Bariatrics Surgery Team, Southern Cross New Plymouth Hospital

Life-changing Bariatric surgery is now available at Southern Cross New Plymouth Hospital

Monday , 25 March 2024 by Carolyn Brooke

Bariatric surgery, including gastric bypass, is now available at Southern Cross New Plymouth Hospital, with three procedures taking place since November.

Mr Glenn Farrant, who is a specialist General Surgeon with sub-speciality training in Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary (liver, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts) and Oesophago-Gastric (upper gastrointestinal) surgery, says a high demand and need exists for bariatric surgeries.

“Until now Taranaki residents had to travel out of the district to access this life-changing procedure. By offering bariatric surgery at Southern Cross New Plymouth Hospital, we can help more patients who have a pressing need and who are committed to their wellbeing and a healthy future,” Farrant says.

“It’s likely we will be able to offer three surgeries a month and then increase depending on demand.”

Southern Cross New Plymouth Hospital General Manager Lee McManus says, “Taranaki residents who undergo bariatric surgery will now be able to focus on their recovery and health in their own area, with the ready support of their friends, family and specialists who appreciate and understand where they live and work.

“Bariatric surgeries at Southern Cross New Plymouth Hospital are an important addition to procedures that are delivered in the region, making it so much easier for people to access life-changing and potentially life-saving procedures.”

Life-changing bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery can aid in weight loss in exceptional circumstances, particularly where a patient has a body mass index (BMI) over 40. The procedure involves removing part of a patient’s stomach to aid in reducing appetite and is indicated when an improved diet and increased exercise have not worked for the patient, or if they have serious health problems.

“Excess weight can also bring with it the increased risk of cancers and cardiovascular diseases. It’s exciting to be able to work with a group of patients in the Taranaki region who can now perhaps avoid these issues and instead focus on living healthier lives for longer with their whānau and friends,” Farrant says.

“As a society, people can be judgemental of overweight people and this can be isolating, people with issues around being overweight come from all sorts of backgrounds. The science of obesity is moving to class obesity as a disease that should be treated like any other disease.

“It’s important that in addition to the procedure, our patients will be supported by a team of psychologists and nutritionists for counselling, dietary advice, and advice for other lifestyle modifications which are essential to the lasting effect of bariatric surgery.”