Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Power of Fame

It was, of course, good to hear Chris Christie tell Matt Lauer of "The Today Show" that his decision to take advantage of bariatric surgery has turned out well for him. We're happy, of course, not only for the health of this very likely presidential contender, but because his example will help many other individuals struggling with severe obesity to take the plunge and learn more about their weight loss options.

Of course, some might say that famous people -- whether they are actors, musicians or politicians -- hold too much sway over the popular mind. After all, why is Chris Christie's success with his lap band or Rosie O'Donnell's good fortune with her gastric sleeve any more important than the results enjoyed by countless men and women around the world?

Regardless, at Dr. Feiz & Associates, we believe that anything that gets people's attention on their health and happiness is a net positive. So, we're always delighted when anyone well known decides to go public with their procedure. Of course, while a weight loss surgery in Los Angeles or anywhere else is of huge help for a great many people, it's not for everyone. If you'd like to learn more, give us a call at 310-855-8058 to find out more about one of our free informational seminars.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Science of Hunger

If you're a veteran of traditional weight loss courses, you've probably encountered the efforts to help overweight people distinguish between a psychological craving and actual hunger. Still, more and more the evidence we're seeing here at Dr. Feiz & Associates is pointing to the very strong likelihood that, especially for severely obese people, the distinctions between these feelings may, very often, be close to meaningless.

An extreme example of what we're talking is exemplified in the case of 13 year-old Alexis Shapiro. Recent news stories have told of the the success of bariatric surgery in treating obesity caused by uncontrollable bouts of hunger. As a 9 year-old, young Alexis had a brain tumor removed. Unfortunately, along with the tumor, doctors also had to remove the brain's hypothalamus, which largely controls the body's appetite and metabolism. The result was a rare condition, hypothalamic obesity, caused by the girl's suddenly uncontrolled appetite.

This syndrome is an extreme example of how powerful the brain is in terms of creating the feeling of hunger, a drive which really can be all but uncontrollable...even if we know intellectually that we've had enough to eat. Indeed, while hypothalmic obesity is rare, it appears that nearly everyone who loses any weight deals with an increase in the production of certain hormones, most notably ghrelin, that tell the brain we're hungry and create a feeling all but identical to actual need-driven hunger. This may be be a major reason why it is so difficult to lose weight and to keep that weight off over the long term.

As we've mentioned many times before, this hormonal link may be a significant reason that a sleeve gastrectomy may be especially effective for many patients.That particular surgery removes a large portion of the stomach, including a section, the fundus, believed to be responsible for the production of ghrelin. All in all, it's a sign that we should be spending a lot less time shaming people with weight problems for gluttony and a lot more time examining the role of the brain and hormones in driving overeating.

In the meantime, if you or a loved one is dealing with severe obesity sustained by persistent feelings of hunger, it might well be time to consider weight loss surgery in Los Angeles or one of our other Southern California offices.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Consultation is the Best Way to Know For Sure

Generally, the guidelines for who is eligible for weight loss surgery in Los Angeles is if a person has a BMI of over 40, or a BMI over 35 in conjunction with several comorbidities such as heart disease and diabetes. Yet, every person is different, and one needs to be able to adapt the necessary lifestyle changes that weight loss surgery encourages. The only way to know for sure if weight loss surgery is right for you is with a consultation with Dr. Michael Feiz at his offices.

Once it is determined that you are a good candidate for weight loss surgery, you will be able to work with Dr. Feiz to determine which weight loss procedure is right for you. While the majority of patients see the sleeve gastrectomy as the best option for them, every patient’s path must be determined on a case by case basis. After that is figured out, the next step is working with your insurance to see what your coverage options are for the procedure cost. And, once that is figured out, then your weight loss journey can truly begin!

Friday, March 27, 2015

More and More Patients are Finding Success with Revision Surgery

Weight loss surgery with Dr. Feiz & Associates has helped countless patients lose their excess weight and keep it off. Yet, some gastric band patients have had difficulties getting to their ideal weight. But, instead of giving up on their weight loss journey, they know that the best option is to opt for revision surgery to turn their gastric band into a sleeve gastrectomy.

Dr. Feiz has years of experience performing laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery, which has the added benefit of limiting the hunger cravings by limiting a patient’s hormones. One of the reasons why we get hunger cravings is that the stomach releases a hormone called ghrelin whenever it is empty. Because the sleeve gastrectomy involves removing a sizable portion of the stomach, a lot of the area where ghrelin is released is also removed, resulting in less of the hormone released into your bloodstream.

This type or revision surgery is quickly gaining popularity, as the gastric sleeve is the fastest growing method of weight loss surgery in Los Angeles. And, thanks to his skill and years of experience, there is no better choice of surgeon than Dr. Feiz.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Government Sponsored Weight Loss Surgery?

As a leading center for weight loss surgery in Los Angeles, here at Dr. Feiz and Associates, our team is committed to improving the quality of life with effective bariatric solutions. Because the medical consensus is that bariatric surgery is the only consistently proven method for someone with severe obesity to approach a healthy weight and ward off debilitating and life threatening health conditions, we strongly advise any severely obese individual to carefully consider their options. 

In the UK, like the United States, obesity has been declared a public health concern due to the associated health risks. In an interesting development, many public health officials are advocating that weight loss surgery be paid for by the government for severely obese individuals who qualify. The officials claim that though the costs may initially appear to be significant, are in fact better in the long run as severely obese individuals almost always develop health conditions that require consistent treatment and medical attention. Government funded weight loss surgery may seem radical, however, at  Dr. Feiz & Associates , we can’t help but understand the reasoning.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Asthma is Just the Latest Condition that Weight Loss Surgery is Proven to Alleviate

According to a study that was just published by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, weight loss surgery seemed to improve asthma sufferers’ symptoms and their ability to manage their condition. Specifically, weight loss surgery cut in half the number of emergency room visits due to Asthma within two years. This is obviously outstanding news for any asthma sufferers considering weight loss surgery in Los Angeles, and joins the list of other conditions that weight loss surgery improves. These include:
  • Diabetes – Many patients who had previously suffered from Type 2 Diabetes before bariatric surgery found that the weight loss that the surgery helped them achieve sent the disease into remission. It was also found that patients who were considered at risk for developing diabetes were less likely to do so after having surgery.
  • Heart Disease - A study on bariatric surgery’s effect on heart disease showed that those who had the surgery were 40% less likely to die from a heart attack within 14 years of having the surgery.
Losing weight has long been known to improve a person’s overall health, but these studies are important reminders of exactly how it can help obese patients. And, for obese patients who have struggled with dieting, weight loss surgery with Dr. Feiz & Associates is one of the best ways to lose weight.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Is Sugar Our Most Dangerous Enemy?

There has long been pretty broad medical agreement that the refined sugars which are now so accessible to us, not only in its pure form like we might add to our coffee or tea, but far more pervasively in soft drinks, candies, pastries, frozen desserts, and even in some foods we might not think of as particularly sweet, are generally bad for us and a major culprit in the obesity epidemic. Still, the World Health Organization (WHO) took an interesting step this week by publicly urging all of us to keep our consumption of sugar to only five to ten percent of our daily intake of calories, roughly half of the current amount most people consume.

It's impossible to argue that consuming a very small amount of refined sugar -- as opposed to the natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables -- isn't an excellent idea. Still, we also want to argue for an overall healthy lifestyle when it comes to eating. The potential problem with singling out sugar as a villain is that, for obese individuals, the crux of the problem is simply too many calories from any source, not just sugar, but also fat and even protein, which can sometimes be too much of a good thing. While it's very true that sugar may be the main dietary downfall of many obese individuals, for others it's the terribly fatty and simple-carbohydrate rich foods we all know such as grease-laden burgers, fries, pizza, hot dogs and so on. To tell these people they are somehow on the right track because they skip desserts and drink a sugar-fee soda with their double cheeseburger and large fries is obviously misleading.

At Dr. Feiz & Associates, we focus on overall consumption and how to avoid over-consuming calories -- any kind of calories -- by dealing with the problem directly at it's source: the appetite. If you are severely obese and need help, just give us a call. It's likely there's a great deal we can do.