Patient Journey

Your journey with us can involve an end-to-end experience with our team of fully qualified health professionals or a referral from your local GP to seek a surgical solution to your health condition.

Stages of your journey

Bariatric Patient Journey.png

* If not already done beforehand in patients with high risk OSA

** Gallstones identified pre-operatively on US may be operated on before or at the time of bariatric surgery, if agreed upon by Dr Spiro and the patient. This test is not compulsory, however, patients should be aware of the possible incidence of biliary colic after weight loss surgery.

Pre-operative Assessment & Initial Costs

Assessments by bariatric surgery need to be completed before a patient is offered surgery. This multi-disciplinary process may or may not be adopted by other bariatric surgeons, however, it is the philosophy of the team to engage the patient as this can ensure long-term success. The team consists of:
 

  • Bariatric surgeon

  • Bariatric physician

  • Bariatric dietitian and exercise physiologist

  • Bariatric psychologist. 

The bariatric surgeon is usually the first team member who engages with a potential patient.

After the first consultation, referrals are then made to the rest of the team and simultaneous assessments and preparations for surgery are made. The dietitian and psychologist help patients to be in the right head-space and make lifestyle changes in preparation for surgery. For patients with complex medical diagnosis and for bypass patients, consultation with a bariatric physician is crucial for appropriate and safe post-operative management. A bariatric physician can help adjust medications in response to a new digestive anatomy and monitor to avoid micronutrient depletion that can have serious consequences. 

*With a mental health care plan initiated by your general practitioner*

**Emily consults out of Barton Specialist Clinics on Wednesdays for bariatric patients**

***Appointments also available via www.hotdoc.com.au. Patients new to the practice are expected to attend a face to face consult***

Referral letters to the above team members will be sent at the end of the initial consult with myself. Thank you for agreeing to multi-disciplinary care.

Insurance

Our team can assist you in managing your time before surgery, by optimising your health and achieving smaller goals as steps to surgery.

Insured patients may rely on their private health fund, however this is determined by the level of cover. Patients will be able to check if the MBS item numbers are covered by their policy.

 

Sleeve Gastrectomy MBS Item No. 31575

Gastric Bypass MBS Item No. 31569

Gastric Band Removal MBS Item No. 31584

Gastric Band to Bypass MBS Item No. 31584 & 31572

An option for uninsured or inadequately insured patients is to increase the level of cover from your insurance provider. There is usually a 12 month waiting period before funds can be accessed for bariatric surgery.

Accessing Superannuation

Self-funded surgery is available for the sleeve gastrectomy procedure for patients who fulfil a specific criteria. Costs for surgery include: hospital bed stay, theatre session including staff, operation consumables and service fees for the surgeon, anaesthetist and assisting surgeon.

You may initiate early access to your superannuation fund as a way to fund your surgery. Dr Spiro will write a letter of support of this if our selection criteria is met, and if supported by members of our team.

Your superannuation is accesses as per the directions of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

 

The excerpt from their website reads:

  1. Check if your super-fund permits early access to superannuation funds on compassionate grounds

  2. Withdrawal from self-managed superannuation is also subject to approval from the ATO 

  3. Apply via mygov portal or use a paper-based application form (call 13 10 20 (8.00am–6.00pm, Monday–Friday, or 10.00am–2.00pm on Saturdays AEDT)

  4. Start your application and submit the following:

    • Fee estimate from the Surgeon- unpaid

    • Fee estimate from the Anaesthetist- unpaid

    • Invoice from the hospital for surgery- unpaid (the invoice can only be generated after a Request For Admission or RFA is filled out by the patient and surgeon and submitted to the hospital in question)

    • Note that allied health such as psychologist and dietitian fees cannot be claimed in this manner, but claimed via Medicare using a health plan initiated by your general practitioner

  5. You will also need to supply TWO medical reports

    • A report from your surgeon in support of surgical intervention

    • A medical report from your general practitioner in support of surgical intervention

  6. Send the form to: 
     

Australian Taxation Office
Compassionate release of superannuation
PO Box 3006 
PENRITH NSW 2740
AUSTRALIA
 

Following surgery, appointments with Dr Lewis and Dr Spiro will be bulk-billed, unless there is a new and unrelated diagnosis.
 

The practice cannot advise any further to the processes dictated by the ATO and we wish you all the best in accessing assistance from them. 

We are here to support you on your journey to a healthier version of yourself.