Your 5 Steps to Success
Step 1: Contact Us
The first step of your surgical weight loss journey is to contact us. We will arrange an appointment for you to see our surgeon, Dr Jordaan, and our team of bariatric nurses and allied health professionals.
To ensure you receive the Medicare rebates for your appointment with Dr Jordaan, you will need a referral from your GP or specialist. At your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss whether weight loss surgery is suitable for you, what your surgical options are and which procedure would best suit your individual needs.
If you would like more information before you book your initial consultation, please come along to one of our patient information seminars.
Step 2: Pre-Operative Care
Our aim is to ensure your surgical weight loss journey is safe, smooth and successful.
Should you decide to enter our program, our bariatric nurses will assist you every step of the way including:
- Organising a tentative date and hospital for surgery. This date is usually around four weeks after your initial appointment. Dr Jordaan operates at both Pindara Private Hospital and the Gold Coast Private Hospital so please let the nurse know if you have a preference
- Coordinating your referrals and appointments with:
- Our dietetic team
- Our clinical psychologist
- Other specialist physicians as required
- Other investigations as required
- The gastroenterologists to arrange a pre-operative gastroscopy
- QML Pathology request form for comprehensive pre-operative blood tests
- Providing prescriptions for pre-operative medication.
Our administrative team is also here to help you navigate through the sometimes confusing processes of the private health system.
Step 3: Preparing for Surgery
There are a number of tasks that need to be completed to ensure you are prepared for surgery and the subsequent weight loss journey.
You will need to visit a QML Pathology collection centre for your blood test. The purpose of this test is to see what your base line nutrition and vitamin levels are, so you need to fast (not eat or drink) for the blood test for at least four hours. You do not need to make an appointment – simply turn up at your convenience. We have arranged for your tests to be bulk-billed so you will not have any out-of-pocket expenses for blood tests at QML.
People with obesity are considered to have a higher risk of operative complications than those of a healthy weight. Dr Jordaan is proactive at rigorously identifying, assessing and managing peri-operative risk factors to ensure your surgery is as safe as possible. This may include an assessment by a specialist physician.
You will have a one-on-one appointment with one of our specialised dietitians to identify factors that may impact on your nutrition before and after surgery. These include dietary beliefs and behaviours, cultural background, psychosocial issues (such as eating motivations) economic factors and goal setting. You will need to undertake a two week ‘induction diet’ to prepare your body for surgery and ensure the safety of your operation. Our dietitians will adjust the pre-operative diet to suit your individual protein and nutrient requirements. After your procedure, our dietitians will develop a personalised eating plan and guide you through each phase of your weight loss journey with written instructions and follow-up appointments to support you through each dietary change.
The interaction between mind and body is crucial to successful long-term weight loss. Our clinical psychologist, Lorraine Langsford, will assist you to identify barriers and behaviours that have previously held you back from achieving your weight loss goals. She will introduce you to the ‘mindful eating’ program as a tool to overcome the stumbling blocks you may encounter through the weight loss process. For some, continued care with Lorraine will form an invaluable part of their journey.
Our multidisciplinary team will meet to discuss how we can best support you before surgery, during your recovery and in the months and years afterward to become a healthier, happier you.
You may need a final pre-operative consultation with Dr Jordaan to clarify any remaining questions and to finalise arrangements for the day of the operation. Our rooms will also contact you a few days prior to your date of surgery to confirm fasting and admission times.
Step 4: The Day of Surgery
Today’s The Day!
You will meet Dr Jordaan again in theatre to start the next step of your journey. It is important not to eat or drink in the six hours prior to your operation. You will be given pain medication and meet your anaesthetist before you go into theatre. Should any specific anaesthetic issues be identified during your pre-operative assessment with Dr Jordaan, an appointment will be arranged for you to meet with your anaesthetist prior to the day of your surgery.
Dr Jordaan’s advanced laparoscopic surgical skills and our comprehensive pain management program, which includes pain medication prior to, during and post-surgery, means you will experience minimal pain. We will encourage you to be actively walking around 10 to 12 hours after surgery. This is for a number of reasons including minimising the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis and pneumonia.
In hospital, you will be given intravenous fluids for one to two days to maintain hydration. You will undertake a scan the day after surgery to visualise your new anatomy before commencing oral fluids. Typically, people who have a gastric band stay one night in hospital while patients who have a gastric sleeve or bypass stay two to three nights.
Dr Jordaan and his team will visit you once or twice a day to check on your progress while you’re in hospital. Our dietitian will visit you in the days following surgery to explain the recovery phase diet in detail, answer your questions and provide you with written instructions on how to protect your new anatomy. Prior to discharge, you will be given information on wound care and the use of pain medication.
Step 5: Post-Operative Phase
After any weight loss procedure, your stomach will need time to settle to allow the swelling to subside. During this time, it is likely you won’t feel very hungry. Your diet will be based on high protein fluids. You will be provided with detailed information about your post-operative diet, including meal plans and food suggestions for each phase.
In the first two weeks after surgery, you will have a follow-up appointment with our bariatric nurses and one of our dietitians to ensure your recovery is on track.
For all procedures: You will have an appointment with our bariatric nurses one to two weeks after your procedure, to check your wounds and ensure your recovery is well on track. Typically our patients recover well and easily. If the nurse has any concerns about your recovery they will arrange for you to be reviewed by Dr Jordaan.
Dr Jordaan sees all patients 3 months after surgery to review progress and ensure you are on track to reach your long-term weight loss goals.
You will have another appointment with Dr Jordaan twelve months after surgery. After that you will have annual reviews with our bariatric nurses to ensure you sustain your improved weight and health.
For gastric band surgery: In addition to the above, six weeks after the operation, you will have an appointment with Dr Jordaan to check on your progress and to perform the first adjustment. Dr Jordaan will continue to see you every four weeks until your optimal level of restriction has been reached. After you have reached optimal restriction, you should ideally lose between 0.5 to one kilogram per week. You will have follow-up appointments every three months until you reach your goal weight. This usually takes around 18 months – some patients reach their goal weight in 12 months, while others may take up to 24 months.
Once you have reached your goal weight, we would still like to see you once a year for a check-up to ensure your ongoing weight loss success. These visits are important to your long-term health and all efforts should be made to attend.
Before these check-ups you will need to have a blood test to ensure you are maintaining adequate nutrition. Nutritional deficiencies are hard to sense and blood tests are the only reliable way to identify abnormalities.
Of course, if you have any issues or concerns between scheduled visits please don’t hesitate to contact us.