Surgery FAQs

Surgery FAQs

How do I choose a procedure, which surgery is right for me?

At Christchurch Weight Loss Surgery, we offer several weight loss (metabolic) surgical procedures, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, one anastomosis gastric bypass and the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

At your initial consultation, the surgeon will discuss the various weight loss (metabolic) surgical options available. They discuss the pros and cons, risks and benefits and then make a recommendation about which procedure or procedures would be appropriate for you to consider. For more information on the types of surgery offered click on this link. Weight Loss Surgery Options - Christchurch Weight Loss Surgery (

What are the benefits of weight loss (metabolic) surgery?

Physical health benefits
Obesity is a serious medical condition that leads to multiple problems. It puts people at high risk of developing obesity related issues or co-morbidities. These include metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, reflux, sleep disorders, infertility, incontinence, and for some people, a wide range of cancers including breast cancer and colon cancer. Obesity leads to a reduced life expectancy of about 10 years; a mortality that is comparable to the risks of smoking.

Psychological health benefits
Successful weight loss (metabolic) surgery can provide many psychological health benefits. Many people find they have an improved levels of self-esteem and self-confidence in life and activities following weight loss (metabolic) surgery which positively impacts on multiple aspects of their lives.

Weight loss (metabolic) surgery has been shown to be highly effective at inducing significant long-term weight loss and reducing the problems caused by obesity. Evidence shows that this not only improves a person’s quality of life but leads to improved life expectancy.

Will weight loss (metabolic) surgery work?

Traditional methods to reduce weight include diet and exercise, ‘eat less and exercise more’. Scientific evidence has proven these to be ineffective at reducing weight and improving mortality. In contrast, weight loss (metabolic) surgery has been shown to be highly effective at inducing significant long-term weight loss and reducing the problems caused by obesity.

Surgery is a tool, and the more you engage with it, the better the result. Engaging with it means that you are implementing long term portion control, making good food choices and the lifestyle changes, including exercise that will help support and maintain your weight loss long term.

Is a pre-op diet required?

Your surgeon may request that you take a special diet before surgery. This is usually shake based, including vegetables and salads as per dietitian instruction.

After two to three days your hunger is switched off due to a state of fat burning. This feeling of hunger being switched off is similar to what you will experience after surgery. Our specialist dietitians will discuss and help you work through the diet. Your surgeon will generally recommend a two to six week diet depending on your starting weight.

The reason for following this diet is to make the surgery easier and safer. Importantly the diet shrinks the size of your liver by a third, in doing so it ensures that the operation can be carried out by laparoscopic (keyhole method) and means that the surgery as a whole, is lower risk.

Do I need to follow a special diet after my surgery?

After surgery you will need to follow a post-operative diet progression below, as advised by the surgeon and dietitian:

  • Fluids – ensuring the recommended intake per day to avoid dehydration
  • Pureed - consistency of baby food
  • Soft diet – progressing to normal diet as guided by the dietitian.

It is recommended you stick to the recommended diet, as it helps place the stomach in the best position for healing. It is also important to remember to drink regularly throughout the day to ensure that you remain adequately hydrated. Remember, following your operation you will only be able to take sips of fluids rather than been able to drink a whole glass of water as you can prior to the surgery. The dietitian will guide you on the length of the different diet stages.

Is weight loss (metabolic) surgery covered by medical insurance?

If you have medical health insurance, contact your provider to see if they cover or contribute towards weight loss (metabolic) surgery or related consultations with the surgeon, dietician etc. There are some insurance companies that will contribute a part payment towards the cost of surgery if you meet their criteria, it’s worth asking them what that is, if applicable.

Do you offer finance or payment plans?

While we do not offer any finance plans, there are several options people have utilised, some people have used finance companies, their personal bank for a loan or mortgage extension etc.

Although this is not a guaranteed option, some people have been successful in accessing their KiwiSaver under financial hardship to fund a medical treatment pathway for surgery. To get more information on this, you will need to contact your KiwiSaver provider to get the forms for early withdrawal you will need supporting documentation from your GP and surgeon etc.

If you are interested in public funding, you need to contact your GP to discuss this option and organise a referral through your GP to the public hospital. We cannot refer you for public funding, these must go through your GP.

Does weight loss (metabolic) surgery affect Poly Cystic Ovaries Syndrome (PCOS)?

Following bariatric surgery, BMI and excess body weight decrease. Research suggests there is no significant differences in weight loss, between those who have PCOS and those who do not.

The research suggests bariatric surgery could be an effective treatment for PCOS and help improve the condition and associated symptoms.

How does weight loss (metabolic) surgery affect infertility?

Women who have irregular periods or no periods prior to bariatric surgery are likely to start regular menstruation as you lose weight. In many cases, the surgery has excellent success with weight related infertility. We recommend you do not try to conceive until at least 12-18 months following surgery once your weight loss and diet has stabilised.

In regard to pregnancy following weight loss (metabolic) surgery will generally be much safer than it would be if you didn’t have the surgery. We would nevertheless recommend careful dietary planning and monitoring of vitamins and minerals during pregnancy by your lead maternity carer.

Wherever you are in life, we’re here to help. Call us on 03 375 4949 Or send us an email