For most people, the best part of weight loss surgery is that nowadays they typically go home far sooner.
Day Surgery Patients
If you are having day surgery, make sure there is someone to accompany you home and, for at least 24 hours, you don’t drive a car, make important decisions, use any dangerous equipment or drink alcohol.
After surgery, we need to allow the stomach area to settle and the swelling to subside. This is achieved by having a gradual return to normal solid food:
- In the first two weeks, you will just be having high protein fluids and other beverages, but you will not usually be very hungry so this is quite easy to stick to.
- In the third and fourth weeks, you will be able to include mushy foods and purees as well as the swelling settles down further.
- After this, it is back to your everyday range of real foods, just in smaller amounts!
You will meet with Dr Dolan and other team members such as our dietitian at the two-week mark to check on how you are recovering and explain the recovery diet phase in more detail.
Post-Op Check Up by the WALOS Team
Surgery – (hospital stay: 1 night for the band, 3 nights for sleeve and bypass)
Home Recovery – (at home: 1 week for the band, 2 weeks for sleeve and bypass) – Patients can contact the clinic at any point post procedure if any concerns.
Dietitian Consultation – The first dietary post-op appointment is 2 weeks after your surgery; we will discuss how you will progress back to a normal solid diet, eating habits and appropriate multivitamin and mineral supplementation.
Weight loss phase
If you have had the Gastric Band, we will be seeing you every 4 weeks to perform adjustments, have a chat about your progress, and check that everything is working well with your band.
We will continue seeing you every 4 weeks until you reach your goal weight – this usually takes around 18 months, although some patients reach their goal weight after 12 months, whilst others may take 24 months.
We like to see you losing between 0.5kg-1kg per week. There is no expiry on the number of monthly visits you can have under our program. We will continue to support you every month for as long as it takes for you to reach your goal weight.
This is the phase when most of your Gastric Band adjustments will be performed, and when our guidance, advice and support are most needed.
If you have opted for the Gastric Sleeve, we only need to see you once every 3 months until your ideal weight is reached.
All patients after surgery receive 6-week aftercare which is at no cost but after this period patients will need to pay $80.00 per visit of which $36.55 is rebated under Medicare.
At around 6 months after your surgery (either Gastric Banding or Sleeve Gastrectomy), we will again offer you a consultation with one of our psychologists.
Also, it’s a good time to check whether any harmful patterns are starting to creep back in, such as comfort eating, and if so, help you with this.
In addition to these formal psychology consultations, we also offer regular support groups. These are held every fortnight in the evening and are moderated by one of our dieticians.
Everyone in our program is welcome to attend as frequently as you desire. Research shows patients who attend support groups achieve greater weight loss.