Vale Dr Ken Loi, MBBS, FRACS
Nov 01, 2023
St George Private Hospital and the medical community are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dr Ken Loi, Upper GI and Bariatric Surgeon.
Dr Loi was a respected and integral part of the bariatric team, whose commitment ensured St George Private Hospital was recognised as Australia’s first international bariatric centre of excellence. He will be dearly missed by staff, colleagues and patients.
Dr Ken Loi is considered a mentor, friend and role model to our surgical community and has been a key opinion leader in the feld of bariatric surgery.
Dr Ken Loi was born in Hong Kong in 1969. He completed high school and migrated, with his parents, to Australia in 1986. His medical journey began in 1988 where he studied medicine at the University of New South Wales. He graduated from medical school and completed an internship and residency in general surgery at St George and Liverpool hospitals in Sydney, Australia.
An exceptional trainee, Dr Loi unfortunately lost his father during his surgical training. A testament to his organization and strength, he completed his training, cared for his family, and excelled in every aspect. Upon completion of his training, Dr Loi was ofered numerous job prospects and ultimately joined Professor David Hunt and Dr John Jorgensen at St George Public and Private Hospital, Sutherland Public hospital, Kareena Private hospital, Hurstville private hospital and East Sydney private hospital.
He subspecialized in Upper GI surgery and found interest in Bariatric surgery, very early in his career. The golden era of bariatric surgery was established in the early 2000s and the subspeciality was pioneered in Australia by Dr Loi, Dr Jorgensen, and colleagues. Technical profciency compounded with sound judgement and clinical decision-making paved the way for Dr Loi’s success. Having mastered gastric band placement, which was subsequently superseded by the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, Dr Loi was always at the surgical forefront in Australia.
His work, case load, and eforts resulted in St George Private being crowned as Australia’s frst international bariatric centre of excellence and Dr Loi was one of three accredited master surgeons within the country. His personable and lovable personality complimented by his professionalism, medical expertise, and communication skills resulted in his exponential personal and professional growth. He pioneered laparoscopic gastric bypass, endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, robotic bariatric surgery, gastric balloon placement, and bariatric endoscopy in Australia and become a household name in every bariatric circle.
In conjunction to his bariatric practice, he continued performing high volume oncology surgery including Whipple procedures and Oesphagectomies. His love for minimally invasive surgery, supported by his surgical fnesse, meant these complex procedures were frequently performed minimally invasive in Dr Loi’s theatres. Also passionate about hernia surgery, Dr Loi ran numerous masterclasses, demonstrating safe and efective hernia surgery techniques. Despite running concurrent surgical theatres with caseloads in excess of 18 procedures per day, Dr Loi managed to teach and advocate for patients and the surgical profession.
A true ambassador to the surgical community, Dr Loi served on the ANZMOSS board for 8 years as treasurer. During his time on the ANZMOSS board, he helped establish a Bariatric Registry in Australia and assisted in government negotiations implementing sleeve gastrectomy as a Medicare rebateable procedure in Australia. He also served on the RACS board including his role as the NSW chair from 2018 to 2020. His roles included aiding in the organization of the ASC from 2017 to 2019 and Dr Loi played a key role in building a working relationship between RACS Australia and the Chinese Surgical Society.
He has served on the IFSO APC board for 10 Years and appointed as the IFSO APC president elect in 2020. His APC Chairmanship begins in 2023 and extends to 2025. As a scholar and teacher, Dr Loi has written numerous peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and has been an invited speaker in every continent. He co-authored the newly published ASMBS guidelines and indications for metabolic surgery, a task which will beneft millions of patients globally.
He was repeatedly invited to China during the infancy of their bariatric surgery quest, sharing his invaluable knowledge and performing live surgical demonstrations. In conjunction with pioneering surgeons from Taiwan and Japan, Dr Loi helped shape Bariatric Surgery in China and other APC countries. Through his travels and networking, Dr Loi has established many deep and meaningful relationships with bariatric surgeons from all over the world.
Outside of surgery, Dr Loi is an avid traveler. His facebook profile gives only a glimpse of his appreciation for fine dining and his equally matching impeccable fashion sense. He is known to give invaluable advice on two important subjects: complex surgical cases and exquisite whisky and wine. He is the well-established “go-to person” for recommendations on Michelin Star degustation menus. Admired and respected by all, Dr Loi has been a mentor to numerous surgeons nationally and internationally.
Anyone fortunate enough to have met Dr Loi will vouch for his hospitability, generosity, and sincerity. He is a true ambassador to the surgical profession and a mentor whom I, and so many other surgeons that he has trained, aspire to emulate.