About Our Practice
Establisehd in 2012, Aspiring Bariatrics, Laparoscopy and Endoscopy Limited is the specialist surgical practice of Dr Mark D Smith. Dr Smith has extensive training and experience in using the latest laparoscopic techniques to provide surgical care for patients in Otago and Southland.
Dr Smith is a Consultant Bariatric and Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeon at Mercy Hospital with specialist training and extensive experience in laparoscopic upper gastrointestinal and weight loss surgery and other advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques.
Dr Smith completed medical school and specialty General Surgical training in New Zealand. He was convocated as a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 2005. Following his General Surgical specialty training he undertook further specialty training in surgery of the liver and bile ducts in Edinburgh, Scotland; and Bariatric and Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery in Oregon, USA. He also completed a Master of Medical Science Degree in evidence based medicine. Following this, Dr Smith worked in the USA for two years as a specialist bariatric surgeon at Oregon Weight Loss Surgery, a certified bariatric center of excellence that undertook more than 500 weight loss operations per year.
In 2011, Dr Smith chose to return to New Zealand to raise his family and to establish the bariatric surgery program at Southland Hospital, later Southern DHB. In 2018, he relocated to Dunedin Hospital to join the regional team treating cancers of the stomach and oesophagus. He has conducted extensive research in to improving the safety of bariatric surgery and published multiple peer reviewed articles and book chapters. These include Surgical options for failed laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding in the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery textbook.
In December 2020, Dr Smith resigned from Southern DHB to concentrate on providing the best possible service for patients of his private practice.
Dr Smith’s current surgical practice involves the application of advanced laparoscopic (keyhole) techniques for weight loss surgery as well as the treatment of gastro-oesophageal reflux, hernias, and gallstones. Since specialising in 2009, he has performed over 1000 weight loss operations. Dr Smith is a member of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the Obesity Surgery Society of Australia and New Zealand, and OraTaiao – The New Zealand Climate and Health Council.
Dr Smith is the proud father of two beautiful girls and enjoys cycling, skiing and surfing in his spare time.
Meet Our Team
Sharon graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1997. She has worked extensively on both medical and surgical wards in the public and private hospital settings throughout New Zealand.
Sharon is the practice manager and practice nurse for Aspiring Bariatrics Laparoscopy and Endoscopy Limited.
Kim has been practising as a Registered Dietitian since 2011 and has extensive experience providing nutrition-based care for clients both before and after surgery. He prides himself on working collaboratively with clients to achieve outstanding results long-term. He is one of the private practice clinical Dietitians for Nutrition and Life.
Laura is a Registered Dietitian at Nutrition and Life and is passionate about supporting her clients on their personal journey. She works collaboratively, creating a supportive environment to make lifestyle changes before and after surgery allowing long term results to flourish.
Ellyn is a registered dietitian at Nutrition and Life. She is experienced in working with clients before and after weight loss surgery. She works with her clients to achieve their health and lifestyle goals. Ellyn ensures that clients feel prepared for surgery and optimize their results for long-term success.
Dr Latesha Murphy-Edwards is a clinical psychologist who has been practicing since 1996. She worked for the Southern District Health Board until 2015 and has over 20 years’ experience. She has a broad range of clinical experience, and enjoys working with people of all ages and backgrounds. Latesha works with Mark Smith and his team, supporting people who are considering bariatric surgery. She is also available to provide psychological services post-surgery, if required.
Mark Chignell provides the emotional and psychological assistance for patients, before and after surgery. He is focused on working alongside you for individualised outcomes for long-term health and well-being, not just weight loss.
He has full memberships with the NZ Association of Counsellors, the NZ Psychological Society and the Australian Centre for Eating Disorders. He has over 20 years experience in his current role.
Dunedin Consulting and Operating
We are based in Dunedin, on site at Mercy Hospital. Consulting facilities are in Suite 6 of the Marinoto Clinic with operating at the adjacent Mercy Hospital, Dunedin. Mercy Hospital and Marinoto Clinic are together nestled in 4.5 hectares of tranquil surroundings at 72 Newington Ave, Maori Hill. There is ample onsite carparking.
Aspiring Bariatrics Laparoscopy and Endoscopy Limited has premises conveniently located in the centre of town at 81 Don Street, Invercargill. We share these premises with Renovate Nutrition Limited for a convenient comprehesive weight loss surgery service. Parking is available via a closely located council carpark, or metered onstreet parking. Our premisies are also conveniently located for stops on the Bus Smart buses.
Dr Smith is pleased to offer consulting in weight loss surgery and laparoscopic surgery at the Queenstown Medical Centre. The Queenstown Medical Centre is a comprehensive integrated family medical centre with surgeries located at Queenstown, Arrowtown and Remarkable Park. Dr Smith consults at the Isle Street surgery in Queenstown on a monthly basis.