Diabetes, obesity, cancer, metabolic syndrome, heart disease… these clearly aren’t cosmetic problems, yet weight loss surgery often gets labelled as a cosmetic procedure. While there can be positive external changes that come with weight loss surgery, the aims are internal—better health, better well-being and potentially a longer life.
Obesity is becoming the largest preventable cause of death in our society. When lifestyle changes are not enough to reverse the effects of morbid obesity, other options need to be considered.
There are several options for medically supporting a weight loss program.
For those who cannot maintain a healthy weight with diet and exercise—and unfortunately the success rate of non-surgical weight loss programs is less than we would like—surgery may be the best way of improving health and reversing the medical complications of morbid obesity. Used in combination with dietary optimisation, an exercise program, vitamin supplementation and regular follow up, surgery offers the most predictable results and the most reliable means of managing complications of obesity such as diabetes and sleep apnoea. The options include:
If you have appropriate private health insurance, you could be covered for Bariatric (weight-loss) Surgery.
The out-of-pocket expense for those with private health insurance is typically between $4,000 and $5,000, depending on your insurance cover and the procedure to be undertaken.
Check your private health insurance to ensure your Gastric Banding Procedure is covered.
Most levels of private health insurance cover weight-loss procedures, but some of the more basic levels of cover may not. There may also be a waiting period, especially if you have recently joined a health fund.
To check your coverage with your insurer, you can give them the Medicare Gastric Banding item number 30511.
Those patient who are covered for Item No. 30511 are covered for:
The above options are suitable when weight loss is important to reverse or prevent medical complications of obesity. Surgery carries some risks, so at lower levels of overweight and obesity surgery may not be the best option. The information provided here is for general educational purposes only. Before proceeding, you should discuss your particular situation with the doctors at Weight Loss Victoria.
Mr Geoff Kohn has been involved in an expert panel charged with writing guidelines for this operation to help direct surgeons all around the world to provide gold-standard evidence-based care. They are highly technical guidelines, directed towards surgeons.
Clinical application of laparoscopic bariatric surgery: an evidence-based review
Timothy M. Farrell, Stephen P. Haggerty, D. Wayne Overby, Geoffrey P. Kohn, William S. Richardson, Robert D. Fanelli