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Metabolic Obesity Service

The MLHD Metabolic Obesity Service (MOS) offers a pathway to bariatric (weight loss) surgery, through education and support, focussing on lasting behaviour change. 

Obesity is a complex, chronic, relapsing condition and is unlikely to benefit from a 'one size fits all' approach. 

The management of obesity requires a team approach with ongoing support and monitoring. The MOS team offer this through individualised recommendations from our qualified health professionals to achieve the best opportunities for health improvement.

Why would you choose Bariatric Surgery?

Compared with non-surgical approaches like diet and exercise, there is international consensus that bariatric surgery is by far the most effective intervention for sustained weight loss and improvements in obesity related health conditions. 

Surgery is irreversible, and is a tool to manage obesity and improve health and wellbeing.

Who are we?

Doctor, Nurse, Dietitian, Physiotherapist, Clinical a picture of the Metabolic Obesity team winners of the 2019 MLHD Excellence AwardPsychologist, Social Worker and Administration support.

We are the first, regionally based, award winning and publically funded surgical obesity service in NSW.

What to Expect

Initially you will attend an information session where you will learn about our service, the surgery, expectations and an opportunity to ask questions.

From here you elect to see the MOS Doctor for suitability and planning.

MOS uses a combination of virtual appointments and face to face. This can help you remain in touch with us without the inconvenience for some of losing a day to travel and interrupting work and home life. (You can read more about Virtual Care on our site).

The appointment phases are:

  • Phase 1 - Appointment with the team, weekly workshops in small groups
  • Phase 2 - Putting new skills into practice, monthly appointments with MOS team. Ability to demonstrate behaviour change, up to 12 months.
  • Phase 3 - When the MOS team and you agree, proceed to surgical consultation.
  • Phase 4 - Post surgical follow-up, support and coaching for at least 2 years.

Commitment to all phases is essential for long term weight loss and long term improvement to your health.

Weight loss through surgery is not easy. It requires commitment and hard work. The team are here to support you through all phases of the program.    

The MOS will help you identify barriers to behaviour change to support you to improve your health and quality of life.

How do I get referred?

Referrals will only be accepted from your General Practitioner (GP).

GPs can access the referral form on our Information for Clinicians page.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Medicare eligible
  • Patient is willing to consider surgery as a management tool for obesity
  • Recently tried and optimised lifestyle or medical treatments for weight loss that resulted in insufficient weight loss (within the last two years)
  • Resides in a rural or remote area of NSW
  • 18-55 years of age     
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥ 40-55 kg/m2
  • Patient is willing to participate in a long-term healthy lifestyle program
  • Non-smoker or ex-smoker who has quit for longer than six months prior to referral

Exclusion Criteria

  • Previous Bariatric Surgery
  • Patient is on another public bariatric surgery waitlist
  • Pregnant/planning pregnancy in two years post-surgery
  • History of poor compliance with lifestyle, medical, or mental health interventions
  • Mental health conditions that are not fully treated or stabilised
  • Current alcohol/opioid/illicit drug dependence
  • Cognitive or behavioural disorders without adequate social/carer support

Incomplete referrals will not be accepted.

All referrals are assessed/ prioritised according to associated medical conditions using the Edmonton Obesity Staging System (EOSS).

How long will I be waiting after I am referred?

As at March 2022, there is a ten to twelve month wait to be invited to an initial information session.

There is a further seven to eight wait to see the doctor for an initial medical consultation.

Depending on existing health conditions and medication, there may be up to a further six to twelve month wait to enter the group education workshops.

Total wait time can be two years to begin the education component.   

On completion of education you are not automatically transitioned to see the surgeon for consideration.

You will then be in the program supported by the clinical team  to help you adjust to lifestyle behaviour change. There is no guarantee you will transition to surgery as there is only 50 places per year.  You must be able to commit to small lifestyle behaviour changes that become embedded for life for bariatric surgery to have the long term health benefits. You have up to 12 months to demonstrate these changes.

There is no fast track to surgery. The process is long and well supported to ensure your long term success

It may take between three and four years from the time your referral is received to having surgery.

Thank you for your patience.

Service Locations

Have a virtual care (telehealth) appointment? Click here

Service Contact

General Enquiries Administration

Clinical Nurse Consultant, Health Professional Enquiries

Last updated: 23 March 2022