Dr Georgia Rigas - Obesity Doctor

Dr Georgia Rigas MBBS, FRACGP, MRCGP Obesity Doctor

  • Center of Excellence
  • specialist certification of obesity professional education

Dr Georgia Rigas brings a holistic care approach to the management of people living with obesity. One of her key primary focus areas, is the multi-generational effects of obesity. She is committed to providing clear and effective communication with patients, being open and transparent and practising ethically, by recommending effective evidence based treatments.

She leads the medical management arm of the Bariatric Unit at St George Private Hospital, Sydney, Australia’s first internationally accredited Bariatric Centre of Excellence.

The  St George Private Hospital Bariatric Unit offers a range of treatment options to people living with obesity, including medication, endoscopic therapies and bariatric operations, tailored to the individual’s health care needs. 

Everyone’s circumstances are different and this needs to be taken into consideration when looking at the different therapeutic options whether it be lifestyle interventions alone and /or more intensive treatments.

Dr Rigas also undertakes pre-operative assessments to ensure patients are in an informed position regarding their weight management options. With almost 15 years in bariatric aftercare, Dr Rigas brings an emotionally aware approach to bariatric metabolic care. Above all, she understands that bariatric surgery is an ongoing, lifelong partnership between the patient, the Clinic and the patient’s regular GP.

Dr Georgia Rigas - Obesity Doctor Dr Georgia Rigas - Obesity DoctorDr Georgia Rigas - Obesity Doctor

Qualifications

  • 2021: World Obesity Federation recognition as National SCOPE Fellow
  • 2018: Surgical Review Council, first Australian GP to be internationally recognised as a Bariatric Care Specialist
  • 2015: World Obesity Federation, first recognised as a SCOPE qualified obesity doctor
  • 2010: Centre for Obesity Research & Education bariatric training and clinical upskilling, Melbourne
  • 2009: Intragastric balloon endoscopic therapies training and clinical upskilling, Melbourne and Sydney
  • 2003: Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology UK, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, UK
  • 2003: Diploma in Family Planning & Reproductive Health UK Faculty of Family Planning & Reproductive Health, UK
  • 2003: Diploma in Child Health UK, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, UK
  • 2000: University of New South Wales, Sydney
    • Bachelor of Medicine
    • Bachelor of Surgery
    • Bachelor of Science (Medicine)

*NOTE: in Australia, "Bariatric Medical Practitioner" is used interchangeably with "Bariatric Physician"

Fellowships

  • October 2005: Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners, United Kingdom
  • December 2008: Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners ad endum gradum
  • 2021: World Obesity Federation recognition as National SCOPE Fellow

Awards

  • 2021: World Obesity Federation recognition as National SCOPE Fellow
  • 2020: Jamieson Award for best scientific paper- Australian & New Zealand Metabolic Obesity Surgery Society
  • 2016: Greek Welfare Centre of Sydney, award for community volunteer work to the poor and homeless
  • 2018: Bariatric Care Specialist award- first Australian GP to receive this international recognition
  • 2000: Intern of the year award- Bankstown -Lidcombe Hospital, Australia
  • 1998: “The UNSW 2/5” Award for first place in undergraduate General Practice rotation

Positions & Participation

  • January 2022: Working party developing a submission on behalf of the Royal Australian College of General practitioners (RACGP) supporting Australia’s first government subsidized anti-obesity medication currently under consultation
  • January 2022: Working party developing a submission on behalf of the Obesity Collective supporting Australia’s first government subsidized anti-obesity medication currently under consultation
  • October 2021 to present: Global Obesity Faculty for Medscape Education Global
  • September 2021 to present: National SCOPE Fellow recognition by the Strategic Centre for Obesity Professional Education (SCOPE) of the World Obesity Federation
  • August 2021: Clinician advising the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) of Australia during the consultation process whilst they consider Australia’s first government subsidized anti-obesity medication
  • March 2021 to present Reshape HealthSciences Australia Scientific Medical Advisory Board
  • March 2021 to present: Nestle HealthScience Scientific Medical Advisory Board
  • January 2019 to 2020: The Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • September 2018 to 2020: Working party developing a publicly funded metabolic and bariatric obesity by Southeastern Sydney Primary Healthcare Network, Sydney
  • April 2018 to present: Bariatric Care Specialist, awarded by Surgical Review Council [first Australian GP to be awarded this]
  • December 2015 to 2020: Global Obesity Faculty for mdBriefcase
  • March 2017 to 2020: RACGP representative of the working party advocating to improve access to Public Funded Bariatric Services in Australia
  • February 2018 to present: NovoNordisk Global Scientific Advisory Board
  • February 2018 to 2020: GP representative of National Association of Clinical Obesity Services
  • 2018: Conjoint lecturer St George & Sutherland Clinical Schools, University of New South Wales, Sydney
  • 2017: Undergraduate UNSW medical students educator
  • St George Hospital Campus, Sydney
  • 2014 to present: founding Chair of the RACGP Specific Interest in Obesity Management Network
  • 2012- 2015: GP representative on the Obesity Surgery Society of Australia & New Zealand Committee (now known as Australian & New Zealand Medical Obesity Surgery Society)
  • 2003-2005: GR Registrar representative on the Clinical Training Committee, Kent Surrey & Sussex General Practitioner Vocational Training Scheme
  • 2001: President of Bankstown – Lidcombe Hospital RMO Association
  • 2000 – 01: Junior Doctor’s Representative- Clinical Training Committee of Bankstown – Lidcombe Hospital

Professional Memberships, Associations, Committees

  • Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Advocacy Work: for increased & more equitable access for evidence based effective therapies to help people living with obesity
    • RACGP representative on the equitable access to public-funded metabolic and bariatric surgery  clinic taskforce
    • Member of the Obesity Impact Assembly in partnership with
    • PriceWaterhouseCoopers Australia
    • Curator of The Obesity Collective advocacy group
    • RACGP Specific Interest in Obesity Management Network, founding Chair
  • Commitment to Education: face to face eg GP conferences, HealthEd symposium, webinars, online platforms such as mdBriefcase, past GP Registrar Clinical Examiner at RACGP NSW & ACT
  • On a number of medical advisory committees including: iNova, NovoNordisk global scientific advisory,  NovoNordisk national medical advisory committee,
  • Consultancy work and advisory role for NSW Health & Australian National Ministry of Health, on obesity related issues and projects
  • Consultancy work for: iNova, NovoNordisk, Medtronics (previously Covidien); ApolloEndo (previously Allergan), Johnson & Johnson
  • Spokesperson for RACGP on issues of obesity:
    • eg Nov 2016:  Member representing the RACGP at Annual
  • Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC)
  • National Health Summit on Obesity
    • June 2016:  Member representing the RACGP at Annual Obesity Summit Charles Perkins Centre National Health Summit on Obesity
    • February 2019:  Member representing the RACGP at the Obesity Summit,  summoned by Hon Bridget McKenzie & Hon Steven Miles, Canberra ACT

Other Memberships

  • Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society
  • Australian & New Zealand Metabolic Surgery Society (previously known as Obesity Surgery Society of Australia & New Zealand)
  • Australian Medical Association
  • American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery
  • The Obesity Society, USA
  • World Obesity Federation

Current Hospital Appointments

  • St George Private Hospital, Kogarah Sydney

Continuing Medical Education

  • March 2022: The role of primary care in the management of patients living with ObesityWagga Wagga
  • November 2021: Treating obesity in primary care: why, who and how? World Organisation of Family Doctors [WONCA] International Congress[virtual]
  • November 2021: ASCEND small group learning tutorial in obesity case management[virtual]
  • November 2021: Medscape Obesity Week 21 in review: with Arya Sharma[virtual]
  • November 2021: NovoNordisk: Global Obesity Clinics Academy[virtual]
  • November 2021: Primary Care Global Diabetes Expert Meeting 2[virtual]
  • October 2021: Primary Care Global Diabetes Expert Meeting 1[virtual]
  • October 2021: "Medical management of the bariatric surgical patien" masterclass Australian & New Zealand Metabolic Obesity Surgery Society annual Scientific meeting[virtual]
  • July 2021: iNova Pharmaceuticals: Development of content for “Weighingit Up” medical education program[virtual]
  • July 2021: Treating obesity in primary care: why, who and how? World Organisation of Family Doctors [WONCA] European Congress[virtual]
  • June 2021: "Four key insights on the weight loss journey" Rethink Obesity 4 Forums Series 2[virtual]
  • May 2021: "Pharmacotherapy for weight management following bariatric surgery" ANZMOSS Dietitian RoadshowSydney
  • May 2021: Speaker at SCOPE school: obesity and mental health World Obesity Federation[virtual]
  • March 2021: "Role of anti-obesity medication in the management of obesity"Saudi [virtual]
  • March 2021: ReShape LifeSciences: "How to make the most of your Lapband"[virtual]
  • January 2021: Virtual Obesity Clinical Platform series: “how to virtually manage patients who have undergone bariatric metabolic surgery"[virtual]
  • November-December 2020: NovoNordisk Rethink Obesity4 Forums podcasts
  • August 2020: "The impact of obesity on male and female fertility"Saudi [Virtual]
  • November 2020: "Obesity management: lifestyle and beyond" full day courseTaiwan [Virtual]
  • October 2020: Virtual Obesity Clinical Platform series: “how to virtually consult with patients with obesity” [Virtual]
  • July 2020: "Rethink Obesity: the role of anti-obesity medication in the management of obesity" New Zealand[Virtual]
  • May - July, 2020: Speaker and facilitator at three of the NovoNordisk sponsored 6-part webinar "Rethink Obesity"
  • 13 May 2020: Speaker at NovoNordisk sponsored GP lunch webinar "Addressing Obesity" Sydney
  • 3 March 2020: Speaker at iNova sponsored GP dinner meeting "The role of Contrave in the management of obesity"
  • 30 January 2020: Video modules for medical UNSW and Sydney University students "Raising the issue of weight with patients of children living with obesity"
  • 14 - 16 November: Speaker at NovoNordisk sponsored Global Scientific Meeting Malmo, Sweden
  • 3 November 2019: Speaker at NovoNordisk sponsored Diabetes Obesity Dialogue Forum Paris, France
  • 27 October 2019: Speaker at NovoNordisk sponsored Obesity MasterclassMelbourne
  • 17 October 2019: Speaker at Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society annual scientific meeting Breakfast Symposium: "ACTION-IO study and lessons learnt"Sydney
  • 14 September 2019: Speaker and facilitator at National Australian Clinical Obesity Services educational forum: "Management of obesity"Sydney
  • 5 August 2019: Speaker at iNova sponsored GP dinner meeting "The role of Contrave in the management of obesity"Wollongong
  • 30 July 2019: Speaker at iNova sponsored GP dinner meeting "The role of Contrave in the management of obesity"Sydney
  • 23 and 24 July 2019: Speaker at iNova sponsored GP dinner and breakfast meetings "The role of Contrave in the management of obesity"Canberra
  • 27 June 2019: "The role of a MDT team in obesity bariatric aftercare", sponsored by Johnson and Johnson
  • 21 May 2019: "Mamamia" Obesity podcast, sponsored by iNova
  • 14 May 2019: Speaker at iNova sponsored GP dinner meeting "The role of Contrave in the management of obesity" Canberra
  • 16 April 2019: Speaker at NovoNordisk sponsored GP dinner meeting "Addressing Obesity"Sydney
  • April/ May 2019: 26th European Congress on Obesity Glasgow, Scotland
  • January 2019: 3-day introductory course, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • April - June 2018: Facilitator & speaker at 6-part RACGP Obesity Webinar series
  • 18 May 2018: Speaker at the 8th Congress for the International Federation Surgery for Obesity (IFSO) - European Chapter Athens, Greece
  • 15 & 16 May 2018: Workshop facilitator NovoNordisk Global Scientific Meeting 2018 Malmo, Sweden
  • 2017 - 2018: Facilitator & speaker: Obesity management in Children and adolescent webinar series – NSW Health initiative
  • 24 March 2018: Role of the GP in the management of Obesity Symposium Sydney
  • January 2018: Barriers to treating obesity-GP perspective NovoNordisk sales team meetingSydney
  • January 2018: Barriers to treating obesity-GP perspective iNova sales team meetingSydney
  • 11-15 November, 2018: ASMBS/TOS Obesity Week Nashville, USA
  • May 2018: 25th European Congress on Obesity Vienna
  • May 2018: 8th International Congress for Federation Surgery for Obesity (IFSO)- European Chapter Athens
  • 4-8 December 2017: International Diabetes Federation Congress 2017 Abu Dhabi
  • 30 August, 2017: 22nd International Federation Surgery for Obesity Annual Congress London
  • March 2017: Lower Gastrointestinal Pathology including management of PR bleeding; Ramsay Healthcare
  • 2016 to present: South Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network General Practice small learning group sessions
  • September 2016: Resuscitation Skills for General Practice by Medics for Life
  • September 2016: Type 2 Diabetes: what’s after metformin? National Prescribing Service
  • August/September, 2016: Australian Diabetes Society-annual scientific meeting Gold Coast
  • July 2016: Managing depression: re-examining the options National Prescribing Service
  • 21 June, 2016: Diabetes Practical Masterclass at UNSW by Healthed
  • 16 June, 2016: Optimising outcomes in the complex & revisional bariatric patient
  • May 2016: Hands Hips and Knees by Ramsay healthcare
  • 28 April, 2016: New Directions in Obesity Management-introducing Saxenda
  • 5 March, 2016: St George Private Hospital-GP Symposium
  • February 2016: Suicide Prevention & Intervention
    The Northside Group- Ramsay healthcare
  • December, 2015: Conflict of interest: pharma and research
    Avant Insurance Limited
  • 19-20 November, 2015:Novonordisk Sponsored Global Scientific Expert Meeting “Obesity and the role of liraglutide 3mg” Vienna, Austria
  • 2-7 November, 2015: ASMBS/TOS Obesity Week Los Angeles, USA
  • October 2010- 2017: Obesity Surgery Society of Australia & New Zealand Conference
  • 22 September, 2015: Emotional health of children -WA RACGP Faculty
  • October 2010- 2017: Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society Scientific Meeting
  • August 2013- 2015: iNova National Obesity Forum
  • April 2015: “Improving chronic disease management in your general practice” webinar held by RACGP
  • July 2015: SNAP your patients into a healthier lifestyle
    RACGP-e health
  • April 2015: Improving Chronic Disease Management in General Practice
    RACGP-e health
  • October 2014: Shared Medical Appointments-Centre for Health Promotion and Research Pty Ltd
  • Feb 2013 – May 2014: South Eastern Sydney Medicare Local GP small learning group
  • 27 August 2014: “Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: The need for early intervention” webinar held by RACGP
  • April 2014: Rise of the superbug: review GP options for antimicrobial Stewardship by Ramsay Healthcare
  • 17-20 March, 2014: 12th International Congress on Obesity, World ObesityKuala Lampur, Malaysia
  • February 2009 – September, 2012: St George Division of General Practice small learning group
  • 13 September, 2011: Update: Management of Diabetes in General Practice, Sydney
  • 5-8 August, 2011:Metabolic Health training Austin Health, Prof Joseph Proietto Heidelberg Hospital
  • 10 June, 2011:Gastric Banding: advances in design and techniquesNewcastle, NSW
  • 19 May, 2011:Clinical Emergency Management Program Workshop
    Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • 15 May, 2011:Applications of Nutrition in Medicine Part 2
    Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine
  • 14 May, 2011:Managing Diabetes in General Practice Seminar
    Australian Doctor Education
  • 26 April, 2011: Best Practice- Lapband System Webinar
  • 30 August 2010:Centre for Obesity Research & Education bariatric trainingMelbourne
  • 10 May 2010: Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding Workshop – Melbourne
  • 6 March 2010: Obesity & its Management Conference– Sydney Upper Gastrointestinal Surgical Society
  • 6 October 2009: ORBERA (intragastric balloon) Workshop – Melbourne
  • 9 May 2009: LABG Workshop – Melbourne
  • 7 April 2009: Mental health network workshop – UNSW Kensington
  • 28 March 2009: O&G and perinatal update- Sydney Royal Hospital for Women
  • 25 February 2009: Irritable Bowel Syndrome-how far to investigate- Dr Walsh
  • 24 February 2009: COPD workshop – Dr Jarvie
  • 21 February 2009: Women’s Health Update – UNSW Kensington

Research Projects

I have lectured and presented widely in Australia and overseas in the areas of: the causes of obesity, effects of obesity on people at different stages in their life cycle, impact of overweight and obesity during pregnancy and how being above a healthy weight can affect the physical and emotional wellbeing of children and adolescents. Furthermore, I lectured to healthcare professions and lay people about the different treatment options available to help those living with overweight and / or obesity.

I travel extensively to research new and improved methods of treatment and have been a demonstrator of gastric band adjustments and demonstrating effective communication skills whilst consulting with people living with overweight or obesity.

I have a particular interest in the effects of overweight and obesity on female and male fertility, pregnancy and outcomes to the next generation.

I have been a regular presenter at a number of RACGP conferences, medical obesity scientific meetings, bariatric surgical conferences, lifestyle conferences and integrated allied health conferences/ workshops  over the past decade.

I have been involved in surgical research for many years through the metabolic and bariatric Unit at St George Private Hospital. Sydney. I am currently engaged in some exciting research looking at the role of combination therapy in those individuals who have experienced a partial response to bariatric surgery.

I have published papers  and/ or articles in various GP, medical and bariatric surgery forums.

Clinical Research Involvement

  • February 2022: STEP 5 Metabolic syndrome Abstract in development for submission to EASD 2022
  • February 2022-Currently recruiting: "The impact of weight loss from GLP-1 analogue injections on ovarian reserve in females of reproductive age" collaboration with IVF Australia
  • February 202, Med J of Australia: "Fertility, pregnancy and post-partum management after bariatric surgery: a narrative review"
  • November 2021: "The role of adjunct liraglutide in the management of patients who have experienced clinically significant weight regain after bariatric metabolic surgery-the first Australian experience". manuscript in progress
  • November 2021: "Adjuvant Medical Therapy with Subcutaneous Semaglutide following Bariatric Surgery" The American Obesity Society poster presentation by self; manuscript in progress
  • November 2021:"Weight loss outcomes with semaglutide 2.4mg in moderate or severe obesity in STEP 1 and 2" The Obesity Society poster presentation by C. le Roux; manuscript in progress
  • November 2021:"Desired weight and weight loss goal in people with obesity-is it too much to ask? ACTION-IO analysis" The Obesity Society poster presentation by V. Vazquez Velazquez; manuscript in progress
  • October 2021: "Misconceptions and barriers to treating obesity in Australia: Data from the ACTION IO study" manuscript under review
  • September 2021: "The Australian Obesity Management Algorithm- a simple tool to guide the management of obesity in primary care" manuscript under review
  • July 2021: "The medical management of obesity with semaglutide: the first Australian experience” oral presentation by self; at Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society annual scientific meeting manuscript in progress
  • June 2021 - Currently recruiting: “Reverse engineering insulin secretion in health and disease” in collaboration with the Garvan Institute of medical research, Sydney
  • February 2021: European "Patient motivation to lose weight: Importance of healthcare professional support, goals and self-efficacy" Journal of Internal Medicine
  • January 2021: European "The 3Ds - Discussion, diagnosis and directions: Elements for effective obesity care by healthcare professionals". Journal of Internal Medicine
  • September 2020: Obesity "Delays in healthcare consultations about obesity - Barriers and implications" Research & Clinical Practice:
  • February 2019: "Gaps to bridge: Misalignment between perception, reality and actions in obesity". , Diabetes , Obesity & Metabolism:
  • February 2018: "Managing Obesity in Primary Care: Breaking Down the Barriers". Advances In Therapy
  • May 2018: "The role of adjuvant pharmacotherapy in the management of patients with a partial response to bariatric metabolic surgery - the first Australian experience" Poster presentation at 25th European Congress in Obesity
  • 24 May 2018: "The role of adjuvant pharmacotherapy in the management of bariatric metabolic surgery patients - the first Australian experience” Obesity Facts Vienna, Austria
  • February 2018 to present: Australian GP lead for ACTION-IO study
  • December 2016 to present: “A RCT of gastric volume and weight loss in Banded Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy”
  • February 2016 to present: “Prospective clinical study: Can adjuvant pharmacotherapy assist with further weight loss in patients identified as partial responders to bariatric surgery”
  • February 2016 to present: “Prospective clinical study: Can adjuvant pharmacotherapy prevent weight gain after bariatric surgery”
  • July 2016 to present: “Does yo-yo dieting have detrimental effects on whole-body and fat tissue metabolism?”
  • May 2013 to present: “Changes in women’s mental and sexual health before and after Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy”
  • February 2016, Obesity Surgery: “Energy adaptations persist 2 years after sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass”
  • April 2015, Asian Journal of Endoscopic Surgery: “Predictors of weight loss 2 years after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy”
  • January 2013, Obesity Reviews: “Bariatric surgery, bone loss, obesity and possible mechanisms”- collaboration with the Garvan Institute
  • January 2011 to September 2012: “A prospective, multi-centre clinical evaluation to observe the intra- band pressure variances in newly implanted laparoscopic gastric bands between adjustments” sponsored by CAVU
  • January 2009 to January 2013: Evaluation of a percutaneous single port access placement of a para-gastric implant for the treatment of morbid obesity sponsored by VIBRYNT

St George Private Hospital

Suite 3, Level 5
1 South Street

Kogarah
Sydney NSW 2217

Contact - Dr Georgia Rigas - Obesity Doctor

  • The University of New South Wales
  • Obesity Australia
  • ANZMOSS – Australian & New Zealand Metabolic and Obesity Surgery Society
  • Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society
  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • Care Specialist
  • Strategic  Centre for Obesity Professional Education
  • THE OBESITY COLLECTIVE
  • World Obesity