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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Keeping Weight Off During Lockdown

Well we are almost a week in to the Level 4 lockdown here in New Zealand, and aside from all the other challenges this brings, it also makes it hard for us to keep losing or maintain our hard won weight loss. Even though this situation is new and unprecedented we can apply some of the evidence out there on avoiding weight regain following bariatric surgery.  This gives us three areas to focus on. Eating only for hunger There is good evidence that eating fast food, binge eating, continuous eating, eating when full and consuming liquid calories...

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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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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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ORBERA® Intra-gastric Balloon

  Here at Aspiring Bariatrics we are pleased to announce that we are now offering the ORBERA® Intra-Gastric balloon.  The ORBERA® balloon is a temporary endoscopic treatment that helps people to feel full, and therefore lose more weight while undertaking a diet and exercise program than with diet and exercise alone.  The ORBERA® balloon is placed under conscious sedation during an outpatient endoscopic procedure, and is removed six months later by a similar procedure.  It is accompanied by a supervised diet and exercise program lasting...

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