Dr Evan Willingham
Toowoomba Bariatric Surgery
Downs Specialist Centre
146 Mackenzie Street
East Toowoomba Qld 4350
Phone: 07 4580 0828
Fax: 07 4580 0829
WILL I SUFFER FROM CONSTIPATION?
CAN I EAT ANYTHING IN MODERATION?
After your stomach has healed, most foods shouldn’t cause you discomfort.
However, because the amount of food your body can take is limited, it is important to include foods full of important vitamins and nutrients as advised by your surgeon and/or dietitian.
If you eat foods that contain lots of sugar and fat or drink liquids full of 'empty' calories, such as milkshakes, the effect of the gastric band may be greatly reduced or cancelled.
CAN I STILL DRINK ALCOHOL AFTER WEIGHT-LOSS SURGERY?
Alcohol has a high number of calories. It also breaks down vitamins. Like many diet choices in a healthy lifestyle, moderation is the key. An occasional glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage is not considered harmful to weight loss.
WHAT IF I GO OUT TO EAT?
Dining out after a weight loss procedure does not need to be an issue. Order a small amount of food, like an appetiser for your main. Eat slowly. Finish at the same time as your table companions. You might want to let your host or hostess know in advance that you cannot eat very much.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER MEDICATION?
You should be able to take prescribed medication. You may need to use capsules, break big tablets in half or dissolve them in water so they do not get stuck in the stomach and make you sick. You should always ask the doctor who prescribes your medication about the options available with your medication.
WILL I NEED TO TAKE VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS?
WHAT ABOUT PREGNANCY?
Becoming pregnant can be easier as you lose weight. Your menstrual cycle may become more regular. If you need to eat more while you are pregnant, the band can be loosened. After the pregnancy, the band may be made tighter again, and you can resume losing weight.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I BECOME ILL?
One of advantages a gastric band system is the ability for adjustments. If your illness requires you to eat more, the band can be loosened by removing saline from it. Once recovered and you want to lose weight again, the band can be tightened by increasing the amount of saline. If the band cannot be loosened enough, it may have to be removed.
WILL I FEEL HUNGRY OR DEPRIVED WITH THE GASTRIC BAND?
The gastric band makes you eat less and feel full in 2 ways – it reduces the capacity of your stomach and increases the time it takes food to get through the digestive system.
After a small meal (this amount varies from person to person), you should feel full. If you follow the nutrition guidelines with your food choice and chew it well, you should not feel hungry or deprived.
Remember that the gastric band is a tool to help you change your eating habits and lifestyle. Your health goals rely on your commitment level to reaching them.
WILL I NEED PLASTIC SURGERY FOR THE SURPLUS OF SKIN AFTER I LOSE WEIGHT?
You do not always need surgery for any surplus skin following your weight loss.
Generally, plastic surgery is not be considered for at least a year or two after the operation. Sometimes the skin will mould itself around the new body tissue.
Give your skin the time it needs to adjust before you make any decisions about further surgery.
CAN THE BAND BE REMOVED?
Although the gastric band system is not meant to be removed, it can be.
In some cases, this can be done with laparoscopic surgery. The stomach generally returns to its original shape once the band is removed. Please be aware in the event of the removal, you may soon go back up to your original weight or even have further increase.
DO I HAVE TO BE CAREFUL WITH THE ACCESS PORT JUST UNDERNEATH MY SKIN?
The access port does not restrict any activity. It is placed under the skin in the abdominal wall, and once the incisions have healed, it should not cause any discomfort, limit your movements or any physical exercise.
The only sensation you may have from the port is if you have adjustment procedures.
If you feel persistent discomfort in the port area, please let us know as soon as possible.
HOW IS THE BAND ADJUSTED?
Adjustments are often carried out in the X-ray department so the access port can be clearly seen. When X-rays are used, your reproductive organs should be shielded. Sometimes adjustments can be done in an outpatient clinic or office.
Local anaesthesia may or may not be needed. A fine needle is passed through the skin into the access port to add or subtract saline. Often this process takes only a few minutes. Most patients say it is nearly painless.
DOES THE GASTRIC BAND LIMIT ANY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY?
The gastric band does not affect or hinder physical activity including aerobics, stretching and strenuous exercise.
DOES THE GASTRIC BAND REQUIRE FREQUENT OFFICE VISITS AFTER SURGERY?
Check-ups are normal and a very important part of the gastric band system procedure. We highly value patient follow-up and consider it a strong part of our duty of care.
HOW MUCH WEIGHT WILL I LOSE?
Weight-loss results vary and the amount of weight you lose depends on several factors. The kilograms won't fall off by themselves and our procedures are not a miracle cure. They are a tool to help you live a healthier life. For this reason, is vital you are committed to your new lifestyle and eating habits.
It is very important to set achievable weight-loss goals from the beginning. An average weight loss of 1 kg a week over the first 6 months following the operation is possible, but this also depends on how much weight you need to lose. Usually weekly weight loss slows about twelve to eighteen months after the operation.
Remember your main goal is weight loss that prevents, improves, or resolves health problems connected with severe obesity.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO RECOVER AFTER SURGERY?
For laparoscopic surgery, patients typically spend 1 to 3 days in the hospital. We recommend 2-4 weeks before returning to work depending on the physical demand of your occupation and resume exercising after a month to 6 weeks.
In the case of open surgery or if there are any complications, recovery can take longer and we will discuss this during your consultation process.
WILL I BE SICK A LOT AFTER THE OPERATION?
If you feel nauseated or sick on a regular basis, there are a few possible reasons.
It may mean that you are not chewing your food well or that you are not following the diet recommendations properly.Post-procedure vomiting should be avoided as much as possible. It can cause the small stomach pouch to stretch or can lead to part of the stomach slipping through the band which reduces the success of the operation and can require a further procedure.
If you have a gastric band and this problem persists, it could mean the placement of the band needs adjusting so you should contact us.
If you have had a sleeve gastrectomy, are eating carefully and frequent vomiting continues, we may need to consider the possibility of your sleeve narrowing or twisting. We recommend contacting us for further testing to determine the best solution.
If you have had a gastric bypass and experiencing on-going nausea, we recommend contacting us to make sure that you don't have a narrowing or stricture at your anastomosis between the stomach and the small bowel.
WHICH WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY IS BEST FOR ME?
There are many factors which contribute to the answer to this question. Dr Willingham offers a range of weight loss procedures to help you achieve your goals. Our clinic is all about giving the most informed options for each individual, therefore all recommendations only occur within the context of consultation. You may have a certain type of weight loss procedure in mind, there are several factors (e.g. - your BMI, specific medical conditions, prior operations, your ability to cope with potential risks of each procedure, and your lifestyle) which may affect which course of action is best for you. These are discussed during your initial appointment stage.
AM I ELIGIBLE FOR WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY?
The Australian National Health & Medical Research Council recommends weight loss surgery if your BMI is over 40. This recommendation also applies if your BMI is over 35 and you have associated obesity related disorders (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnoea, arthritis).If you have already had certain procedures on your gastrointestinal system, there are certain types of weight loss operations which may be unsuitable for you. There are some medical disorders which may also make the procedures extremely dangerous. At your consultation, we will discuss which options suit your situation best.
Frequently Asked Questions