Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
How Experienced is the Surgeon?

Dr Ahmed is a general and hepatobiliary surgeon specialising in laparoscopic and open surgery. Dr. Ahmed has been in practice since 2009 and has performed a significant number of cancer and non cancer procedures. He has performed over a thousand laparoscopic procedures. He work at Nepean Public; Nepean Private and Sydney Adventist Hospitals. He is a member of various Australian and international surgical organisations.

Can I access my superannuation to pay for Bariatric Surgery?

Yes you can. There is a form required to be submitted to the Australian Tax office (ATO). You will need to see Dr Ahmed first to be assessed, and the form can be given to you after that consultation. The form needs to be filled in by Dr Ahmed and signed. You Will also need a 2nd form filled in by your GP too. These 2  forms can  be submitted via mail or online. The staff will you give you a quote for surgery including all the costs associated.

Will I have hair loss after weight loss surgery?
Most patients will experience hair loss or hair thinning in the first 3-6 months after surgery. it is a temporary symptom ; and your hair will regrow. We still don’t understand why this happens but probably relates to change in hormone levels following weight loss surgery.
Do you offer information seminars where I can learn about your services and meet the surgeon?

We are planning to offer this in the near future. At the moment it would be best to make an appointment to see Dr Ahmed and our dietician. Once these assessments are done then a decision can be made regarding appropriateness for surgery. We also have a number of patients who are willing to share their experiences with you – please contact the staff – who will gladly give you further details about this.

Do I need a referral from my General Practitioner (GP) for Weight Loss Surgery?

Yes, you will need a referral. In order for you to see a specialist, Medicare requires you to obtain a referral from your local doctor (GP).  Your local doctor should assess your health and discuss with you the options of weight loss surgery. It can be difficult to discuss your weight  with your GP; however the input of  your local doctor is vital to the weight loss journey.

Does your surgeon offer a range of surgical options ? Gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, lap band removal ; revisional surgery ?

Dr. Ahmed is experienced in providing all types of weight loss surgery. Each procedure has its own pros and cons.  There is no one procedure or operation that is the best.

Do you offer financed payment plans?

We do not offer finance directly to our clients, however there are finance companies such who specialise in medical finance plans. You can also access your superannuation by applying for early release of funds. There is a form to download; and our staff can help with this.

How much does weight loss surgery cost ?

The staff will you give you a sheet with informed financial consent so you are well aware of costs associated with the practice – Nepean Weight loss.

The programme fee covers all consultations with Dr. Ahmed for the first year and 5 dietitian appointments after surgery in the first year following surgery.

There are 2 pathways for patients. It’s quite important to know which pathway you are going through.

  1. Privately insured patients: you will be in top cover and have gold level private health insurance. Please check the item number with your health fund to see if you are covered. You may have to upgrade your private heath coverage; and there might be a waiting time for this.
  2. Self Paying (patients with no private health insurance; or private health insurance that does not cover the bariatric surgery item numbers): Again you will be given informed financial consent so you will know all the costs involved. You may also use superannuation to cover the costs of surgery.
Does the quoted price include post-operative surgeon consultations?

Yes the programme fee includes this for the first year. Dr Ahmed strives to provide the best possible care for patients. You will have regular followup consultations as planned.

How many times can I expect my surgeon to visit me in hospital?

Dr Ahmed visits his patients every day; unless there is an emergency requiring Dr. Ahmed to be elsewhere.

After my surgery, what aftercare services do you offer?

We offer the following services:

  • Unlimited surgeon consultations
  • Unlimited telephone based support
  • A total of up to 5 individual Dietitian sessions. You will need a referral from your GP for a health care plan so that a rebate from medicare can be obtained.
  • We have arranged a range of health professional who can be involved with our patients if required – pyschologists; exercise physiologists and physiotherapists.
  • Other health professionals include cardiologists; endocrinologists; & sleep study physicians.
Are all follow up services provided on site, or am I referred to somewhere else?

All of Dr Ahmed’s consultations are provided on site. We have organised with 2-3 local dieticians in the Penrith area to see our patients. We have found this gives the most flexibility to patients; and they have their own individual office locations.

At the Sydney Adventist Hospital, Dr Ahmed will see patients there in his SAN rooms; and Amy Boidin (dietitian) will see patients in her SAN rooms – onsite.

What about pregnancy?

If you are planning a pregnancy, we recommend not falling pregnant for a least one year after weight loss surgery.

Will I need to take vitamin supplements?

You will need vitamin and mineral supplements after these procedures as you will generally be eating less food than your body is used to. This ensures you get all the vitamins and minerals you need for energy and vitality. This will be discussed by the dietician preoperatively. We recommend chewable vitamins in the first 1-2 months following surgery; and then capsules thereafter.

What about other medications?

The procedures will have no effect on taking your normal prescribed medications in the long term. In the short term (1-2 months after surgery) its important not to take large tablets. Please discuss this with Dr. Ahmed; and your pharmacist can further help advise on this issue – chewable/liquid medications; some medications can be crushed. You need to be extremely careful with any slow or extended release medications. Any medications including herbal medications that are blood thinnners need to be stopped prior to surgery.

What if I go out to eat?

Eating out is fine. You will generally be able to eat a normal range of foods, however it is advised to eat smaller portions, such as ordering an entree as a main. After the procedure you will feel comfortably full with this. Please ask reception staff for a business card which you can keep in your wallet/handbag and show at restaurants if required.

Will I suffer from constipation?

No, but there may be a reduction in the volume of your stools because you are eating less. If you develop any problems, it is fine to take some Metamucil or increase the fibre in your diet.

How soon can I walk after surgery?

As soon as you feel comfortable to, generally you will be walking on the same day. Its important to walk after surgery to minimise blood clots; but early mobilisation allows a quicker recovery.

Is it possible to talk to another patient who has had the weight reduction surgery?

Yes. This can be arranged through our staff. We have a list of patients – (male/female) who are more than happy to discuss their weight loss experience with you. The general feeling has been i wish i had done this earlier !

Ready to talk?

Contact our offices to make an appointment with Dr Sulman Ahmed, and achieve your weight loss goals.