The Bariatric Team

The Bariatric Team is involved in the surgical, emotional/psychological, dietetic and physiotherapy level of the assessment and support to morbid obese patients going through a process called Bariatric Surgery (Weigh-loss surgery).

Prof Heine van der Walt – Laparoscopic Surgeon

Head of the Bariatric team (UNITAS Hospital, Centurion, South Africa)



•M.Med. (Surg)(Pret)(SA) cum laude

•F.C.S. (SA)

Fields of expertise:

•Specialist surgeon

Fields of special interest:

•Laparoscopic surgery

•Bariatric surgery

•Oesophageal surgery

•Upper GI surgery

•Hernia surgery


Prof Heine van der Walt is a surgeon in Private Practice at Unitas Hospital, Centurion.

He has a special interest in laparoscopic surgery.  He has been the invited speaker at numerous international and local congresses and has also conducted many workshops in laparoscopic surgery, training surgeons worldwide in advanced laparoscopic surgery techniques.  Internationally he is acknowledged as a leading laparoscopic surgeon.  Prof van der Walt is the head and  consultant at the Department of Laparoscopic Surgery, University of Pretoria.


Member of South African Society for Endoscopic Surgeons; Association of Surgeons of South Africa; European Institute of TeleSurgery; International Society for Diseases of the Oesophagus.

OESO (World Organization for Specialised Studies on Diseases of the Oesophagus)

Contact Information:

For appointments or enquiries: 012- 6648046.  For more information on Prof Heine van der Walt’s Bariatric Program follow the link:

Other associated members of the Bariatric Team, led by Prof Heine van der Walt (Bariatric Surgeon):

Hanlie Sweers – Dietician


Hanlie Sweers completed her Bachelor of Science (dietetics) Degree at the University of North-West and has more than 18 years extensive dietetic experience.

She started as junior dietitian at Flora Clinic where she was responsible for food service operations and quality control.

She subsequently worked as a private and hospital dietitian at the Curamed Hospital Group (Meulmed Hospital, Medforum Hospital, The Heart Hospital and Astrid Clinic) in partnership with four other dieticians.  This gave her access to a wide range of medical conditions ranging from general surgery, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, weight loss management, pediatric nutrition, gastrointestinal disorders and oncology that was instrumental in her gaining invaluable work experience in how to manage these various conditions through nutrition.

In 2001 she moved her practice to Unitas hospital, where she currently works as part of Prof Heine van der Walt’s Bariatric team.

Hanlie has extensive clinical experience in weight management, medical nutritional therapy for ob-esity related health problems and gastrointestinal conditions, bariatric surgery and gastrointestinal surgery.

Hanlie provides specialized pre- and post-operative dietetic advice and guidance for individuals undergoing bariatric surgery.

Critical instructions and support are provided to help patients adhere to the dietary changes consistent with bariatric surgery.

Patients are empowered by providing them with the knowledge to selfmanage their diets and to make practical, successful and sustainable dietary changes.

She supports her patients and thrives on the success of them achieving their personal goals.

Hanlie Sweers can be contacted on: 012-6648046 or email:

Dr Lania Alberts – Physiotherapist


Dr Lania Alberts completed her Bachelor of Physiotherapy degree at the University of Pretoria (B.PhysT [UP]) and has over 16 years extensive Physiotherapy experience.  She also completed her Doctorate in Physiotherapy (DPT [NEU])

Lania worked as a junior physiotherapist in and around Pretoria where she gathered as much prac-tical experience as possible in different hospitals and outpatient practices. She then went on to work in the UK as a physiotherapist and enjoyed the experience and challenges of working in another country under different circumstances. It is here where she realised that a multidisciplinary approach, better communication and teamwork between different medical and paramedical entities, proved to be to the benefit of the patient.

On her return to South Africa she started a practice in Pretoria. Two years later she subsequently started a practice in another part of Pretoria and employed physiotherapists.

In 2007 she started working as physiotherapist on Prof Heine van der Walt’s Bariatric team.

She has gained extensive experience in the treatment of pre- and post-operative lungs. Thereby eliminating/reducing lung complications and post-operative anaesthetic problems.

She also fully comprehends the complications that can arise from immobility so it is her priority to prevent any form of circulatory problems by encouraging mobilisation and activity.

During the hospitalisation, clinical instructions and support are provided on moving and handling. By the time the patients are discharged they are empowered by providing them with the knowledge to reach and maintain optimal functionality and fitness.

Lania can be contacted on: 084 3373 410 or email:


Dr Hermann Liebenberg

is the psychologists associated with the Bariatric Team and also do the preparation for patients who have to undergo gastric procedures for various gastric problems including oesophagus cancer.


Bronwyn Taylor

is also associated with the team and is involved in the post-operative debriefing and education of patients who had Bariatric Surgery