It all starts with a visit with Dr Crawford, your surgeon. He will take a careful history from you and describe some of the weight loss procedures that are available. He will, based on your history and preferences, suggest the best operation for you to consider. You will receive an information booklet.
Dr Crawford may ask you to have pre-operative tests like blood tests, ECG etc. Bring any recent tests from your GP to your initial visit
You will need to visit a dietitian. We will put you in touch with one of the dietitians who works with us. You will receive further information and support from your dietitian. They will help you to understand the different phases of the diet from pre-op to post-op all the way through to maintenance.
Pre-operatively. Dr Crawford will, ideally, meet with you again around 2 weeks before the scheduled surgery date. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions that might have come up. You will need to start an 'Optifast' low calorie diet (your dietitian will help) to shrink your liver a bit before surgery.
You will come into the Mater Hospital on the day of your bariatric surgery, where you will meet your anaesthetist, if you have not already done so. You should go to a regular ward after surgery with ice to suck only for the first night.
Post-Op. You will start on thin liquids. You should get up and moving. Dr Crawford will visit each day you are in Hospital. Most patients go home after 2 nights, once you can drink enough.
Plan for a week or two off work to recover
At home recovery
You will visit your dietician a week or so after surgery for advice about progressing your intake. You will see Dr Crawford around 4-5 weeks post-op. You should be starting some gentle exercise but avoiding severe exertion or heavy lifting.
After 4-8 weeks you will be eating small amounts of normal food. Your dietitian and Dr Crawford will give you information about the 'dos and don'ts'. Your weight loss will typically continue for 12-18 months, but the most rapid loss will be in the first 6 months.
Enjoy your new life. Check in with your GP regularly, particularly if you might be able to come off some medications for hypertension or diabetes. Check in with your dietitian or Dr Crawford for any dietary concerns, Dr Crawford will see you annually. Learn new, healthy eating and exercise habits.
Sleeve patients should have at least an annual GP checkup with blood tests. Bypass patients can expect 2-4 visits per year