Weight Loss Surgery in Melbourne

Weight Loss Surgery is the most effective way to lose excess weight and keep it off in the long term. It is also called bariatric surgery or obesity surgery. The different types of bariatric surgery options are explained here.

Bariatric Surgery

What is Weight Loss Surgery?

Weight Loss surgery aka Bariatric surgery is a surgery that affects your stomach and how you digest food. It produces it’s effect in two ways:

Firstly, it makes your stomach much smaller, which causes you to feel full after eating only a small amount of food. Secondly, it changes your hunger hormones (ghrelin, leptin etc) there by your appetite is significantly reduced. You eat less food and absorb fewer calories after bariatric surgery.

What types of weight loss surgery?

The most common types of bariatric or weight loss surgery in Melbourne, Australia are gastric band surgery (also called lap band surgery), gastric bypass surgery and gastric sleeve surgery.

These surgeries are usually done as a keyhole procedure, in which there are a number of small incisions in your abdomen. But sometimes, open surgery with larger incisions are required.

In gastric band (or lap band) surgery, an adjustable ring is put around the top part of the stomach to create a very small pouch that increases the time food remains in the top part of the stomach.

In gastric bypass surgery, a small stomach pouch is created by stapling. This is joined directly to the small intestine after some of the intestine has been removed. Food bypasses most of the stomach and fewer calories are absorbed.

In gastric sleeve surgery, most of the stomach is removed, including the part that makes a hormone which makes you feel hungry.

Most people lose weight for 1 to 2 years after gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery, then they stop losing weight.

Dr Arun Dhir explains how to choose the best weight loss surgery option.

When should I consider bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is usually offered to people who are very obese (with a body mass index over 40), or people with a body mass index over 35 who have other serious health problems like diabetes or heart disease.

You could consider bariatric surgery, but only after trying alternatives. The first step is usually to try changes to what you eat and drink, and what daily activity and exercise you do. There are some medicines that can help people lose weight. Surgery is usually thought about only after these other options have been tried.

The health benefits of weight loss include improvements in type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure and improved heart health.

What are the risks of Weight Loss Surgery?

Every operation has risks. You might pick up an infection, lose a lot of blood, or react to the anaesthetic. Also, smoking can increase your risk significantly and if you are a heavy smoker, we require you to quit smoking at least eight weeks prior to surgery.

There are different specific risks for the different types of bariatric surgery. For example, lap band surgery is safer than gastric bypass. Your surgeon will discuss these with you at your consultation.

How to achieve weight loss success after surgery?


You will need to make significant lifestyle changes after bariatric surgery to lose weight and keep it off. These changes include following our dietary guidelines, taking daily vitamins or other supplements for life, and increasing your physical activity.

Our FREE Transformed Program is an all-inclusive post-surgery support package, providing tailored holistic support for real and lasting weight loss transformation.

Package inclusions:

  • Rebel $150 voucher
  • 1 x Box BN MultiVitamins
  • 2-yrs Post-Operative Surgeon Consultations
  • 12-mth Dietitian Support
  • Private Facebook Support Group including monthly ‘Lives’ with Dietitians, Psychologists and Dr Arun
  • Surgical Assistant Gap Fees Covered
  • Meal Savings Card
  • Creating a New You – Wellness Journal to set exercise goals, log your sleep patterns and plan your meals
  • Happy Gut, Healthy Weight eBook by Dr Arun Dhir

Surgery FAQ’s

What type of medical tests do I need before weight loss surgery in Melbourne?

Before weight loss surgery in Melbourne, your surgeon will likely order several medical tests to assess your overall health and identify any potential risks that could affect the safety of the surgery. Some of the common medical tests that you may need before weight loss surgery include:

1. Complete blood count (CBC): This test measures the levels of red and white blood cells, hemoglobin, and platelets in your blood.

2. Blood chemistry tests: These tests measure the levels of different chemicals in your blood, including electrolytes, glucose, liver enzymes, and kidney function markers.

3. Lipid profile: This test measures the levels of different types of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood.

4. Fasting blood sugar test: This test measures your blood sugar levels after an overnight fast to check for diabetes or insulin resistance.

5. Liver function tests: These tests assess the health of your liver, which is important for metabolizing fat after surgery.

6. Electrocardiogram (ECG): This test measures the electrical activity of your heart and can help detect any heart problems.

7. Pulmonary function tests: These tests measure how well your lungs are functioning and can identify any respiratory problems.

8. Upper endoscopy: This test involves inserting a small camera into your oesophagus(food pipe) and stomach to check for any abnormalities or potential complications.

Your surgeon may also recommend additional tests based on your specific medical history and the type of weight loss surgery you are undergoing. It’s important to follow all pre-surgical instructions and undergo all recommended tests to ensure the safest and most successful outcome.

What are the restrictions after weight-loss surgery?

After weight-loss surgery, there are several restrictions and guidelines that you will need to follow to ensure a successful outcome. These guidelines will vary depending on the type of weight-loss surgery you undergo and your surgeon’s recommendations. However, some common restrictions after weight-loss surgery may include:

1. Diet: Following surgery, you will need to adhere to a strict diet plan that gradually introduces solid foods back into your diet. Initially, you will be limited to a liquid or pureed diet for several weeks and then transition to soft foods before reintroducing solid foods.

2. Portion control: After surgery, your stomach will be smaller, and you will not be able to eat as much as you did before. It’s essential to practice portion control and eat small, frequent meals throughout the day.

3. Avoiding certain foods: Some foods may be difficult to digest or cause discomfort after surgery, including fatty or fried foods, spicy foods, and carbonated beverages.

4. Exercise: Exercise is an essential component of weight loss and weight maintenance after surgery. Your surgeon will provide recommendations for when you can begin exercising and what types of activities are safe.

5. Follow-up appointments: It’s important to attend all follow-up appointments with your surgeon and dietitian to monitor your progress, assess any complications, and make any necessary adjustments to your diet or medication regimen.

It’s important to follow all post-surgical guidelines and restrictions to ensure the best possible outcome after weight-loss surgery. Your surgeon and healthcare team will provide you with detailed instructions and support throughout the recovery process.

Should I Consider Having Weight Loss Surgery?

Deciding whether to undergo weight loss surgery is a personal decision that should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider. Weight loss surgery may be an option for individuals who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher or a BMI of 35 or higher with weight-related health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea.

Weight loss surgery may help individuals achieve significant weight loss and improve or resolve weight-related health problems. However, it is important to note that weight loss surgery is not a magic solution and requires a significant commitment to lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise.

Before considering weight loss surgery, it’s important to try other weight loss methods, such as diet and exercise, and to consult with a healthcare provider to determine if weight loss surgery is appropriate for you. Additionally, weight loss surgery is not without risks, and it’s important to fully understand the potential risks and benefits before making a decision.

Ultimately, the decision to undergo weight loss surgery should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider and based on your individual needs, preferences, and medical history.

How Does Weight Loss Surgery Affect Overall Health?

Weight loss surgery can have a positive impact on overall health by helping individuals achieve significant weight loss and improve or resolve weight-related health problems. Here are some ways in which weight loss surgery can affect overall health:

1. Weight loss: Weight loss surgery can lead to significant weight loss, which can improve overall health and reduce the risk of weight-related health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea.

2. Improved metabolism: Weight loss surgery can help improve the body’s metabolism, which can lead to better blood sugar control and reduce the risk of diabetes.

3. Reduced risk of heart disease: Weight loss surgery can improve cardiovascular health by reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

4. Improved joint health: Weight loss surgery can reduce the pressure on joints, which can improve joint pain and mobility.

5. Improved mental health: Weight loss surgery can improve self-esteem and quality of life, leading to better mental health.

It’s important to note that weight loss surgery is not a magic solution and requires a significant commitment to lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise. Additionally, weight loss surgery is not without risks, and it’s important to fully understand the potential risks and benefits before making a decision.

What Lifestyle Changes Are Necessary After Weight Loss Surgery?

Lifestyle changes are essential after weight loss surgery to ensure a successful outcome and maintain weight loss. Here are some lifestyle changes that may be necessary after weight loss surgery:

1. Diet: After surgery, you will need to follow a strict diet plan that gradually introduces solid foods back into your diet. You will need to eat smaller, more frequent meals and avoid high-calorie and high-fat foods.

2. Portion control: After surgery, your stomach will be smaller, and you will not be able to eat as much as you did before. It’s essential to practice portion control and eat slowly, chewing food thoroughly.

3. Exercise: Exercise is an essential component of weight loss and weight maintenance after surgery. Your surgeon will provide recommendations for when you can begin exercising and what types of activities are safe.

4. Hydration: After surgery, it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

5. Follow-up appointments: It’s important to attend all follow-up appointments with your surgeon and dietitian to monitor your progress, assess any complications, and make any necessary adjustments to your diet or medication regimen.

6. Behavior changes: To maintain weight loss after surgery, it’s important to address any underlying emotional or behavioral issues that may have contributed to weight gain. Counseling or support groups may be helpful in addressing these issues.

It’s important to follow all post-surgical guidelines and lifestyle changes to ensure the best possible outcome after weight loss surgery. Your surgeon and healthcare team will provide you with detailed instructions and support throughout the recovery process.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Various Weight Loss Procedures?

There are several types of weight loss surgery, and each procedure has its own pros and cons. Here are some of the most common types of weight loss surgery and their benefits and drawbacks:

1. Gastric bypass surgery: Gastric bypass surgery involves creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach and rerouting the small intestine to this new pouch. This limits the amount of food you can eat and reduces the amount of nutrients your body absorbs. Pros include significant weight loss and improved health outcomes for those with obesity-related health conditions. Cons include a higher risk of complications, such as malnutrition, dumping syndrome, and internal hernias.

2. Sleeve gastrectomy: Sleeve gastrectomy involves removing a portion of the stomach, creating a smaller stomach pouch. Pros include significant weight loss, fewer complications than gastric bypass surgery, and improvement or resolution of obesity-related health conditions. Cons include the possibility of long-term weight regain, and the procedure is irreversible.

3. Adjustable gastric banding: Adjustable gastric banding involves placing an adjustable band around the upper portion of the stomach, creating a small pouch that limits the amount of food you can eat. Pros include a lower risk of complications and the ability to adjust the band as needed. Cons include slower weight loss and a higher likelihood of needing additional surgery for band adjustments or removal.

4. Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch: This procedure involves removing a large portion of the stomach and rerouting the small intestine. Pros include significant weight loss and improved health outcomes for those with severe obesity or obesity-related health conditions. Cons include a higher risk of complications, such as malnutrition and digestive issues.

It’s important to note that each procedure has its own risks and benefits, and the best option for you will depend on your individual needs, preferences, and medical history. Your healthcare provider can help you determine which procedure is right for you.

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