We take a holistic approach to weight loss and ongoing weight management because it is more effective.
Weight loss surgery, known as bariatric surgery, is aimed at weight reduction and subsequent comorbitiy control. It works via a number of mechanisms, including reducing hunger. Hunger is, however, a complex interplay of hormonal and psychological cues, which determine what, when and why we want to eat. There are also other factors which trigger hunger and eating behaviours and the desire for certain foods, such as environmental and other psychological factors.
At Sea Change, in addition to our surgeons, our onsite team includes a dietitian, psychologist and clinical nurse specialist. This article breaks down their roles and how, with their support, we are able to provide uniquely holistic, end-to-end care, which is key to achieving long-term weight loss.
Sea Change Dietitian
Our Dietitian conducts a pre-operative consultation with all of our patients. This involves a Nutrition Assessment to gain insight into each patient’s:
- medical history
- eating behaviours & habits
- movement & exercise capabilities
- diet history
The pre-operative consultation also includes education to prepare the patient for surgery, in particular regarding the ‘Very Low Calorie Diet’ that we use to prepare the patient’s body for surgery and in the post-operative fluid phase for recovery, as well as education regarding the necessary lifestyle changes required for successful long-term weight loss.
Our Dietitian also consults with our patients over multiple post-operative appointments to provide continued education and support throughout the weight loss journey. This includes guidance on the texture modified recovery diet and personalised ongoing education and support to improve health and nutrition.
From our Dietitian
My approach is health-focused, not just on weight. I encourage patients to measure their success by how they feel and focus on improvements in health conditions, increased energy and mood, as well as exercise tolerance and improvement in self-confidence and self-esteem.
I strive to help patients leave the ‘diet mentality’ behind and focus more on their health overall. We don’t count calories or restrict whole food groups – instead I equip patients with the knowledge and tools to maintain a balanced and nutritious intake. Every patient is unique, so I provide individualised health care and tailor options and recommendations to best meet their needs.
Breanna Elphick, Dietitian at Sea Change Weight Loss Clinic
Post-Surgery Cooking and Exercise Series
To help support our patients in the post-op phase, we’ve developed a series of tailored post-surgery cooking and exercise films that are available exclusively to our patients. These are accessible to and suitable for patients from six weeks after surgery.
Sea Change Psychologist
Some patients may be referred to our psychologist prior to surgery. This referral may come from our dietitian and/or one of our surgeons.
The role of our Psychologist is to screen for any serious psychological contraindications for surgery, as well as screen for any psychosocial factors that may impact on a patient’s ability to recover from surgery and/or adhere to the required post-surgical lifestyle changes.
Some patients may benefit from ongoing support from our Psychologist in the post-operative period as they adjust to their new lifestyle post surgery.
Therapies and Techniques
Depending on the patient, our Psychologist uses therapies / techniques such as:
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for unhelpful thinking & behaviour patterns
- Activity scheduling and monitoring
- Problem solving
- Goal setting and monitoring
- Mindful eating techniques
- Stress management and relaxation
- Health behaviour change interventions
- Supportive counselling
From our Psychologist
The benefits of bariatric surgery are significant, with the potential to be live-saving and life-changing. However, in order to get the best results and to maintain weight-loss into the future, it is important to have your mind and your behaviour working in alignment with your new stomach.
Using evidence-based assessment & treatment, our team will support you in preparing for surgery and equip you with the skills to maintain weight loss. We will look at your dieting history and understanding of nutrition, and address any unhelpful thinking patterns and maladaptive eating behaviours. The goal is to enjoy eating and to develop a healthy, balanced relationship with food.
Anna Turnock, Psychologist at Sea Change Weight Loss Clinic
Sea Change Clinical Nurse Specialist
Our practice Nurse (a Clinical Nurse Specialist – Bariatrics) conducts a pre-operative assessment with all patients to obtain a detailed medical and surgical history.
Surgery and Afterwards
Subject to availability, our Nurse assists our surgeons in the operating theatre during surgery, and conducts post-operative assessments and checks with our patients.
From our Nurse
I have a genuine and focused interest in bariatric and metabolic surgery, and I am passionate about patient education, advocacy and health promotion.
I believe strongly in providing individualised, holistic patient-centred care.
Amy Gronow, Clinical Nurse Specialist – Bariatrics at Sea Change Weight Loss Clinic
Our Holistic Approach
Obesity is a chronic medical disease and weight loss is a complex problem.
While the evidence demonstrates that weight loss surgery is the most effective treatment for severe obesity, additional dietary and psychological interventions minimise the risk of weight regain. For this reason, coordinated ongoing care – as provided by our team and our holistic approach – is recommended to maximise the benefits and health outcomes of weight loss surgery.