Patient Experience

Congratulations on taking the first steps towards weight loss surgery. We recognise that this is a very important decision for you. Our practice strives to make you feel at ease and supported before, during and after your weight loss surgery.

Getting Started


Dr Askew’s main consulting rooms are located within the Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital, Birtinya. He also consults regularly at Caboolture. If you are unable to attend the rooms in person we are able to arrange Telehealth appointments for you. We regularly perform Telehealth appointments for our Regional and Rural Queensland patients as well as FIFO workers.

If you would like to discuss weight loss surgery then please phone (07) 5408 8721 to book an appointment to meet Dr Askew. Your consultation with Dr Askew is obligation free. It is an excellent way find out more about weight loss surgery and to have your questions answered.

In order to claim a Medicare rebate for your appointment you will require a referral from your General Practitioner. 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


Prior to your consultation we will send you a detailed health questionnaire. This can be electronically returned to us ahead of your scheduled appointment. If you are unable to return this form before your appointment, please attend your appointment 40 minutes early to allow time to fill out the required documents.

Your initial consultation is with Dr Askew. Please allow an hour for this appointment. During this thorough discussion he will explore your medical history and your weight loss history and goals. Different treatment options will also be discussed – including the benefits and the risks of surgery as well as the different types of surgery. You will have plenty of opportunities to ask questions about surgery and our team care approach. Following this meeting you are under no pressure to proceed with surgery.

Pre-operative Support


If you decide to proceed with surgery our goal is to ensure that you are supported and safe. Our care is individualised to your specific medical and dietary needs. We aim to help you at every stage so that you can obtain your best possible long-term results. Please note that our program includes seven dietitian consultations, two psychology appointments as well as three years of bulk billed follow-up appointments with Dr Askew.

Negotiating the complexities of the private health system and pre-operative requirements can be daunting and we strive to make you feel at ease and to simplify the steps for you.

We will aid you in:

  • Booking a hospital date
  • Applying for Early Release of Superannuation, if required
  • Obtaining quotes from the hospital and the anaesthetist for your surgery
  • Arranging any pre-operative investigations that are required.

We will co-ordinate appointments with our in-house care team of:

  • Dietitians and Psychologist
  • Further appointments with Dr Askew.

Preparing for Bariatric Surgery


In order to improve the safety and success of your surgery there are a number of investigations and appointments that may be required. A full nutritional screening blood test will help our dietitians determine your multi-vitamin regime. Other tests such as a sleep study, echocardiogram, contrast swallow or endoscopy may be required depending on your individual circumstances.

Usually there are 3 main steps to follow after your initial appointment:

  1. Perform pre-operative tests
  2. Attend appointments with our in-house dietitians and psychologist
    • You will meet with one of our dietitians, Kate or Bethany, twice prior to surgery. These consultations are to discuss both the pre-operative and post-operative diet that you should follow. Usually you are required to have a two week VLCD diet prior to your surgery.
    • Nicola, our psychologist, is a very important member of our team and is also available for consultations.
  3. Attend a further appointment with Dr Askew
    • Following the above investigations and appointments with the other members of the bariatric care team you will have a further opportunity to ask Dr Askew any questions regarding surgery.

In addition to the dietary information you will be provided with details of your hospital admission. This includes arrival and fasting times for your operation, and what to bring to hospital. The hospital requires you to fill out their admission form ahead of your procedure.

Surgery and In-hospital stay


All operations are performed by Dr Askew at the Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital. Dr Askew and his team of regular assistants and anaesthetists, as well as operating theatre nurses provide an experienced and safe environment for your surgery. You will be required to attend the hospital on your day of surgery and Dr Askew and his anaesthetist will see you prior to surgery.

In hospital you will have your own private room with en-suite to recover in. Most of our patients remain in hospital for two nights following surgery to ensure that your post-operative pain has settled and that you are able to stay well hydrated. During your hospital stay Dr Askew will visit you daily. We anticipate that your recovery will be swift and that you will be discharged two days after your weight loss surgery.

Post-operative Care


After discharge from hospital you will be provided with Dr Askew’s 24 hour emergency contact number, as well as instructions regarding your wound dressings and medications.

Following discharge from hospital it is not uncommon to feel a little uncomfortable and fatigued. We normally recommend having two weeks leave from work and to refrain from driving a motor vehicle for a week.

When you are at home it is important to be walking and trying to perform your normal household activities (with the exception of heavy lifting). Gentle light exercise can begin two weeks after surgery but we recommend no vigorous exercise or gym work for six weeks after surgery. Swimming should be avoided for at least three weeks after your surgery or until your wounds are healed.

Our comprehensive care program continues after surgery and you will be scheduled for regular post-operative visits with Dr Askew, our dietitians as well as psychologist. Your routine appointments will be scheduled at 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months after surgery. Please note that our care plan includes our in-house dietitian and psychology consultations as well as Dr Askew’s follow up appointments.

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.

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 complemented 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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