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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

Resources added to web site

I have been busy updating the web site over the past couple of weeks, in particular adding many resources for patients and doctors.  In particular I have added a page about gallbladder surgery, and updated the previous links page, now called resources.  This page contains downloadable patient information resources about gastro-oesophageal reflux and weight loss surgery, as well as our new patient and GP information guidelines for follow-up after bariatric surgery. The web site has also been updated to confirm our status as affiliated...

read more

Change in vitamin recommendations

I would like to announce a change in our recommended multivitamin for patients who have had gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy. We have been starting to notice a number of patients developing low levels of vitamin B12 at between 18 months to 2 years after gastric bypass surgery.  In response to this, Renee Ladbrook has reviewed the detailed descriptions of all the multivitamins currently available in New Zealand and compared them against the vitamin supplementation recommendations by the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. ...

read more