A: All patients are required to cease smoking for at least 2 weeks prior to their surgery (please request to see the smoking policy in our Obesity Treatment Process and the Obesity Surgery Handbook)
Q: Am I able to use my own blood, should I need a blood transfusion?
A: Yes, however the Surgeon/Anaesthetist will need to complete a request form, advising how much is needed and when it will be needed. We will give the form to you and you will then need to contact the Blood Donor centre to organise this. It should be noted that there is less than 1% chance of requiring a blood transfusion after laparoscopic weight loss surgery. This is a very expensive option and generally seen as unnecessary.
Q: What is a realistic amount of time needed off of work post operatively?
A: Following surgery 10 days to 2 weeks is normal, if you are returning to a desk-type job. We advise you not to do any heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 2 - 3 weeks.
Q: What supplements do I need to take after weight loss surgery?
A: On discharge from hospital, you will need to take a Multivitamin (that has folate in it), Iron, Calcium and sublingual vitamin B12 on a daily basis, unless there are any contra-indications. We strongly recommend you take supplements that have been designed for bariatric patients, such as those available through AMS Nutrition. Visit www.amsnutrition.co.nz for more information.
Q: Is this surgery publicly funded?
A: There are a limited number of publicly funded weight loss surgical procedures done each year. Each DHB across the country has its own allocation of weight loss surgery with their own selection criteria, independent of our practice. If you wish to apply for DHB funded weight loss surgery, you will need to approach your General Practitioner.
Q: Is there any financial assistance available?
A: We understand that weight loss surgery is a significant commitment and financial outlay, which is why we strive to ensure that we provide one of the best services in New Zealand at the lowest price. Some patients have found that they have been able to obtain finance for their surgery through banks, credit unions and other financial institutions such as Nova Medical Finance (0800 NOVAMED or www.novamedical.co.nz).