FAQs 2017-04-08T19:06:17+00:00

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is it possible to talk to another patient who has had the weight reduction surgery? 2017-10-29T16:01:34+00:00

Yes. This can be arranged through our practice support team.

How soon can I walk after surgery? 2017-10-29T16:01:17+00:00

As soon as you feel comfortable to, generally you will be walking on the same day.

Will I suffer from constipation? 2017-10-29T16:01:00+00:00

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.

What if I go out to eat? 2017-10-29T16:00:40+00:00

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.

What about other medications? 2017-10-30T21:52:43+00:00

The procedures will have no effect on taking your normal prescribed medications in the long term. Its important with restrictive procedures not to take large tablets; so there will be a need to have easily chewable or liquid form of tablets.

Will I need to take vitamin supplements? 2017-10-29T15:59:59+00:00

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.

What about pregnancy? 2017-10-29T15:59:37+00:00

If you are planning a pregnancy, we recommend not falling pregnant for a least one year after the sleeve gastrectomy or bypass.

Are all follow up services provided on site, or am I referred to somewhere else? 2017-10-29T15:59:20+00:00

All services are provided on site. You will see Dr. Ahmed and the dietician.

After my surgery, what aftercare services do you offer? 2017-10-29T15:59:02+00:00

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.
How many times can I expect my surgeon to visit me in hospital? 2017-10-29T15:58:35+00:00

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

Does the quoted price include post-operative surgeon consultations? 2017-10-29T15:58:17+00:00

Yes. The price includes unlimited post-operative consultations.

Does the quoted price include the anaesthetist’s fee, assistant’s fee and all hospital costs? 2017-10-29T15:57:59+00:00

Yes. Our program fee covers all charges related to hospital care. Additional costs may include contrast study/swallows done at the hospital.

Do you offer financed payment plans? 2017-10-29T15:57:38+00:00

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.

How experienced is the surgeon? 2017-10-29T15:57:18+00:00

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 work at Nepean Public; Nepean Private and Sydney Adventist Hospitals.

Does your surgeon offer a range of surgical options to suit people with different needs, such as sleeve, and gastric bypass? 2017-10-29T15:56:55+00:00

Dr. Ahmed is experienced in providing all types of weight loss surgery. Each procedure has different benefits, so you can discuss with your doctor the procedure that suits you best.

Do I need a referral from a local doctor or General Practitioner for Gastric Sleeve Surgery? 2017-10-29T15:56:33+00:00

Yes, you will need a referral. In order for you to see any 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

Do you offer information seminars where I can learn about your services and meet the surgeon? 2017-10-29T15:56:08+00:00

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.

How do you know if surgery can be done open or keyhole (laparoscopic)? 2017-04-04T21:08:25+00:00

Most hernia repairs in this area are done with open surgery. There has been a large swing away from laparoscopic repair for many reasons. Robotic surgery has also been applied in this field. This question would be best answered by the specialist.

I have had pain following my hernia repair; I am not happy. Why is this? 2017-04-04T21:04:36+00:00

Chronic pain may occur following hernia surgery. This is uncommon but may relate to nerve irritation secondary to surgery and mesh placement. It may settle with time but usually a review by a pain specialist is the best management strategy.  Prior to this its important to ensure there is no hernia recurrence.

What causes a hernia? I don’t do any heavy lifting. 2017-04-04T21:02:41+00:00

Hernia formation is multifactorial. Genetics; collagen deficiency; heavy and repetitive lifting; previous hernia repair (same side or another location); straining ( coughing – smokers cough); constipation; and urinary obstruction.

I have been told not worry about my hernia; it’s not causing problems. Is this ok? 2017-04-04T21:02:09+00:00

It’s best to have the hernia assessed by a surgeon. There are a multitude of factors in deciding to repair a hernia surgically. Generally if you are medically “fit” a hernia repair can be considered.

Can i have a hernia even if I don’t have a lump? 2017-04-04T21:01:24+00:00

Yes. Usually an ultrasound may help with the diagnosis but this still needs to be evaluated carefully with specialist review.

If have stones moved into my common bile duct, how do you treat this? 2017-04-04T20:58:59+00:00

There are a number of ways to treat this but the most common method is an ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangio – pancreatogrpqahy) – see link under procedures for further information.

I have had my gallbladder removed but my pain (and original symptoms are still there), what’s going on? 2017-04-04T20:58:33+00:00

This is called the post cholecystectomy syndrome. The issue is what was the original cause of your pain; as removing the gallbladder has not helped. There are a number of other diagnoses to consider but its important to exclude CBD stones as this is easily treatable.

What is worse – small or large stones? 2017-04-04T20:57:28+00:00

Small stones – these are more likely to migrate into the common bile duct

Can i get stones again after my gallbladder is removed? 2017-04-04T20:56:59+00:00

Short answer – no ; long answer – yes. Some patients later in life can develop poor biliary drainage and develop primary bile duct stones (muddy stones/sludge). We also see patients with CBD stones (bile duct stones) that may have been present since the gallbladder surgery but did not get detected/treated.

I have heard some patients can get “bad” diarrhoea? is this true? 2017-04-04T20:56:30+00:00

Yes – see answer to previous question regarding eating normally.  The diarrhoea can be “bad “ enough that medication maybe required to reduce the diarrhoea for some time (e.g. cholestyramine)

After gallbladder surgery, can I eat normally again? 2017-04-04T20:55:33+00:00

Yes. There are patients who will realise certain foods do not “agree” with  them e.g.. dairy/fatty foods etc. Some patients with irritable bowel syndrome may develop further gastrointestinal symptoms including bloating/diarrhoea and abdominal discomfort.

I have a strong family history of gallstones; will i develop gallstones and need surgery? 2017-04-04T20:55:04+00:00

There is a strong genetic disposition towards gallstone disease. If a first degree relative has had symptomatic gallstones and required surgery; then chances are you will too.

I have gallstones but have no pain related to the stones? Do i still need my gallbladder out? 2017-04-04T20:54:27+00:00

The short answer is no – you don’t need the gallbladder removed. There are some patients (high risk groups) who may need the gallbladder removed as a prophylactic measure.

Can you remove the gallstones only and leave the gallbladder intact? 2017-04-04T20:53:54+00:00

If you remove the stones only, further stones will develop in the gallbladder. The original problem is the reservoir (the gallbladder – where bile is stored); so therefore the gallbladder needs to be removed.

If I have symptoms (related to my gallbladder) do I really need my gallbladder out? Why can’t i wait? 2017-04-04T20:51:29+00:00

Symptoms can be related to the gallbladder – usually called biliary colic or a recent infection (acute cholecystitis). These symptoms may reoccur with further attacks; and there is also a risk of  complications occurring (pancreatitis/jaundice/cholangitis). Some patients will elect to try and change their diet; lose weight but we know that recurring attacks will occur. It can be a period time before another attack occurs (weeks to months). The standard of care is that once symptoms develop the gallbladder should be removed.

Why did your family doctor (GP) refer me to you and not some other specialist? 2017-03-12T22:48:57+00:00

GPs refer patients to multiple specialists based on the particular medical issue at hand. A Specialist is someone who has the skills to manage that particular problem. Generally there are multiple specialists available to handle a particular medical issue. Most GPs have a good working relationship with particular specialists and so therefore refer patients on that basis. You can ask your GP to refer you to a specialist of your choice. Some specialists only manage patients in the private hospital system, as they don’t hold a public hospital appointment. Dr Ahmed can manage patients both in the private and public hospital systems.

Are my medical records kept private? 2017-03-12T22:48:33+00:00

Medical records are kept private and are held on a database. We use a particular medical software (Blue Chip) which runs a paperless office. All data is backed up on external drives with a further backup on the server. We have engaged a senior IT partner to address these issues. Patients can access their medical records at any time by a written request. All written paper/material is shredded at an appropriate time.

What should I expect during first (initial) consultation? 2017-03-12T22:47:56+00:00

During your initial visit with Dr Ahmed you will need to provide a complete medical history. You will need to undergo an appropriate physical examination. If you don’t wish to be examined please make let the reception staff or Dr. Ahmed know. This visit will last between 15-20 minutes. Depending on the complexity of the medical situation it can go longer.

Some patients may require more detailed investigations which Dr Ahmed will organise. These will be arranged and the results will be discussed at a subsequent visit (review consultation). A review consultation usually will last between 5-10 minutes.

If you require surgery, the potential options will be explained to you. Any procedure will be explained to you. This will include the expected results and any associated risks or potential complications. You will have the opportunity to ask questions; and even if you remember something later on ; you can call or email the practice; and Dr Ahmed will get back to you. We strive to provide excellent clear and straightforward communication.

Although complications are rare, all surgeries, especially those that involve anaesthesia, carry some risks. Dr Ahmed will outline these for you based on the specific procedure.

Our practice strives to provide written information with patient handouts/brochures and diagram. Anything that is unclear; we would certainly welcome a phonecall or email to alleviate this uncertainty.

Do I need a written referral to make an appointment? 2017-03-12T22:47:24+00:00

As a medical specialist Dr Ahmed can only see patients who have a written referral. Without a referral you cannot claim your entitled Medicare benefit. Please ensure you have this letter, or that your General Practitioner or other specialist has sent the referral. Referrals can be faxed/emailed or posted. If you don’t have the referral on your appointment day; you can still be seen but won’t be entitled your receipt upon production of the referral. Dr Ahmed can see patients without a referral (overseas patients etc) but you will pay the full fee with no medicare entitlement.

Health-Care Financial Terminology – please explain? 2017-02-27T08:08:27+00:00

The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) is a list of medical services subsidised by the Australian Government.  Each service covered by the schedule has an Item Number.  The MBS details how much Medicare will pay for each Item Number.  The Medicare Schedule Fee is what you can expect Medicare and your Private Health Insurer to pay for a particular Item Number.

gap is the difference between the Medicare Schedule Fee and the fee charged by the doctor.  It represents an ‘out-of-pocket’ expense for the patient.

No Gap (or Gap-cover) is an agreement between private health insurance companies and medical specialists whereby the health insurer covers the cost of the service with no out-of-pocket expense to the patient for the doctor’s fees.

The AMA Schedule is a list of recommended fees for medical services published regularly by the Australian Medical Association (AMA).  These fees are generally higher than the MBS.

An Item Number is a code which identifies a particular medical service.  These numbers are used when generating accounts for patients, Medicare and insurance companies.  A single operation may involve a number of different item numbers.  If you need an operation, the relevant item numbers will appear on your “Estimate of Fees.”

When do i see Dr Ahmed after the operation? 2017-01-28T12:33:36+00:00

Depending on the operation (day surgery or overnight stays) – you will see Dr Ahmed the next day. An appointment will need to be made and Dr Ahmed would like to see you 2-3 weeks following surgery. If there are any concerns after an operation, Dr Ahmed would like to hear from you as soon as possible (please phone the rooms).

For some public patients (operated at Nepean Public) you will be seen at the postoperative clinic at Nepean Hospital. All patients operated at Blue Mountains hospital will need to be seen in the rooms.

Does Dr Ahmed participate in the “no gap” arrangement with various health funds? 2016-12-20T14:17:58+00:00

We usually charge the AMA fee ( as set by the Australian medical Association). There will be an out of pocket expense (gap).

We do aim to look after all of our patients. We do not “turn patients” away and aim to provide a solution if there is a financial issue.

Which hospitals does Dr Ahmed operate at? 2016-12-20T14:16:45+00:00

Public hospitals: Nepean Public and Blue Mountains Hospital
Private hospitals: Nepean Private and the Sydney Adventist Hospital

Can I have my surgery as a private patient (self paying) in a public hospital? 2016-12-20T14:15:59+00:00

Yes. A number of a patients will prefer this. This will guarantee that Dr Ahmed will perform the operation. Our reception staff will provide you with an estimate of fees; and there will be a nominal hospital daily fee.

Will Dr Ahmed perform my surgery if i am a public patient in a public hospital? 2016-12-20T14:15:04+00:00

The registrar (doctor in training) will perform the operation. The operation may be supervised by Dr Ahmed but the hospital has the right to move patients to other operating lists without Dr Ahmed being present. Some patients will prefer to be a private patient (self paying) in the public hospital.