4.8 from 29 verified reviews The operation went perfectlyKate, Perth, 14 07 17
Dr. Ravi Rao performed the first SIPS operation in Western Australia on me in January 2017. In 2013 I was officially diagnosed with lupus and fibromyalgia, and the pain and fatigue from these conditions meant that I could not even exercise enough to keep my weight stable, let alone exercise enough to lose weight; one of my medications also had weight gain as a side effect. My GP recommended exploring bariatric surgery options; the first surgeon I saw wasn’t particularly interested in performing any more bariatric surgeries and after searching online I came across Dr. Rao’s profile. After reading the many glowing reviews from his patients I asked my GP for a referral to see Dr. Rao instead and I haven’t looked back since. Dr. Rao is an approachable, knowledgeable and attentive doctor who regularly checks in with, and responds to, his patients. During my initial consultation, we went over my detailed medical history and discussed the options that were available, after which I went away to do some follow-up research. I was also able to join Dr. Rao’s closed social media group for bariatric patients to learn about what others had or were experiencing; this is a great support network. In my second consultation, Dr Rao gave me all the time I needed to ask questions, of which I had an A4 page, and by the end of that meeting I had made up my mind to proceed with the SIPS operation in light of my high BMI and because it was likely to allow me to have a fairly normal diet with minimal side effects.
The operation went perfectly and the only side effect I suffered was a pre-existing nausea reaction to anesthesia. I was able to start consuming clear fluids as soon as they were given to me and quickly made it up to the recommended amount each day. I felt pretty good for the two weeks I was off work, and after starting back at work I was a little tired but that just made me sleep well at night; I wasn’t totally exhausted like some sleeve patients had mentioned. The laparoscopic incisions all healed well except for the belly button, which was a little slower as my skin there is quite thin.
I adapted to each stage of eating (clear fluid, nourishing fluid, puree and solid) easily. I’m consuming three meals that are about two-thirds of a cup in size plus two snacks and drinking one protein shake and around 1750mls of water/diet cordial each day (diet cordial or some lemon juice definitely makes water easier to drink). I also take the chewable BN Multi plus my iron and Vitamin D supplements for pre-existing deficiencies. I now feel like I’m living a pretty normal life, just with smaller, regular quantities of healthy food (the only issues I’ve had with food are that bread and red meat in steak-form make me feel uncomfortable, and chilies upset my stomach). Meeting with the nutritionist definitely helped me to learn about protein-rich foods, quantities, and to plan my meals in advance.
My weight loss did not start immediately after surgery, which may or may not have been a result of my lupus. After losing 5 kilograms in the first week I lost nothing in Weeks 2 and 3 and barely managed 0.5kg in Weeks 4 and 5, leading us to worry that maybe I was one of the rare people who doesn't respond to bariatric surgery. However, since Week 6 I’ve been regularly losing an average of 1kg per week. In seven months, since starting Optifast prior to surgery, I’ve lost a total of 45.5 kilograms and my quality of life has improved dramatically. I no longer have to take medication for high blood pressure. I have more energy and my fatigue has been reduced, especially if I’m sleeping well. Pre-surgery I struggled to walk for 10-minutes on my treadmill and most days I had to go to bed when I arrived home from work; I can now walk fairly easily for 40-minutes each day. My soft-tissue pain has become more periodic rather than constant and I’m no longer looking sickly and puffy in the face. Additionally, I’ve experienced none of the possible side-effects that I was warned about, which is fantastic. I would highly recommend both Dr. Ravi Rao and the SIPS procedure. Excellent service and support from caring, attentive and knowledgeable staff.