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If you’ve been struggling with your weight for some time, you’re not alone. More than 14 million Australians are obese or overweight, and obesity is now a global health concern.
While a healthy body requires a small amount of fat to normally function, being overweight or obese means you have considerably more fat than your body actually needs.
Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is a safe, effective and powerful option for attaining long-term weight loss if you have developed a significant weight problem. It is the only treatment that has been shown to result in major and durable weight loss, because conservative attempts to lose weight, such as diets, fail for many people.
Weight loss surgery can help you not only achieve a much better standard of living, but it also improves your overall health and longevity in the long term. It can also reduce your risk of many obesity-related diseases.
The extent of weight loss achieved depends not only on the surgical procedure, but also by making positive and lasting changes to your lifestyle and eating habits. Physical activity and good food choices will help you maintain long term weight loss, and give you a better quality of life.
During a sleeve gastrectomy (SG) a narrow gastric tube is fashioned in-between the food pipe (oesophagus) and the small bowel, while the majority of the stomach (80%) is removed. The continuity of the stomach is not interrupted compared to a bypass procedure-
By completely dividing the upper part of the stomach a small gastric pouch is formed, which results in a drastic reduction of the gastric volume. Further a bypass of the first section of the small bowel is created.
By completely dividing the upper part of the stomach a small gastric pouch is formed, which results in a drastic reduction of the gastric volume. Further a bypass of the first section of the small bowel is created during which the bilio-digestive enzymes joining the digestion of the nutrients about 1.5m downstream after the stomach.
The Loop Duodenal Switch (SADI-S or SIPS) combines a moderate restriction (reduced portion sizes) of a sleeve gastrectomy with a moderate reduced absorption (bypassed small bowel).
Revision surgery involves either the conversion of one weight loss procedure into another, in a single or two stage process, or adjusting a previous procedure. This can be due to different factors, including inadequate weight loss or gradual weight gain, or reflux.
The Intra-gastric balloon, is a non-surgical weight-loss procedure which involves the insertion of a specialised balloon inside the stomach to occupy space and limit the food carrying capacity of the stomach.
Nutrition surveys over the past 20 years have proven that we are eating more food today than we used to. In fact, Australian intake surveys found children increased their energy intake by over 200 calories per day between 1990 and 2010.
The latest global estimates indicate that an additional 1.2 billion people will be overweight or obese by 2030, with the greatest proportion of those new qualifiers being residents of the UK, USA or Australia.
Obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or over, calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height squared in metres.
|Category||Body Mass Index (kg/m2)||Over Ideal Body Weight (%)|
|Normal||18.5 – 24.9||-|
|Overweight||25.0 – 29.9||-|
|Obesity (class 1)||30 – 34.9||>20%|
|Severe obesity (class 2)||35 – 39.9||>100%|
|Severe obesity (class 3)||40 – 49.9||–|
The reasons of becoming obese vary and differ from person to person. At some stage there is often an imbalance in between calorie intake and physical exercise but also some medications or medical conditions can contribute to significant weight gain. Another less influencing factor are the genes. Genetics play a role in developing obesity but also determine how difficult it is to lose weight in the long term.
Once obese it affects your health and wellbeing. There is a dramatic increase in developing metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, which leads to heart disease, stroke, pulmonary embolism, depression and osteoarthritis.
Some research has linked obesity to certain cancers, including renal cancer, bowel cancer and pancreatic cancer, and – unsurprisingly – obesity is known to shorten life expectancy.
Obesity can lead to hormonal imbalances which can impact fertility.
Yes, you will need a referral to see Dr Puhalla. A referral from your GP is valid for 12 months, while a referral from a specialist is valid for 3 months.
The initial consultation costs $250, with a Medicare rebate of $76. The pre-operative appointment costs $90, with a Medicare rebate of $38. You will need a valid referral to claim the Medicare rebates.
No, weight loss surgery is not currently available in the public health system.
Yes, Dr Puhalla accepts uninsured patients. You can apply to the ATO for early release of your super, for which we can assist you. Medicare rebates are available for some fees, however you are liable for all costs.s
Unfortunately, Medicare and health fund rebates do not cover the full cost of providing you with medical care. This is because the rate at which successive governments have indexed the Medicare Schedule fees has been substantially lower than increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and average weekly earnings. The reality is that Medicare rebates do not cover the cost of providing you with a safe and high quality service. The fees charged by this practice have to cover all of our practice costs.
Please bring a copy of your referral, along with your personal details, including Medicare card, private health insurance, and a list of medications. You will need to fill out personal details and medical history forms on arrival.
Yes, it is essential that you see a dietitian to support you on your weight loss surgery journey. This is to ensure that you have the best possible outcome relating to your weight loss and overall health.
Dr Puhalla will discuss your options with you to help you decide the best procedure for you. Your individual preferences, lifestyle and health are considered when determining your type of surgery.
Typically, the hospital stay is one to two nights. If you are undergoing revisional surgery or have a complex medical history, you may need to stay longer.
Depending on the procedure, you will need one to two weeks off work. We can provide you with a medical certificate if required.
We recommend you start driving a week after surgery, initially limiting yourself to shorter drives before returning to normal driving.
Current wait times are around three to four weeks for appointments and surgery bookings. We also have a cancellation list, as patients often have to move their appointments, which means you may be able to be seen sooner. Please advise our team at the time of booking if you would like to put on the cancellation list.
The entire process typically takes around 8 to 12 weeks. Depending on the investigations needed, and whether or not you have private health insurance, this may be able to be shortened to around 4 weeks. We will do our best to meet your schedule, however we recommend you allow at least 8 weeks for the entire process.