Obesity & Bariatric Services

For some people, weight reduction becomes a major problem and they are unable to lose significant amounts of weight following extensive dietary manipulation. For these people, surgery is an option  which assists in the achievement of sustainable weight reduction.


Surgery for morbid obesity (bariatric surgery) has been performed at Flinders Private Hospital since it opened in 1999. The results of the various procedures have been prospectively evaluated in the past and there is clear indication that surgical intervention produces significant and desirable results.


Adelaide Bariatric Centre was established in 1995 as the first obesity clinic in Adelaide and opened its clinic doors within Flinders Private Hospital in 2005. Together the three principal surgeons, Professor James Toouli, Dr Lilian Kow and Dr Jacob Chisholm have performed over 4000 bariatric operations from the laparoscopic gastric band to the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and laparoscopic gastric bypass.


Adelaide Bariatric Centre firmly believes however that the best way to achieve sustained and significant weight loss is not through surgery alone. As a result we pioneered in Adelaide the multidisciplinary approach to the management of obesity by bringing together bariatric physicians, dietitians, clinical psychologists and exercise physiologists all on the same site.  Together, surgery for weight loss and the multidisciplinary team can help people who have tried diet and exercise without success regain their health and lifestyle.

Laparoscopic Gastric Banding

Is a restrictive weight loss operation that involves placing a soft silicone adjustable gastric band around the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch.  The pouch sits above the band and the remaining stomach lies below the band. The band works by restricting the amount of food that the stomach can hold at any time by creating an early feeling of satiety and by slowing down the emptying from the pouch, thereby decreasing food intake. The size of the pouch outlet is adjusted by changing the volume of fluid in the balloon through the access port. This is done in the clinic and helps to make gastric banding an individualised treatment.  The advantages are that the operation only requires an overnight stay, the digestive system remains intact and the procedure is reversible.

Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

Is a restrictive weight loss operation that involves removing the outside part of the stomach and converting the remaining stomach into a long narrow tube. The new stomach volume is about 100ml therefore much smaller portions of food are needed to feel full and satisfied.  This willreduce the caloric intake and result in weight loss. Unlike the gastric band, there are not many food intolerances in the long term and therefore less obstructive eating, more rapid weight loss and no adjustments.  The disadvantage is that the operation is irreversible and requires a longer hospital stay as well as a little higher upfront surgical risk.

Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass

Is a malabsorptive and restrictive weight loss operation.The stomach is by-passed so that the food eaten goes into a small gastric pouch and then directly into the small intestine sewn to it. It works by decreasing the amount of food you can eat at one sitting and reducing the absorption of nutrients.  It produces significant and sustainable weight loss in most patients.  Like the sleeve the disadvantage is that the operation is irreversible and requires a longer hospital stay as well as a higher upfront surgical risk.


For all operations, to optimise the weight loss result, good food choices and regular exercise are necessary.

Which type of weight-loss surgery is best for you depends on your situation. Your surgeon will take many factors into account when discussing options with you.