1.  Do I need private health insurance?

Yes. This practice currently only treats patients with private health insurance when it comes to bariatric procedures.

2.  How much will it cost?

Bariatric surgery is currently considered by the Australian government as an important choice when managing overall health and well-being in the overweight population. It is therefore covered under the Medicare rebate scheme. This means that most of the cost of surgery and aftercare is covered by a combination of your insurance company and Medicare. The exact amount, however, varies between insurers and there is usually an out of pocket cost associated with surgery. Please feel free to make an appointment to discuss exact numbers as related to your specific situation.

3.  How long will it be before I can have my surgery?

The time period between initial consultation and surgery varies depending on a patient’s particular health situation and concerns. We have an average investigation and assessment period of 3 months but this, again, will be tailored to your specific needs.

4.  Can I use my Superannuation for Weight Loss surgery?

Yes. It is widely recognised that obesity and the range of medical problems associated with it can reduce a person’s life expectancy, and that weight loss surgery is not yet readily available in the public hospital system. Therefore, the Australian Government allows early access to your, or another family member’s, superannuation to cover the costs involved in bariatric surgery.

The application for early super release is processed by the ATO. You will need to fill out an application form and forward the Specialist Surgeon section to our rooms for completion post initial consultation. The processing time by the ATO generally takes around 2-4 weeks and allow a further 4-6 weeks for your superannuation fund to release the funds to your personal bank account.

5.  Will I need to take medicines after my surgery?

Yes. All patients must commit to taking a multivitamin for the rest of their lives after any form of weight loss surgery. Patients will also often take anti-acid and anti-nausea medication for a short period after surgery. This will be stopped when no longer required.

6.  Is bariatric surgery safe?

Your safety is our number one priority. Our specialised multidisciplinary team, including the surgeon, anaesthetist and physician will work together to ensure all tests and preparations are made to avoid undue risks on the day of surgery. We tailor our approach to your individual needs to ensure all procedures are as safe as possible.

7.  Can I get pregnant after surgery?

The period of rapid weight loss that is expected after surgery is considered a period of starvation. This is a risky time to fall pregnant as the as it can affect the growth of the baby. It is recommended that you wait until your weight has stabilized before becoming pregnant. We recommend discussing contraception with your surgeon to find out what the best choices are for you.

For more information about pregnancy and bariatric surgery, click on the link to the podcast episode below of  Knocked Up: The Podcast About Getting Pregnant – which features an interview with Dr Lara Freeman discussing the relationship between bariatric surgery and pregnancy.