Where are the surgeries performed?
Dr Andrew Russell operates exclusively at The Rockhampton Mater Hospital.
How long am I in hospital for?
You will usually stay for 2 nights.
How long do I need to take off work?
This depends on the type of work you do. We suggest 1-2 weeks for office work and longer for manual labour with no heavy lifting for 4 weeks.
When can I start to exercise again?
You may begin passive exercise such as walking as soon as you feel comfortable to do so, or swimming once your skin wounds have healed. Weight lifting etc should be delayed for six weeks.
When can I get pregnant?
If wanting to have future pregnancies it is strongly advised that you use a reliable form of contraception for the first year after the surgery.
How much does the surgery cost?
Dr Andrew Russell’s fee is currently $6800.00. (if you have had a previous band, this fee will be slightly different)
What is included in the cost of surgery?
This fee includes, the surgery, the surgical assistant, five years of follow up and a copy of Nutrition for Weight Loss Surgery by Sally Johnston. There are also costs involved with the Anaesthetist. If you are not insured for weight loss surgery, The Mater Hospital will also involve added costs.
How much weight can I expect to lose?
It is difficult to predict the amount of weight loss each individual may experience. You may experience weight loss of 1-2kg per week in the early months and then your weight loss will slow after this. Depending on your degree of excess weight you may reach a healthy weight in the first year. Others may take longer and only achieve a BMI of around 30.
Do you operate on uninsured patients?
Yes. Uninsured patients are responsible for the total cost of the surgery, admission to hospital and the Anaesthetist fee. You can access your superannuation to help fund these costs.
Do you have an age limit?
We generally operate on people between the ages of 18 and 70 but do consider people outside of these years.
What is the minimum BMI for weight loss surgery?
Dr Andrew Russell will perform surgery for people with a BMI over 35. If your BMI is 30-35 and you have a comorbidity related to or made worse by your obesity, you may also qualify. Examples include, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, obstructive sleep apnoea, chronic joint pain and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Click here to calculate your BMI
Why do I need to see a dietician?
It is a requirement that all of Dr Andrew Russell’s patients attend our dietician prior to and after surgery. The dietician will educate you on the pre and postoperative phases involved in The Sleeve Gastrectomy process.
Why do I need to go on Optifast before my surgery?
Patients are required to undertake a VLCD (very low-calorie diet) prior to sleeve gastrectomy to shrink the liver enabling surgery to go ahead safely and allow access to the stomach for completing surgery.
When can I drive after surgery?
We recommend that you avoid driving until you can comfortably wear a seatbelt, use your hand brake and brake suddenly when necessary. This takes at least one week.
Can I take my usual medications after surgery?
You will be able to take your prescription medications as usual after your surgery. You may wish to contact your pharmacist to ask about breaking larger tablets to begin with. Keep in touch with your GP with regard to decreasing any doses of medication in regard to medical conditions improving with your weight loss, e.g., diabetic meds or blood pressure meds.