dietitian knows that most patients have struggled with weight for a long time prior to seeking our help. We know that almost everyone has tried all the diet and lifestyle modifications they can, often multiple times, and do not want to have this preached yet again. The role of our dietitian is to explain and support the specifics of the bariatric pathway. This includes a pre-operative very low calorie diet for a number of weeks, a period of fluids only post-operatively and a slow transition back to a full, well-nourished diet. She is also available at any point on the journey to discuss queries or concerns about progress.
2) Psychologist review
Surgery is a fantastic tool to change anatomy and thereby physiology. What it cannot address are food behaviours and a person’s relationship with food. This is why we have an expert psychologist on the team. By working together and treating all aspects of obesity we can achieve the best outcomes for our patients.
3) Physician review
Obesity is a risk factor for many medical conditions. Often these have not even been diagnosed but can play an important role in choosing the right surgery, anaesthetic and post-operative care. Our friendly and thorough physician will perform a complete assessment of a patient’s heart, lungs and other important systems. This can include (but not limited to) blood tests, ECG, echocardiogram and sleep studies to assess for sleep apnoea. There may also be a requirement to involve other specialists depending on a person’s specific situation. This will be explained every step of the way. Again, the priority here is to ensure the safest possible pathway throughout the journey.
This is a procedure that involves passing a thin camera through the mouth, down the oesophagus (the food pipe) and into the stomach and small bowel. This is done under sedation – medication to make a person sleepy so that they don’t feel pain but not full general anaesthetic. It takes 10-15 mins and does not require a patient to stay in hospital overnight. This is an important part of the pre-operative assessment as it allows our surgeon to check that this anatomy is safe for a chosen procedure. It is vital to check for things like reflux, hiatus hernia and infections prior to committing to a particular surgical pathway.
We will always ensure you feel confident and comfortable with all your pre surgery reviews and they will be explained clearly in your initial meeting with Dr Freeman.