Metabolic Clinic

Dr Matthew Griffiths is a Sydney based anaesthetist who graduated from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Pharmacy (1991) and a Bachelor Medicine Bachelor of Surgery with first Class Honours (1999) and the Clinical Medicine Prize for his graduating year.

During my time as an anaesthetic registrar and then as a Consultant Anaesthetist I developed an interest in perioperative medicine and have spent much of my time since then seeing patients in preoperative clinics in both the public and private hospital system.

Since starting in preadmission clinic in 2002 I noticed the weight of my patients steadily increasing (see the below graph from the Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Similarly, I’ve noticed the number of my patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus increasing (see graphs from the Australian Bureau of statistics).

I have spent time reviewing the current literature on diet and exercise and come to the conclusion that for many people a diet based on much lower carbohydrate with increased healthy fat and appropriate levels of protein is the most appropriate approach for sustained weight loss and metabolic health.

This approach is in line with the work of Dr Stephen Phinney (USA), Professor Jeff Volek (USA) Professor Tim Noakes (SA), Professor Grant Schofield (NZ). These physicians have generally been seen as both pioneers and early adopters of the research behind low carbohydrate diets. Similarly, the CSIRO has recently published a programme endorsing the low carbohydrate approach to weight loss and management of type 2 diabetes.


The aim of the clinic will be to help prepare patients for anaesthesia and their planned operation. This will include a complete patient history and examination as well as screening blood tests looking to help assess your general preoperative health as well as work out any health concerns that need to be further investigated. For some patients it will include information and a plan on how to use a low carbohydrate, healthy fat approach to optimise weight.

Your review will track any weight loss and also repeat your screening blood tests, physical examination, check your blood pressure and sugar profile to ensure that the low carbohydrate healthy fat approach is beneficial for maintaining and improving your health.

Many patients will only be coming to the clinic for a preoperative assessment and work up. Some patients may come just to discuss their weight and general health.


The process for coming to the clinic (no matter what it is for) is to get a referral from your surgeon or GP.

For a preoperative review generally, most people will only require one visit as most investigations can be organised, reviewed and followed up over the phone. Occasionally a very complex patient who needs further investigation or referral to a cardiologist or other specialist may need to return for a follow up consultation.

For patients looking to optimise their weight we would generally have you return at about 2-3 weeks and again at 3-4 months to assess your progress and blood tests.

You can make an appointment by ringing Norwest Plastic and cosmetic surgery on 1300 112 358.

Once you have booked an appointment please:

  • Fill out a health questionnaire (there is one for pure preoperative assessments and one for a metabolic and preoperative assessment).
  • If you are coming for weight optimisation then please download and use a diet diary from either the App store or google store.
    • Easy Diet Diary (Australian Calorie counter) for iPad and iPhone.
    • MyFitness Pal for android.

The Easy Diet Diary is a better format and has no advertisements, hence if possible this is the easiest and best diary I have found. I will also send you an email that allows you to give me access to your diary in real time. If you could fill this out for the week or two before your appointment this would be very helpful. The diet diary is not a punitive thing or something to worry about it helps to see exactly what you are eating and also when you are eating. Long term the aim is not to have to count calories or look at diaries, but in the first few weeks they are very helpful.

If using MyFitness Pal you will need to go into your settings and “friend” me using my email address [email protected]


Please wear comfortable loose clothing, we will be doing a full physical examination, body measurements and an ECG, so we what you to be comfortable. Please bring your food diary as this will be very useful.

Please bring in your referral and any letters that you may have from any specialists you see. If you don’t have them don’t worry too much as long as you have your specialist’s details, then I can usually just call for a copy.

If you have any investigations such as blood tests, Echocardiograms or X-rays please bring them as well. It’s easier to bring everything and not need it all than to forget the one thing that may be helpful.