Stephen McCulley, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon. MBChb, FCS(SA)Plast, FRCS(plast)

There are several options for weight loss surgery and Stephen McCulley will advise you of the best options for you

Indications For Weight Loss surgery

Weight loss surgery is becoming increasingly common for severely and morbidly obese individuals. The weight loss surgery comes first and Stephen McCulley treats any problems with loose skin once the weight loss has occurred. This type of surgery is strictly defined as losing more than 50% of your excess body weight, that is the amount of weight above your normal weight. You can calculate your current weight, and whether this is normal or not by comparing it to the Body Mass Index (BMI).

To establish your current BMI, divide your weight (in Kg) by your height (in metres squared), the figure you are left with is your Body Mass Index (BMI). It’s important to note it is not always accurate for very muscular individuals.

For example, if you are 75 kg and 1.68 metres tall

BMI = 75 / (1.68 x 1.68)  =  26.7

Classically the following apply:
BMI 18-25: Normal weight
BMI 25-30: Overweight
BMI 30-35: Obese (Class I obesity)
BMI 35-40: Severely obese (Class II obesity)
BMI >40 Morbidly obese (Class III obesity)

Procedure In Brief – Methods Of Weight Loss 

There are various methods of losing weight, and it is important to consider reviewing your diet and exercise before considering surgery. It is your dietary intake that mostly dictates your weight. Exercise will help weight loss, but this will have little impact if you do not follow a healthy diet.

In terms of surgery, there are several options including having a Gastric balloon fitted inside part of the stomach. This device prevents excess volume or bulk in the stomach. This is the most common procedure and is reversible. The alternative to this is a by-pass procedure that permanently changes the way you absorb food. This surgery would need to be carried out by a specialist laparoscopic surgeon and Stephen McCulley recommends Mr Ian Beckingham  (www.ianbeckingham.com), available at the Park or Woodthorpe hospitals.

Effects Of Weight Loss
After having either a Gastric balloon, or in more serious cases a by-pass procedure, the patient will notice that as they loose weight the skin will shrink as best as possible. However, it is very common for the skin to not fully shrink leaving loose skin and sometimes stretch marks. This can affect the face and body including the stomach, back, breasts, upper arms and thighs. The severity will be determined by the amount and speed of weight loss.

Stephen McCulley can perform surgery to correct this problem and will discuss the best type of procedure for you during your consultation. This includes:

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Arm Tightening (Brachioplasty)
Breast Surgery (Tightening or Implants)
Thigh Lift

These operations can be performed individually or together (usually no more than two at a time). Please look at the relevant sections (above) as well as Multiple Procedures for detailed information.

Is Having Multiple Procedures Right For Me?
Stephen McCulley will assess if multiple procedures is right for the patient during the consultation. He will carry out surgery if it is safe to do and none of the procedures will have a negative impact on each other. Some patients will have a higher risk than others and therefore might suit a longer operation including smokers, people who are overweight and those with a history of blood clots. In this scenario Stephen might consider splitting the surgery to separate occasions.

Medicines
A full medical history will be obtained before any surgery. As a precaution, do not take any over the counter medicines or herbal remedies prior to surgery or for 3 days following. Also avoid aspirin, ibuprofen and Voltarol based tablets. It would be useful to bring a list of any prescribed medications to your pre-op assessment.

Smoking
If you are a smoker, try and stop for the amount of time as outlined in each procedure as it can reduce the chances of complications.

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Recovering from Weight Loss Surgery

Your recovery will depend on the type of surgery you have had. Further information can be found on the individual procedure pages, but this can also be discussed further with Stephen McCulley during your consultation.

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Potential Complications With Weight Loss Surgery

There are increased risks associated with having a longer amount of surgery and an increased number of scars including the higher risk of infections or bleeding. However, general risks with any surgery such as blood clots in the leg or lung are very uncommon. However, they do usually arise as a result of having had longer surgery and when they do occur they can be serious. It is very important to consider these risks before proceeding with the operation.

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What does Weight Loss Surgery cost?

Prices can be discussed with Stephen McCulley during your consultation. It is cost-effective to combine operations, generally a second procedure will cost 65% of the normal price, and a third operation will be 50% of the normal price. These savings reflect one hospital stay and a reduced overall time in the operating theatre. As with any procedure with Stephen McCulley, all follow-up and nursing relating to your surgery will be included in the price.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you'd like to see more then please view our frequently asked questions on Multiple Procedures!

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