Consultations, laboratory tests and prescriptions during COVID-19 lockdown

Kia ora koutou, As we enter the second week of the lockdown our thoughts go out to all New Zealanders during this difficult time.  Although public hospital emergency services continue, all private hospital operating and consulting in the south is on hold, awaiting COVID-19 developments.  Here at ABLE we have been working hard to reconfigure our services and will be continuing to support all our patients during this time. Consultations We are offering telehealth consultations using the Zoom videoconferencing platform.  This allows a secure...

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COVID-19 – Updated March 23

In light of the announcement from our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern today, we will be stopping all elective operating and face to face clinic appointments until the COVID-19 threat level is lowered.  These are unprecedented times and there is a lot still that is unknown.  We are truly sorry for all those who have had surgeries disrupted and will shortly be contacting you individually to explain our plans moving forward.  We anticipate continuing with telehealth consultations using secure videoconferencing for follow-up and some new patient...

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Using Kiwisaver to fund Weight Loss Surgery

A question I have been asked more commonly in recent times is “Can I access my Kiwisaver to pay for weight loss surgery?” On the face of it this is a very good question.  Many people have enough money in their Kiwisaver accounts to pay for weight loss surgery and feel the health benefits from significant weight loss will improve their quality of life in retirement.  Also, in the past it has been possible for people with Australian Superannuation to use this to fund weight loss surgery.  Unfortunately, in New Zealand things are not...

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Enhanced Recovery After Bariatric Surgery

I have recently return from the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons. This is one of the world’s largest scientific meetings of bariatric surgeons and is always a good opportunity to see what is new, what is coming up, and to meet up with colleagues from when I was working in the US. Although there were few surprise developments, it is interesting to see where things are going and where we in Aoteoroa/NZ sit compared to some of the busiest practices in the world. In this regard, one not...

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ABLE Moving to Dunedin

With the holidays approaching, there are some changes in store for ABLE Ltd and myself.  In January 2018, I will be relocating to Dunedin with my family to take up a position at Dunedin hospital.  Although the reasons for any move like this are numerous, one of the primary goals for me was to protect the future of bariatric surgery in the south.  This will entail working with my upper gastrointestinal surgeon colleagues in Dunedin to support the delivery of surgery for benign and malignant upper gastrointestinal disease throughout the south;...

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Wilbur: The King in the Ring

Notable Pictures have just released a brilliant New Zealand made documentary of one man’s struggle with obesity and journey back to health. It stars Wilbur McDougall, a former pro wrestler, who agrees to let his best friend J. Ollie Lucks make a documentary about his laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy surgery and subsequent transformation. It is a very human story, and is told with respect and compassion. I would highly recommend it for anyone contemplating weight loss surgery, or who knows others who have had it. Wilbur: The King in the...

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