Do I qualify for bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery assists patients to reverse their physiology, improve their health and increase their life-span.  It is a proven option for patients who qualify.  It is not the easy way out, but an important step in the right direction. The weight loss surgery pathway is one Dr Balalis and his experienced team of dietitians, exercise physiologists, psychologists, bariatric nurse and support staff are experienced in. They all work together in one central location in North Adelaide and are able to equip patients with the right tools to succeed on their journey.


Who qualifies for a gastric sleeve or gastric bypass in Australia?

There are guidelines for weight loss or bariatric surgery in Australia. These are guidelines, and Dr Balalis himself assesses all patients first in an initial consultation. It is important to see a bariatric surgeon if considering weight loss surgery or other options.  As a specialist, Dr Balalis is trained in a specific area of surgery, with overseas and interstate experience from world experts.  He is able to personally assist patients with a balanced opinion regarding all available treatments, as he provides all available options for patients.

Guidelines for bariatric surgery (ANZMOSS guidelines – Recommendations for bariatric surgery in adolescents in Australia and New Zealand)

  • Age 18-65
  • BMI 35 with an obesity related comorbidity (this can be high blood pressure, arthritis, sleep apnoea, diabetes, depression)
  • BMI > 40 with no comorbidity
  • Patients who have tried other avenues without success
  • No acute or untreated mental illness
  • No alcohol or drug dependency
  • Committed to a healthy lifestyle and lifelong care

Weight loss surgery is the only proven treatment for patients to lose weight and keep it off.  The ‘best’ and most common bariatrc surgeries include sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass, which Dr Balalis performs laparoscopically or ‘keyhole’.


What does your weight have to be to qualify for a gastric sleeve or gastric bypass in Australia?

There is no weight number to qualify. Dr Balalis uses BMI as a guide, and will discuss this further during an initial consultation.


Can you get a gastric sleeve or gastric bypass on Medicare in Australia?

Medicare does subsidise weight loss surgery – it is covered in a public hospital. There is limited access to bariatric surgery in the public sector, with most of the bariatric surgery in Australia performed in private hospitals – around 90% Australia wide. Private health covers the hospital stay in Australia, however there are out of pocket costs for surgery and follow-up. For patients without private health, early access of superannuation is another option. Dr Balalis and his team can discuss all options and information with you further.


Should I have a gastric sleeve or gastric bypass – which is best?

The ‘best’ surgery depends on your circumstances. Dr Balalis will discuss which bariatric operation is the best for you during a consultation. He performs all bariatric surgery options mainly at Calvary Adelaide Hospital, including laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, one anastomosis gastric bypass, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and revision surgery.

Dr Balalis is also adamant that laparoscopic adjustable gastric bands should come out! There are good options available, for better health and quality of life. You can find more information on our website. 


Dr George Balalis can discuss your available options in a consultation. Please Contact our rooms for further information.



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