Prof Chris Berney


Specialist Hernia & Gastrointestinal Surgeon with 30+ Years of Experience

Prof Berney specialises in advanced laparoscopic (“keyhole”) surgery and is recognised for his considerable surgical research and high case volume in hernia surgery.

Prof Chris Berney completed his medical and surgical training in Switzerland before coming to Australia over 25+ years ago. He has dedicated his professional career to the research and development of many pioneering laparoscopic procedures, such as the use of mesh in hernia surgery, and now has one of the largest series of patients of any surgeons in Australia for this specific approach to hernia repair.

He is fluent in both English and French.

“My aim is to keep developing new surgical approaches and techniques based on the latest scientific peer-reviewed evidence that improve the safety and quality of life for my patients.”

Prof Chris Berney has made an immense contribution to medical and surgical research with 85+ published peer reviewed papers of original research and some 56+ published scientific abstracts, chiefly in the area of hernia surgery.

He is an advanced laparoscopic (“keyhole”) surgeon, which is known as ‘minimally invasive surgery’ as it involves smaller scars for the patient, less post-operative pain and a faster recovery.

Areas of Expertise:
Hernia surgery, upper-GI surgery, colorectal surgery, gall bladder surgery, acid reflux surgery, neck & thyroid surgery, endoscopy.

Areas of Research Interest:
Advanced laparoscopic gastrointestinal surgery; Laparoscopic abdominal wall reconstruction; complex hernia surgery; needlescopic and robotic surgery; endocrine and minimally invasive surgery; and Endoscopy.

Scientific Publications


GESA Certification (Gastroscopy & Colonoscopy), Gastroenterological Society of Australia 2002
Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS), Specialist in General Surgery 2002
PhD (Medicine), UNSW 1999
FMH, Specialist in General Surgery, Switzerland 1997
Doctorate of Medicine (MD), University of Geneva, Switzerland 1991
Medical Degree (MB), University of Geneva, Switzerland 1988
Tropical Medicine Certificate, University of Geneva, Switzerland 1986

Hospital Appointments

Bankstown-Lidcombe Public Hospital
Waratah Private Hospital

Professional & Academic Appointments

Conjoint Professor, University of New South Wales (UNSW)
Coordinator of Undergraduate Surgical Teaching, University of New South Wales (UNSW)
Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee (MAC), Waratah Private Hospital
Committee Member of the Research Subcommittee of the New South Wales Regional Subcommittee of the Board in General Surgery (RSBiGS)
Supervisor of Surgical Education & Training for General Surgery

Career Experience

  • Residency & Fellowship Training
    • 2003 – Present: Specialist Hernia & Gastrointestinal Surgeon in Public and Private Practice
    • 2002 – 2003: Surgical Fellowship in Department of Surgery (Prof. S. Deane), Liverpool Hospital
    • 2001 – 2002: Surgical Fellowship in Department of Surgery (Dr. N. Merrett), Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital
    • 1999 – 2001: Surgical Fellowship (part time) in Department of Surgery (Prof. J. Ham), Prince of Wales Hospital
    • 1996 – 1999: Research Fellowship in Oncology Research Centre (Prof. P. J. Russell) and Department of Surgery (Prof. J. Ham), Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney
    • 1992 – 1996: Residency in Department of Surgery, Geneva University Hospital, (Prof. A. Rohner & Prof. P. Graber)
    • 1991 – 1992: Residency in Department of Surgery, Morges Regional Hospital, Switzerland, (Dr. A. Meyer)
    • 1990 – 1991: Residency in Department of Surgery, Geneva University Hospital, (Prof. A. Rohner)
    • 1989 – 1990: Residency in Clinical Pathology, Geneva University Hospital, (Prof. Y. Kapanci)
    • 1988 – 1989: Residency in Department of Surgery, Geneva University Hospital, (Prof. A. Rohner)

Professional Memberships

Member, General Surgeons Australia (GSA)
Member, Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA)
Member, Obesity Surgery Society of Australia and New Zealand (OSSANZ)
Associate Member, Australian and New Zealand Endocrine Surgeons (AES)
Member, European Hernia Society (EHS)
Member, European Association for Endoscopic Surgery (EAES)
Member, European Association for Transluminal Surgery (EATS)
Member, Fédération des Médecins Suisses (FMH)

Career Achievements

  • Awards
    • 2012: NSW/ACT Hernia Prize to co-author, Dr. Eugenia Ip at the 2012 GSA Annual Scientific Meeting, Hobart, Australia: “Predictive survey of postoperative pain after totally extraperitoneal inguinal hernia repairs”.
    • 2011: Best Registrar’s Presentation Prize to co-author, Dr. Ian Rebello at the 80th Annual Scientific Congress (ASC) of the Royal College of Surgeons (RACS), Adelaide, Australia: Prospective study of pain and physical function following endoscopic mesh repair of inguinal hernia with glue fixation. NSW/ACT Hernia Prize to co-author, Dr. Eugenia Ip at the 2011 GSA Annual Scientific Meeting, Darwin, Australia: Totally extraperitoneal hernia repair with mesh fixation by fibrin glue: safety and outcomes. Tutor of the year, Bankstown-Consultant, University of N.S.W.
    • 2010: Bard Prize given to co-author, Dr. David Links at the 79th Annual Scientific Congress (ASC) of the Royal College of Surgeons (RACS), Perth, Australia: Initial experience with Endoloop technique to reduce post-operative seroma after totally extraperitoneal (TEP) repair of direct inguinal hernia (DIH).
    • 1996: Tow Research Prize 1996, The Prince Henry and Prince of Wales Hospitals, Sydney, Australia: nm23 protein expression assessed by colour video image analysis is increased in metastatic colorectal cancer and correlates with reduced patient survival.
  • Scholarships
    • 1997-1999: The Anti-Cancer League of Geneva (Ligue Genevoise contre le Cancer)
    • 1996-1999: Overseas Postgraduate Research Scholarship (OPRS) (Three years enrolment at the University of NSW for a PhD in Medicine/Research)
    • 1996-1997: Swiss National Fund for Scientific Research (Bourse de relève)

Current Memberships with the Following Organisations

Volunteer Work

Prof Berney also volunteers as a Surgeon for multiple not-for-profit organisations, such as Doctors Assisting In South-Pacific Islands (DAISI) and Mercy Ships in Africa. This regular pro-bono work saves countless lives and Prof Berney embarks on these missions 2-3 times per year. See the below documentary video that was created regarding his work training surgeons in PNG how to perform laparoscopic surgery and running a busy clinic in a remote town.


Video of Prof Berney in PNG: