Diagnostic Testing

DIAGNOSTIC TESTING may include some of the following, depending on your particular health profile and what treatment you might be undergoing:

Blood tests: testing for anaemia; checking kidney, liver & bone health, thyroid hormones, cholesterol levels, diabetes and pre-diabetes, pancreatic reserve (whether pancreas is still functioning or not), certain relevant vitamins and minerals

Urine test: sometimes tested for infection; other times kidney function in patients with diabetes; other times it gives us information about your bone health

Sleep study: to help determine if you have sleep apnoea or any other condition; this is important information for your health & wellbeing, but also the anaesthetist if you have a general anaesthetic

Cardiac stress test: to see how well your heart copes with walking on a treadmill whilst monitored by a healthcare professional; if someone has poor mobility or difficulty with walking then a sestamibi scan can be arranged instead. This is important information for your health & wellbeing, but also the anaesthetist if you have a general anaesthetic.

Gastroscopy: whilst sedated a small camera is inserted into the mouth, then passed through the oesophagus and into the stomach. This provides a view of the lining of the stomach and oesophagus, allows small samples to be taken and sent off for analysis. You shouldn’t remember any part of the procedure.

CT fizz scan: you are asked to consume a bubbly drink and then lay flat on a table for a CT scan. The images taken end up providing a 3D image of your stomach including information such as it’s size and orientation. This may help with future planning in those considering revisional surgery. This is a specialised test that has to be done by an experienced radiologist as per a specific protocol.

Stress barium swallow: you are asked to consume a white chalky /minty tasting drink and then stand in front of a screen for a series of xrays. Afterwards you’re given something more textured eg marshmallow or rice pudding plus liquid barium, and asked to swallow & further XRAY pictures are taken. This is particularly informative for people who report that food gets stuck when they swallow +/- if it comes back up (regurgitation).

Manometry: a thin tube is passed through your nose, throat then oesophagus to identify problems with movement and pressure in the oesophagus; it measures the strength and muscle coordination of your oesophagus when you swallow. This may be of particular relevance in those considering revisional surgery and in other clinical situations

Abdominal ultrasound: this non-invasive test used a probe ( and high frequency sound waves) to capture images and video of the inside of the body; helps us to see the organs and structures into the abdomen

Abdominal CT scan: is a specialised type of XRAY that helps us to see your organs, blood vessels and bones in your abdominal cavity. CT scan does NOT require you to be in a small confined space. Instead, the scanner moves around your body and takes pictures from many different angles.

Bone DEXA scan: This tests your bone density i.e.how strong your bones are, and in particular if you have or are at risk of developing osteoporosis (fragile bones).

DXA scanning usually focuses on two main areas - the hip and the spine, however sometimes they scan your forearm. These areas can give your doctor a good idea of whether you’re likely to get fractures in other bones in your body.

The scan generally takes 10 to 20 minutes. It’s painless, and the amount of radiation you get from the X-rays the scan uses is low. For this test you will lie on an open X-ray table and try to stay still as the scanner passes over your body.

Body composition analysis: in some instances we will perform this non-invasive test to see how much of the total “you” is lean body tissue (muscles, bones etc), fat mass and water.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring: is a means of measuring glucose “sugar” levels continuously for 7 days, in order to gain insight into patterns and trends in your glucose “sugar” levels throughout the day and night. It involves wearing a sensor inserted under the skin, which is worn separately to the pump, and measures the level of glucose in the interstitial fluid (fluid in the tissue).

Basal metabolic rate testing: this helps measure the rate at which your body burns calories and uses oxygen during rest. This may help the team in tailoring the program to your needs; especially if someone is experiencing a suboptimal response to therapy

Other tests as required

  • The University of New South Wales
  • Obesity Australia
  • ANZMOSS – Australian & New Zealand Metabolic and Obesity Surgery Society
  • Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society
  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • Care Specialist
  • Strategic  Centre for Obesity Professional Education
  • World Obesity