Bariatric surgery has recommenced at Mildura Health Private Hospital (MHPH) following a two-year hiatus.
The hospital recently purchased world-class equipment to perform the weight loss surgery, resulting in a faster procedure and improved surgeon vision, therefore making the operation even safer for patients.
Mildura’s Dr Margaret Dunkley is a highly experienced General Surgeon and has been performing keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery for more than 15 years, among a range of other specialties.
Across the past 18 months, she has been training in bariatric surgery after joining the Australian Metabolic and Obesity Surgery (AMOS) team, an Adelaide based multi-disciplinary clinic that delivers the service in various locations including Mildura.
“By having the surgery in Mildura with a local surgeon, I’m always here for any post-operation complications, I’ll look after these patients if they present six months later and for the rest of their lives for any requirements associated with their bariatric surgery,” Dr Dunkley said.
“It also means patients don’t have to leave their family or home to travel to Adelaide before and after surgery.”
Dr Dunkley performed two bariatric surgeries on Monday alongside AMOS Founder and Bariatric Surgeon Justin Bessell, in one of MHPH’s new theatres, using the hospital’s newly purchased bariatric equipment.
“This equipment, the Olympus Towers, is the best in the world, you can’t get better,” Dr Dunkley said.
“It increases our vision and therefore the safety and speed of the operation.”
Dr Bessell said following the recommencement of the surgery at the private hospital, the local waiting list was steadily growing.
However, he said the surgery was not taken lightly, with the average patient thinking about the surgery for seven years and most taking two years to commit to it.
“It’s the deterioration in their quality of life that often is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, they have sore hips, knees, feet, and can’t be as active as they want to be,” Dr Bessell said.
“People who suffer from weight problems have usually suffered for many years and some for as long as they can remember,” Dr Dunkley added.
“Many of our patients are middle-aged women who want to be healthier for their children and grandchildren and have realised that being overweight increases their risk of disease. They come in wanting to reduce that risk, to be healthier and live longer.”
Dr Dunkley said AMOS has a multidisciplinary team and holistic approach that sees all patients having to consult with a psychologist, dietician, exercise physiologist and bariatrician prior to surgery.
She said after surgery and for the remainder of their lives, patients then had to adopt major lifestyle changes to avoid regaining the weight, and the AMOS team would help and support this journey.