Common Questions (FAQs)
In order to allow the stomach to heal, it is important that the diet progresses slowly. Thankfully, appetite is strongly suppressed by this therapy and hunger is not an issue. Our patients are required to maintain a liquid only diet for 2 weeks before progressing to a puree diet for 2 weeks, then soft diet for a final 2 weeks. Our patients are able to return to a normal diet approximately 6 weeks after the procedure, however portion sizes are much smaller than previous, and will remain so for many months and even years.
We advise our patients to take 2 weeks off work, to allow sufficient recovery time following the surgery. You will likely be able to resume driving 1-2 weeks following the surgery.
Given no part of the stomach is stapled, removed or bypassed, the gastric band procedure is completely reversible. We can facilitate the removal of a gastric band and conversion to either an Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty or Surgical Sleeve.
Most people have minimal appetite after the LSG procedure and become full on very small portions (eg. half to one cup of fluid). You will need to follow a texture-modified diet of fluids, puree and soft food, for two weeks each following the procedure, however your appetite will remain minimal during this time.
After a number of weeks to months, your appetite may start to return but is typically blunted, and when you do eat, you will get full VERY easily. Our patients tell us they get full on a couple of tablespoons of yoghurt! During this time, you must eat very slowly and cautiously, as overeating can very easily occur. If you overeat, your body will give you a signal, whether it be bloating, reflux, hiccups or indigestion. It is very important to pay attention to your body signals, as the aim is to learn when you’ve had enough without developing those signals.
You will be guided by your dietitian on healthy and nourishing food options and suitable portion sizes to keep you feeling well during this time.
Yes! Exercise is an important part of losing weight and keeping it off. We encourage exercise as part of your weight loss strategy – all activities are encouraged and safe. Your Bariatric Endoscopist or Surgeon will provide you with specific recommendations for starting exercise at your post-procedure review appointment, and following any adjustments (for patients with a Spatz3 adjustable balloon only).
When it comes to eating AND drinking post procedure, Dr Sartoretto recommends these three Golden Rules to minimise the risk of symptoms, optimise the chances of weight loss and improve the odds of keeping the weight off
- Small, single portions
- When eating, use a small plate (eg a bread plate or a child’s plate) and serve a portion only the size of the palm of your hand.
- Use a small cup – no large tumblers.
- Do not set your table with food; instead, serve your portion (and anyone else’s) and pack the leftovers away before you eat.
- It is OK to leave some leftover food on your plate – pack it away for lunch tomorrow.
- Go slow!
- Your meal should take no less than 20 minutes to finish – this ensures you chew your food thoroughly and prevents you feeling unwell after you eat.
- Sip on your cup of liquid slowly – drinking too quickly will make you feel bloated and uncomfortable.
- Wait 30 minutes before you go back for seconds
- The brain’s connection with the stomach is delayed – eating too soon after a meal increases the chances of overeating and the chances of developing discomfort.
These rules prevent you from overeating and allow you to get back in touch with your feeling of fullness. If you break them, you are likely to suffer some reflux or cramping, so sooner or later you’ll change your ways!
A sleeve gastrectomy is performed laparoscopically (keyhole surgery), requiring patients to typically stay in hospital for 2-3 nights after the surgery.
Fertility, or the chance of falling pregnant, is significantly increased during and after weight loss. Weight loss during pregnancy may lead to increase risks on the health of the patient and/or the pregnancy and must be avoided. Pregnancy may also affect weight loss results. During any weight loss therapy, use of effective contraception is strongly recommended (preferably non-hormonal methods), and in the event that
pregnancy occurs The BMI Clinic must be notified immediately to optimise the safety of mother and baby.
Portion creep can compromise your weight loss efforts, as it leads to a greater number of calories being consumed. Regular contact with your Dietitian and Bariatric Physician provides a valuable point of accountability to ensure you are maintaining small portion sizes and not experiencing symptoms after eating (symptoms of reflux, bloating and cramping can suggest your portions are too large).
Absolutely, we work with patients from all around Australia and currently have many patients located interstate or outside Sydney.
If you are able to travel to Sydney to attend your initial consultation with the doctor in person, Medicare will bulk bill this consultation entirely. If you would rather this initial consultation occur remotely via video conference, you may be eligible for a Medicare bulk billed appointment, pending your residential address.
When it comes to the procedure itself, you will be required to remain in Sydney for 7-10 days post-procedure, as it is during this time that you are most at risk of an uncommon complication. We will also schedule your post-procedure review with your Specialist during this time.
To further support patients who are unable to attend their allied health consultations face-to-face, we offer the option of a video consultation bundle which can be added on to any of our programs. This ensures you are able to access the full support of your care team and get the most out of your included allied health consultations.