Dr Benjamin Wheeler - New Zealand's only dedicated weight loss surgeon.

Ko Takitimu toku maunga
Ko Aparima toku awa
Ko Takitimu toku waka
Ko Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe, Waitaha ōku iwi
Ko Kati Kuri, Kati Te Ruahikihiki, Kai Tuahuriri, Kati Irakehu ōku hapu
Ko Takutai o Te Titi toku marae
Ko Murihiku te whenua
Ko Ben toku ingoa.

I am a dedicated laparoscopic Bariatric Surgeon having completed my surgical training in New Zealand. I underwent further specialist training at the Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital with Dr George Hopkins, a high volume bariatric surgeon with a subspecialty interest in revisional bariatric surgery, as well as working alongside Dr David Schroeder at Weight Loss Surgery Hamilton.

I am a member of the Australia and New Zealand Metabolic Surgery Society (ANZMOSS) and I sit on the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Indigenous Health Committee and Māori Health Advisory Group. I am also part of the New Zealand Medical Assistance Team that deploys to the Asia-Pacific region for medical disaster relief.

I perform both the one anastomosis (mini) gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy, as well as Roux-en-Y gastric bypasses in both the primary and revisional setting.

I am holding a series of education sessions starting in December 2023 and throughout 2024. This first set is focused on people considering bariatric surgery:

Consulting at:

Ormiston Specialist Centre

125 Ormiston Road

Flat Bush, Auckland

Telehealth options available

09 271 3305


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q:
    How do I qualify for weight loss surgery in New Zealand?
    The core criteria are:
    -having a BMI of >35
    -having a BMI of 30-35 with a "weight-responsive" condition, like diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnoea (amongst others).
    -Please note that these criteria have been been extended, as reflection of the high level of both safety and efficacy that are achieved with modern keyhole techniques.
  • Q:
     What are the costs involved with weight loss surgery?
    From 1 June 2023 the first surgeon consultation is $275. If you want to proceed with surgery, the further preoperative assessments cost $950; this includes the psychologist and two dietitian appointments. The surgery itself costs approximately 25,000 - 27,000, made up of a hospital fee, anaesthetist fee, surgeon fee and a 5 year postoperative follow-up package.
  • Q:
    What if I have had previous bariatric surgery?
    The treatment options (benefits, risks and costs) will depend on your individual situation. Please contact us directly for more information.
  • Q:
    How quickly can I get weight loss surgery?
    It usually takes a minimum of 4-8 weeks to get surgery, from the time of the first appointment with me. Bariatric surgery is very safe but it is important to get prepared properly.
  • Q:
    How much weight will I lose?
    The actual kilogram amount will vary depending on what weight you started at. Generally at 1 year out from the surgery, you will have lost 70-80% of the weight above your "ideal" weight, which is set at a BMI of 25.

    For example, a 170cm (5' 7") tall woman who weighs 130 kg has a BMI of 45. I would expect her to lose around 40-46 kg by 12 months. 
  • Q:
    What is the best weight loss operation?
    There is no one, "best" operation. That is why I offer three options! The operations have different risk and benefit profiles; the choice of operation needs to be tailored with each patient individually. Generally speaking, I prefer the gastric bypasses (one anastomosis, or "mini" and the Roux-en-Y) but some patients can't have a bypass and so for them the sleeve gastrectomy is the best option.

    The most important decision is actually realizing that surgery is needed in the first place.
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I have previously had bariatric (weight loss) surgery:
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