INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS

Congratulations on taking the first step toward weight loss surgery. Researching the options and care teams available to you is important and we hope that the information provided here is useful to you.

Getting Started


Dr Askew’s main consulting rooms are located within the Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital, Birtinya. He also consults regularly at Caboolture and also on the Fraser Coast. If you are unable to attend the rooms in person we are also able to arrange a Telehealth appointment for you and regularly do this for both our Regional Queensland patients and also those of our patients travelling (or stuck in other locations due to Covid-19 border restrictions!).

Please phone our rooms on (07) 5408 8721 to book an appointment. In order to claim a medicare rebate for your appointment you will require a referral from your General Practioner. We are more than happy to see you without a referral, however you will not be eligible for the Medicare rebate for this consultation.

Consultation

Your initial consultation is with Dr Askew himself. This allows him to assess your suitability for surgery and also discuss with you the pros and cons as well as arrange for any required pre-operative tests or investigations that may be required. After this consultation with Dr Askew we will schedule appointments for you to meet the rest of the Bariatric Care Team and also to meet with Dr Askew at least once more prior to surgery to discuss any additional queries and also to sign your operation consent documentation. 

Prior to your consultation with Dr Askew we will send you a detailed health questionnaire. This can be electronically returned to us before to your appointment or alternatively, please attend your appointment 20 minutes early in order to fill in this form. 

Please allow at least an hour for an initial consultation with Dr Askew and his staff regarding metabolic surgery. During your initial consultation with Dr Askew he will discuss with you your medical history and your weight loss history and goals. He will also discuss various treatment options – including the benefits and risks of surgery. You will have plenty of opportunity to ask Dr Askew and his staff questions regarding surgery as well as our team care approach.

Preparing for Bariatric Surgery

If you decide you would like to proceed with surgery there are a number of investigations that may be required. Pre-operative investigations are required to gain further information regarding your health and medical fitness for an anaesthetic.

Usually we order a full nutritional screening blood test for you. Depending on your circumstances you may also require a barium swallow Xray, endoscopy, echocardiogram or sleep study. These tests are based on your individual circumstances and not all tests are required for all patients. 

As part of our weight loss program you will see our dietitians prior to your surgery. You may be asked to undertake a pre-operative very low calorie diet (VCLD) before your operation. Our psychologist is also a very important member of our team and an appointment with her is greatly beneficial. A further appointment with Dr Askew will also be made for you to ask any further questions prior to surgery.  

In-hospital stay

The operating theatre and surgical ward are located on the first floor of the Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital. You will be required to attend the hospital on the day of your surgery. Pre-admission the day before is usually not required. Fasting and arrival information will be given to you by Dr Askew’s team at least three days before your surgery. 

Recovering from surgery you will have your own private hospital room and ensuite. Most of our patients remain in hospital for two nights following surgery. Dr Askew will be visiting you daily. 

Usually after two or three days your surgical pain and nausea has mostly resolved and you will be drinking enough to remain hydrated. You will be discharge home with pain relief and anti-nausea medications. Dr Askew will provide you with his 24 hour emergency contact details if you have any concerns after discharge. You are encouraged to remain on your post-operative liquid diet, as directed by your dietitian, until your review appointment.

Recovering from Surgery

Following discharge from hospital it is normal to still be feeling a little uncomfortable, perhaps nauseous, and fatigued. This fatigue can last for a few weeks after an operation and anaesthetic and we recommend you take at least two weeks leave from work. It is important that when you are at home you are moving and trying to do normal household activities (with the exception of heavy lifting). However, we recommend that you refrain from performing any exercise until you are cleared to do so by Dr Askew. Generally we suggest no vigorous exercise or gym work for at least six weeks after surgery. Gentle light exercise can begin two weeks after surgery.

We provide a thorough multidisciplinary team care approach will help you maximise your weight loss results. Dr Askew’s post-operative care is completed by dietitian and psychology support. We schedule multiple post-operative appointments for you with our team to ensure that you are recovering and progressing well. Our follow up program is intensive, especially within the first year after surgery. Our care program continues beyond this and ongoing appointments with Dr Askew are bulk billed for three years.

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