There are a number of widely accepted criteria that make a patient suitable for Bariatric or weight loss surgery.

  • BMI >35 by itself or >30 if there is an associated obesity illness such as diabetes or sleep apnoea
  • Reasonable attempts at other weight loss techniques
  • Age 16-65
  • Obesity-related health problems
  • No psychiatric or drug dependency problems
  • A capacity to understand the risks and commitment associated with the surgery

There is considerable flexibility in these guidelines. Sometimes a lower BMI between 30-35 is accepted if comorbidities exist.


Choosing the right operation for your circumstances so you achieve the weight loss results you desire is a decision you need to make based on what you wish to achieve and the associated risks involved. This is a decision that requires careful consideration and it is important to note that these procedures are designed to help you lose weight, but they are not cures for obesity.

Dr Jason Winnett can advise you on the safest operation available for your circumstances so you are in the best position to achieve your goal. Ultimately, it should be the operation you feel most comfortable with, and this is something you will need to decide for yourself.

The following pages contain information on each of the operations. Please read through each procedure as this will help you make the right decision for you.

  • A Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band is the safest of the invasive procedures. It is ideally suited to those who can moderate their dietary habits post-surgery. Excess weight loss is typically 50-60%
  • An Orbera® Intragastric Balloon is a very safe and non-invasive procedure. It is ideally suited for those who can moderate their eating habits post-surgery and prefer a non-invasive weight loss surgery option. Excess weight loss is typically 10-15kg.
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy is considered the gold standard of bariatric surgery. Also called “The Gastric Sleeve” works by reducing the existing stomach to about 80% of the original stomach, leaving a smaller banana-shaped stomach for food collection.

*These figures are indicative, some patients lose more and some lose less.


The cost will vary depending on which procedure you are opting to have, the level of private health cover you have and to a degree extent the hospital at which your procedure is performed. Should you require post-surgery care in an intensive care unit, this will also impact the cost.

The cost of lap band surgery, with insurance, is $3,000-$4,000 and without insurance $15,000-$16,000.

We require payment two weeks prior to the procedure

These fees include:

  • Your lap-band procedure (surgical fees)
  • Pre-op meal replacement
  • Two personal training sessions
  • One postoperative surgical consultation
  • Pre-administration nurse consultation

All post-op consultations (band adjustments) with our Bariatric Physician (these are bulk billed)

Other Costs:

  • Anaesthetist
  • Assistant
  • Dietician
  • Psychologist
  • Sleep testing and cardiac assessment
  • Post-surgical costs

Please contact our office on 9417 1555 for more detailed information.



Our staff would be delighted to assist you with your application to have funds accessed via your superannuation. This is permitted because of inaccessibility to bariatric surgery within the public health system; click here for more information.


At the Winnett Specialist Group, we take a holistic approach to weight loss. This means our program offers comprehensive support for every patient irrespective of their circumstance

From your first point of contact with the Winnett Specialist Group, you are in the hands of dedicated and experienced individuals. Our reception staff will ensure you have your first appointment with Dr Jason Winnett within a fortnight of your initial communication with us.

If surgery is considered the best option to achieve your desired weight loss, and you decide to proceed, all the preoperative appointments and assessments will be scheduled in immediately so you can be on your way to a healthier life as quick as possible.

Before surgery, you will receive a thorough assessment from our surgeon, Dr Jason Winnett. You will also be assessed by our psychologist, our dietician, personal trainer, our preoperative physician and any other specialists that are required, such as an anaesthetist. This will allow us to form a comprehensive picture of your circumstance and a better plan with you to ensure the success of your procedure.

We are very mindful of reducing the risks associated with such surgeries. Pre-operative weight loss is a requirement through meal replacements using Formulite. This helps cause a reduction in liver size that assists with performing the surgery laparoscopically.

Throughout surgery, you will be receiving first-class care, and after your surgery, that level of care will continue.

Your follow-up assessment will be from Jason Winnett himself, as he understands your surgery and recovery process better than anyone. Jason will also be available by pager 24 hours a day 7 days a week for any urgent problems.

Our dietician, personal trainer and other specialists will work closely with you postoperatively to help maximise the results so you get the most out of your life-changing decision.


Major surgery such as this comes with inherent risks. Potential complications are a fact of undertaking such a procedure. Some of these complications are specific to bariatric surgeries, and some to any abdominal procedures.

Please read through the dedicated pages on each operation for information on specific surgery risks. Complications of abdominal surgery can include:


Infection around the incisions or inside of the abdomen (peritonitis, abscess) may occur due to the release of bacteria from the bowel during the operation. Pneumonia, bladder, and kidney infections are possible. These are called Nosocomial infections. Sepsis – infections in the blood – may occur. Effective short-term use of antibiotics, diligent respiratory therapy, and encouragement of activity within a few hours after surgery can reduce the risks of infections.

Venous thromboembolism

A surgical procedure is akin to an injury – albeit under a controlled environment. Any injury causes the body to increase the coagulation of the blood as a response to not ‘bleed out’. There is an increased probability of the formation of clots in the veins of the legs, or sometimes the pelvis, particularly in a morbidly obese patient as the body responds to what it perceived to be injurious. A clot that travels to the lungs via the bloodstream is called a pulmonary embolus. This is a very dangerous occurrence. Blood thinners are commonly administered before surgery to reduce the probability of this type of complication.


Dividing the stomach and rerouting parts of the digestive system requires many blood vessels to be cut. Any number of these may continue to bleed internally (intra-abdominal haemorrhage), or into the bowel itself (gastrointestinal haemorrhage). In extreme cases, a transfusion of blood may be required and ‘reoperation’ necessary. The use of blood thinners to prevent venous thromboembolic disease may increase the risk of haemorrhage.


A hernia is an abnormal opening, either within the abdomen or through the abdominal wall that allows for the protrusion of an organ into another part of the body that said organ is normally separated from. An internal hernia may result from surgery and re-arrangement of the bowel and is a cause of bowel obstruction. An incisional hernia occurs when a surgical incision does not heal well and the scar tissue may reopen. In cases like this, the muscles of the abdomen separate and the protrusion of a sac-like membrane may take place. This can both be painful or unsightly. The risk of abdominal-wall hernia is markedly decreased when the procedure is completed using laparoscopic surgery since the incisions are smaller.

Bowel obstruction

Abdominal surgery always results in some scarring of the bowel. This is inevitable since there are tissue, muscle and blood vessels being cut. These are called adhesions. A hernia, either internal or through the abdominal wall, may occur as a result of the subsequent scar tissue reopening.

If the bowel becomes impeded from hernia or an adhesion, it might become obstructed – perhaps years after the original procedure. Should this occur, a procedure is often necessary to correct the problem.