FAQ

Cost

How Much does it Cost?

When you are considering your metabolic surgery, you need to be aware that there will be an out of pocket cost for your treatment. Your costs will vary depending on your type of procedure and also your level of health insurance.

Our commitment to you, is to achieve the best possible outcome from your surgery. As a result, we have a team approach to your surgery. Your surgery costs will include Dr Baxter’s fee, a surgical assistant fee & the anaesthetist fee. Additionally, there are consultation fees payable together with the dietetics package and a fee for your psychology assessment (pre-surgery).

Our team at The Sunshine Coast Medical Weight Loss Centre are dedicated to providing you with comprehensive and ongoing support.

There will be an out of pocket expense, after you have received your Medicare & private health insurance rebate for your weight loss surgery.

Will my private health insurance cover my surgery?

Most health funds will charge a hospital excess (a fee payable on your hospital admission) as well as applying a 12 month waiting period prior to being able to use your insurance for your weight loss surgery.

We strongly recommend that you contact your insurance provider and check your level of cover. Please quote the following Medicare item numbers when you discuss your insurance levels:

Sleeve Gastrectomy 31575
Gastric Bypass 31572
Gastric Banding 31569

Can I still have weight loss surgery if I have no private health insurance?

Yes, however we recommend that you have health insurance prior to considering weight loss surgery. Without health insurance, you will have an out of pocket expense of approximately $16,000 for your hospital stay. Your total cost (hospital, surgery, assistant, anaesthetist, dietetics) is approximately $22,000. Additionally, if you have an unexpected prolonged hospital stay, you can expect significantly higher hospital costs.

Can I access my superannuation to assist with the cost of weight loss surgery?

We accept patients who wish to access early release of their superannuation to pay for their surgery & hospital stay. You will need to download the application form and bring them to your consultation. Additionally, your General Practitioner will be required to sign a form in support of your surgery. You can download the form here and all applications need to be submitted to the Australian Taxation office online via your MyGov account.

Pre Surgery

Do I Need a Referral from my General Practitioner?

Yes. You require a referral from your GP. This will allow you to claim a Medicare rebate for your consultations and surgery.

What pre-operative tests do I require?

We need to ensure that we have all the relevant information we require prior to your surgery. Standardly, we require routine blood tests and a radiology examination, called a Barium Swallow (a x-ray to help us examine the digestive system and your oesophagus).

I live remotely… can I do a telehealth conference?

Yes. Telehealth consultations are available for patients who live in our remote areas. It is intended for new and existing patients who live in remote areas. Please contact our rooms for further information.

Do I need to modify my diet prior to the surgery?

Yes. You are required to have a very-low-calorie diet, VLCD, (Formulite/Optifast or similar) before bariatric surgery. This helps to reduce the size of the liver, which facilitates a safer and more effective operation. The diet is required for up to 2 weeks prior to surgery. Your dietitian will give you your VLCD instructions and our administration staff are well versed in helping you navigate your way through this pre-operative phase.

Surgery

Will I need time off work?

We usually recommend a two week recovery following your weight loss surgery; however if you are a FIFO or your work requires heavy lifting/labour (miner, builder, concreter) you will require between 2-4 weeks off (or modified/light duties).

How long will my hospital stay be?

Each patient recovers differently from an operation. For patients who have gastric sleeve or bypass, it is usually a 2-3 night stay in hospital. Lapband patients are an overnight stay.

I am travelling from a distance/remote area. How long should I stay on the Sunshine Coast?

Yes. We recommend you stay for approximately10 days so that you can be seen you post-operatively prior to you travelling home. However, this is assessed on a case by case basis by Dr Baxter.

Post Surgery

What follow up appointments will I need?

Dr. Baxter and his team are committed to providing comprehensive specialist care on a long term basis.

You will require 3 post operative appointments with Dr Baxter, and 3 post operative appointments with our Dietetics team within the first 3 months of your surgery.

You will also be referred to participate in our metabolic reconditioning program at the Buderim Private Hospital.

Am I a candidate ?

Am I a Candidate for weight loss surgery?

If you are overweight and have concerns about how your weight may be affecting your health, then surgery may be right for you.

“Surgery can be considered when other attempts at weight loss have been tried and been unsuccessful”.

There are specific criteria for weight loss surgery. These are based on BMI and other health co-morbidities (any effect your weight may be having on your health and general well being).

  • BMI 40 or more, surgery is considered indicated as the risk of developing serious health problems is very high.
  • BMI 35-40 with obesity related health issues.
  • BMI 30-35 with obesity related health issues may be eligible however individual assessment is required.

To find out of surgery could be suitable for you please phone on 5444 8594 or contact us to discuss it with one of our team.

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