Bariatric Surgery FAQs


From referrals to recovery times, we answer your queries about bariatric surgery in our Frequently Asked Questions.


Do I need a referral to see a bariatric surgeon?

Yes! You require a referral to see any specialist according to Medicare law. This can be obtained through your local GP and will last for 12 months. If you have a referral from a specialist, it will be valid for three months only.


Can I have weight loss surgery without private health insurance?

Yes. Uninsured patients are liable for all costs associated with the procedure and may be able to use their superannuation to cover the cost. Please seek independent financial advice.


Why am I required to go on a pre-operative VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet)?

Before your surgery, a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD), which consists of low-carbohydrate meals, makes your operation safer. Your dietician will help you with this preparation.


How much weight will I lose and at what rate should I expect to lose my excess weight?

This is variable and will differ between sexes, ages, and the excess weight one has to lose; weight loss will also differ for those who adhere to the dietary changes and amount of exercise done post-surgery.


How long will it take to recover after surgery?

Most patients who undergo sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass surgery will require about two weeks off work. Gastric band surgery patients often feel well enough to return to work after a week. Every patient is different and recovery times will vary patient to patient.


Can I exercise after surgery?

It is recommended that patients do not engage in cardio exercise for at least three weeks following procedure, no weight lifting for at least six weeks and no swimming for three weeks post procedure.


Can I fall pregnant following surgery?

Becoming pregnant can be easier as you lose weight. Your menstrual cycle may become more regular. We recommend avoiding pregnancy within the first 12 months during the rapid weight loss phase.


Can I eat anything in moderation?

After your stomach has healed, you may eat most foods that don’t cause you discomfort. However, because you can eat only a little, it is important to include foods full of important vitamins and nutrients as advised by your surgeon and/or dietitian.


Disclaimer - The information here is for general reference only. To understand the benefits and risks specific to your condition and overall situation, please discuss any procedure with your treating doctor.


What is the next step?

Take a look at our patient journey or have a discussion with your GP or one of our bariatric surgeons.