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Is weight loss surgery the right choice for me?

Today 60% of adults in Australia are overweight or obese and - worryingly - 25% of children are as well. This has general health implications for the population as a whole and of course for each individual who is overweight or suffers from obesity. For people who are determined to lose their excess weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle, weight loss surgery is an option, however non-surgical approaches are strongly recommended first.

It is only when non-surgical approaches (such as adopting a healthier diet and taking up physical exercise) have not resulted in the required weight loss, that surgical approaches should be considered.

Dr Silverman performs a number of different weight loss surgical procedures for patients who are overweight or obese, however, in the interests of the patient, certain conditions must be met. These are:

  • The patient must be aged 18-70.
  • The patient must have attempted to lose weight a number of times by adjusting diet and increasing physical activity levels.
  • The patient must be prepared to take part in the PEAK weight loss program and work with the PEAK multidisciplinary team.
  • The patient must agree to act on medical, dietary and behavioural advice given by members of the PEAK team.

There are also some criteria relating to obesity levels, measured by Body Mass Index (BMI), which determine suitability to undergo the different procedures, which include:

  • Gastric Banding – BMI equal to or greater than 35 (where other health issues present e.g. diabetes / sleep apnoea this is reduced to 30).
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy – BMI equal to or greater than 40 (where other health issues present eg diabetes/sleep apnoea this is reduced to 35).
  • Intra-Gastric Balloon – BMI 27-35.

On occasions, based on a clinical assessment of the patient, these criteria may be waived.

Funding for weight loss procedures

It is possible in some cases to fund weight loss surgery from superannuation. This can also be for a partner or children. We also have access to a service called SuperCare which can help with applications to fund bariatric procedures including gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass surgery, as well as the apronectomy procedure.

In all cases it is possible to apply for funding to cover the total cost of the procedure or simply a part.