A new locally-produced documentary series explores obesity in our community by following the journey of Port Macquarie man Leigh Hardingham. A team headed by surgeon Dr George Petrou took the initiative to offer the series as a gift to the community.
“We were driven to do this project because there is so much misinformation out there about obesity perpetuating constant myths about the disease,” says Louise Petrou, executive producer.
“Obesity is a disease that takes over the entirety of a person’s physiology,” says bariatric surgeon Dr George Petrou. “There is a misconception in our community that being obese is the fault of the person. This is simply untrue.”
Dr Petrou has been performing bariatric surgery since 2008 in the Hastings Macleay region. His team has developed systems to manage rural patients including a phone line for support, even on weekends. As a Senior Visiting Medical Officer with Mid North Coast Local Health District, Dr Petrou’s expertise includes laparoscopic abdominal wall hernia and advanced liver surgery. Dr Petrou specializes in the Mini Gastric Bypass, the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and the Sleeve Gastrectomy and performs these surgeries in high volume at the Port Macquarie Private Hospital.
The series was created by filmmaker Scott Tompson, who is responsible for programs like Poh & Co, Bush Doctor and the Destination Flavour series on SBS. His work on a NSW Health rural immunization campaign has exposed him to many remote settings.
Leigh Hardingham is a former ABC Radio sports commentator and Director at Port City Bowling Club who features throughout the documentaries. Leigh battled obesity for years before turning to surgical treatment. He discusses his many weight loss attempts with gimmicky products and expensive, hard-to-sustain gym program goals.
The series also features opinions from two respected Port Macquarie GPs, Dr Andrew Williams and Dr Adam King, who treat serious weight-related health issues daily in their practices.
To watch this documentary series visit www.portlapsurgery.com.au. Videos are password protected for patient privacy – just fill out the registry information and you will receive a password.