General Questions – Before & After Surgery

Who qualifies for weight loss surgery?

Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery is suitable for:

  • Female patients with a BMI is higher than 35
  • Male patients with a BMI higher than 34
  • Patients with diabetes mellitus and a BMI higher than 30
  • Let us know if your BMI is lower than those mentioned above, but you have recently lost weight. Your previous weight will be considered when approving you for surgery.

 

What if my BMI is too low to be considered for weight loss surgery?

If your BMI is lower than 30, but you are not comfortable with your weight, there are options. If you have tried different weight loss methods but nothing seems to work, we offer our unique course of “Psychological Correction of Eating Habits” that helps you to address psychological factors as well as your nutrition and eating behavior. In addition you can opt for gastric balloon procedure, which is  bariatric surgery alternative. A soft expandable silicone balloon is inserted into the stomach through the mouth and filled with sterile water to take up space in your stomach. The balloon creates a feeling of fullness and you are satisfied after eating smaller amount of food as you are used to. It helps control your hunger as well as reduce your portion sizes, which leads to consumption of fewer calories, making you lose weight.

What should I do if my BMI is too high?

When it comes to weight loss surgery, no BMI is too high. The main goal of the procedures we offer is to help patients achieve a healthy weight. However, please not that if your BMI is higher than 50, the surgeon will ask you to lose more weight before the surgery than what is required for patients with a lower BMI.

How much weight can you lose in a week after weight loss surgery?

Losing weight is a very individual process. Some studies suggest that patients lose up to 60% of excess weight within the first two years after weight loss surgery. Following basic rules of nutrition is an important part of the weight loss process even after weight loss surgery: drink 8 glasses of water a day, eat 3 main meals with protein and one or two snacks during the day – for example fruit or nuts.

Why should I undergo gastroscopy before gastric sleeve surgery?

When you get a gastroscopy, the doctor checks your stomach for diaphragmatic esophageal hernia which may lead to reflux after surgery. If a hernia is found, it is repaired during the gastric sleeve procedure.

 

Why do I have to lose some weight before the surgery?

Before going in for weight loss surgery, the doctor may ask you to lose a certain amount of weight. There are several reasons why this is important. A high amount of fat in the liver and abdominal cavity may make your surgery much more difficult; the surgery may be prolonged and the risk of complications increases. In some cases, the surgery may not be performed if the patient doesn’t lose the required amount of weight beforehand. Responsible preparation for surgery is therefore crucial for its success.

 

Is there a special diet I should follow before the surgery?

Majority of our patients go on a protein shakes diet before surgery because it has been proven to give fast and effective results, which is needed before surgery.

 

Do I have to bring any food or dietary supplements?

No, you don’t need to bring any special foods or supplements with you. You will be given food at the hospital, according to the post-surgery dietary recommendations. When you leave the clinic, you can buy these foods at the supermarket. 

Do I need to consult with my doctor before?

We recommend that our patients consult their personal doctors before leaving for treatment. Most doctors are aware of the main concerns of medical travel so patients would greatly benefit from their advice and critical summary of your personal case.

Are there any waiting lines?

Our clinic works flexibly with our patients. We can schedule your surgery for a date that is convenient for you.

 

Can I get a sick note from the surgeon? If not, how can I get it?

Should you need a sicknote, the surgeon performing your surgery will write an official recommendation about the post-surgery period to your general practitioner. Your GP will then write you an official sicknote.

For how long will I stay in hospital after weight loss surgery?

Our patients stay in the hospital for 2 to 3 days after surgery. Patients are discharged only after our doctors make sure that their post-operative tests are within the normal range.

How soon after the surgery can I go back to work?

After gastric bypass, 2 to 4 weeks of recovery time is needed. We recommend that you avoid any physical exercise for 2 months after surgery. If your job is sedentary, you can return to work 1 week after the surgery. Please note: recovery periods may vary with each individual.

How soon after the surgery can I start exercising again?

We recommend that patients avoid any strenuous physical exercise for 2 months after weight loss surgery. Easy, less active, exercise may be done a few weeks after the surgery, depending on how you feel.

When can I start planning for cosmetic surgery after weight loss surgery?

Many people after weight loss do not need cosmetic surgery. We use healthy – holistic weight loss where most people lose 5 to 10 kg per month. With this speed of weight loss skin is able to shrink slowly and to adapt to the new condition of the body without developing stretch marks or hanging skin.

We make sure that you receive all necessary nutrients.

Patients with severe obesity may develop irreversible changes in the collagen part of their skin due to extra weight and they may need to have cosmetic surgery. You may begin preparations for cosmetic (plastic) surgery after your weight has remained stable for at least 2 year. By this time, your blood levels will have returned to normal so you can plan for cosmetic surgeries if need will be.

Do you do follow-ups?

We offer follow-ups for our patients for up to 5 years after surgery. We do so to guarantee that all your questions and concerns about the surgery and aftercare are sufficiently answered by our professionals. Your family physician may also recommend that you undergo certain tests after the surgery. We may ask you to provide us with those test results so that our surgeon may review them and give his comments and recommendations.

Each of our patients is offered sessions of “Psychological Corrections of Eating” Habits that targets multiple root factors that contribute to obesity – psychological, social, metabolic, anatomical and environmental, for the best sustainable results. This is what sets Holistic Living and Nairobi Bariatric Centre apart as pioneers in combining bariatric surgery with a course of “Psychological Correction of Eating Habits” for dealing with obesity and its related co-morbidities in the world. Going through our special course of weight loss psychotherapy helps patients to maintain their weight loss result in future.

Sustainable weight loss – is our main aim. 

Will I have to change my diet after the surgery?

Yes. It is crucial to keep to a healthy eating after surgery for lasting weight loss and that is why our course of psychotherapy is included in your weight loss treatment. (SEE NOLISTIC LIVING WEBSITE)

You will be given all the necessary information about the post-surgery diet during your consultation with the dietician.

How do I prevent nausea when eating or after a meal?

You may experience nausea if you eat too quickly, you don’t chew your food well, irregular eating or eating the wrong foods. You should eat a small amount of food (150 g maximum), and meals should be eaten for longer than 10 minutes. It is important to eat protein-rich foods and do not miss meals. It is recommended that you drink 1.5 litres of water a day, but you must stop drinking 20 minutes before a meal, eat, then wait another 20 minutes before drinking any more.

Can I swallow my vitamin pill with water or do I have to mash it first?

We recommend that you mash vitamin pills and other medications 2 to 3 weeks after surgery. You could also blend vitamin pills in your food or buy vitamin lozenges.

Is it dangerous to drink alcohol after gastric bypass?

It is recommended that alcoholic drinks be avoided for 6 months after the surgery. Patients who drink wine have reported feeling pressure and gnawing in the stomach area. Should you decide that you still want to drink an alcoholic beverage, first dilute it with water then take only tiny sips.

How many calories can I consume per day?

It is very individual. You will be recommended amount of calories by our family physician.

How can I make the payment?

To reserve a date for surgery, we ask our patients to transfer us a small deposit. The balance is paid at our clinic after your consultation with the surgeon. We accept payment in Kenya Shillings, Euros, Pounds and US Dollars, as well as debit and credit cards (Visa and MasterCard).

Some banks have specific policies about making transactions in foreign countries. If you plan on paying with your debit or credit card, please contact your bank to make any necessary adjustments, including increasing your payment card limit if necessary.

Why Kenya?

How can I be sure that the quality is not lower than in Western European countries?

Our surgeon Dr. V. Shchukin is an active participant in new findings and procedures in his field with over 30 years of experience in general surgery and 10 years – in bariatric surgery. He was trained in Ukraine, Israel, Belgium, Sweden, Lithuania and US. Dr. Vladimir has performed more than 1 500 successful bariatric surgeries in Kenya. He is one of the best bariatric surgeons in Africa as well as Europe. He may perform phone consultations if you have any doubts. Moreover, you can ask for direct testimonials from our former patients. (FROM THE HOLISTIC LIVING WEBSITE).

Why is Kenya, as a pretty new player in the world market of weight loss surgery, reliable, comfortable and worth being chosen as a bariatric surgery destination?

  • Kenya is very flexible in order to penetrate into the market.
  • Kenya offers many different places for health recovery, sightseeing and activities.
  • Kenya is easy to reach – 2 international airports and it is a cosmopolitan country.
  • Kenyan climate and geographical location is not troublesome – it is a safe, clean country located in Eastern Africa. Kenya is a member of East African Community and Africa Union.
  • Kenya hosts the United Nations Office at Nairobi which is the UN headquarters in Africa.
  • Kenya has world class surgeons as well as clinics, and the prices for the same medical treatments are 3 or more times lower than in Western countries and India.

Why are the benefits of having my weight loss surgery in Kenya?

Comprehensive Care and a Holistic Approach

At Holistic Living we use a Unique Approach that targets multiple root factors that contribute to obesity – psychological, social, metabolic, anatomical and environmental, for the best sustainable results. This is what sets Holistic Living and East African Bariatric Centre apart as pioneers in dealing with obesity and its related co-morbidities in East Africa.

 Highly Qualified Professionals

With over 25 years’ Experience in Weight Loss Treatment, our doctors are passionate and committed to providing patients with the highest level of specialist medical care with an orientation towards Proven Medical Techniques and Sustainable Results.

Modern Medical Equipment

Our doctors use the Most Modern Equipment in all the weight loss procedures offered at Holistic Living and major health facilities in Nairobi. We ensure World Class Services at a significantly low and affordable cost as well to make the procedures affordable and accessible to all.

A Personal Touch

We are dedicated to providing personalized care to each and every client. Our doctors pay special attention to your health from the moment you walk in for consultation, to post-treatment and after care.

How much is it possible to save when you choose medical services in Kenya?

The amount that you can save depends on the number of procedures you choose to have. Nevertheless, you may still save a substantial amount of money: plane tickets, accommodation and other expenses that may be accrued during your travel!

If you are coming from abroad for surgery

How can I make the payment?

To reserve a date for surgery, we ask our patients to transfer us a small deposit. The balance is paid at our clinic after your consultation with the surgeon. We accept payment in Kenya Shillings, Euros, Pounds and US Dollars, as well as debit and credit cards (Visa and MasterCard).

Some banks have specific policies about making transactions in foreign countries. If you plan on paying with your debit or credit card, please contact your bank to make any necessary adjustments, including increasing your payment card limit if necessary.

I live abroad; how soon can I go home after bariatric surgery?

If you are travelling from another town or country for the surgery, we recommend that you stay in Nairobi for at least 5 days after the surgery. Patients usually stay in Nairobi for about 1 week. You should arrive in Nairobi at least 1 day before the surgery for consultation with the surgeon and anesthesiologist. Then spend 2 to 3 days in hospital after the surgery, and the rest of the time should be spent at your prearranged accommodations.

 

Do I have to bring any food or dietary supplements?

No, you don’t need to bring any special foods or supplements with you. You will be given food at the hospital, according to the post-surgery dietary recommendations. When you leave the clinic, you can buy these foods at the supermarket. 

Can I travel alone?

About half of our patients choose to travel alone. We provide them with personal assistance for the duration of their stay in Nairobi to ensure they don’t run into any trouble. We also give our patients contact details that they may use should they have any further concerns or assistance. 

What should I bring with me?

 If you are taking any medication, please make sure you inform our doctor. If your medication is approved by our anesthesiologist, you should come with it so it can be taken as prescribed. You may also want to come with a magazine, book or computer to keep you entertained either at the clinic or the hotel.

 

Can I bring someone to stay with me at the clinic?

If you have someone accompanying you, he or she should not stay in the clinic overnight, unless special ward preparations have been made.

 

Will I experience any communication problems?

Our entire staff speaks English for easy communication with patients from overseas.