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Bariatric Surgery Registry launches in New Zealand

New Zealand’s first Bariatric Surgery Registry launches nation-wide this week, an initiative that will allow surgeons to accurately compare outcomes for patients who have undergone an operation for obesity across public and private hospitals in New Zealand and Australia. The Registry will be managed by the National Institute for Health Innovation, The University of Auckland.

The Registry, a bi-national initiative by the Obesity Surgery Society of Australia and New Zealand (OSSANZ), tracks patients for 10 years following their bariatric surgery, recording any need for reoperation, as well as changes in weight and diabetes status.


Originally piloted in 2012, the Bariatric Surgery Registry commenced in Australia in 2014. The initiative is now being expanded to New Zealand, with launches this week Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.

Dr Andrew MacCormick, a general and bariatric surgeon at Counties Manukau District Health Board and the University of Auckland, said that the Bariatric Surgery Registry would be a powerful tool for improving clinical quality and patient safety.

“The Registry focuses primarily on measuring the complications and outcomes of bariatric surgery. By comparing data we can benchmark the performance of surgeons, hospitals and devices.”

“The most striking benefit of this is that we can then identify problems early and better avoid adverse outcomes for patients.”

Nearly one third of New Zealand’s population is now estimated to be obese and a further third overweight, making New Zealand the third most obese country in the OECD. This rises to 50% for Maori and 75% for Pacific peoples.

“Bariatric surgery by itself is not a silver bullet for solving New Zealand’s high rate of obesity,” Dr MacCormick said.

Professor Wendy Brown from Monash University, who is the clinical lead for the registry, continued, “However, data collected by the Registry so far in Australia suggests that bariatric surgery can be a safe and effective treatment for obesity. Furthermore, the benefit extends beyond the individuals’ health benefit to reducing the associated cost of obesity to the health system and wider economy”

“With the Registry’s launch in New Zealand and the on-going collection of data, we will be able to better understand the long-term effects of bariatric surgery on health.”

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