Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A New Year's Sleeve?

New Year's resolutions and weight loss seem to go hand in hand. Still, there is a big difference between someone with just 10 or 20 pounds to lose starting a new diet and joining a gym, and a seriously obese person committing to a gastric sleeve or another type of weight loss surgery.

The problem with many of these resolutions is that they tend to create a sense of failure when the big change a person is promising herself fails to materialize. This is especially an issue for people with very large amounts of weight to lose, who have the hardest job ahead of them. It's the case largely because hunger hormones like ghrelin, which can cause us to feel physically hungry even when we know intellectually we have consumed more than enough food, tend to go into overdrive after we begin to lose substantial weight. This is one big reason why people who insist that obese individuals can simply take up a truly healthy lifestyle, as if it was like turning on a switch, are so wrong.

The reason the kind of thoughtfully applied bariatric surgery we employ here works is that, by reducing the capacity of the stomach, we make it less comfortable to overeat and therefore easier to consume a great deal less food than before. In the case of sleeve procedures, the numbers of hunger hormones may also be dramatically reduced, since they remove a portion of the stomach that actually manufactures these chemical signals to the brain that tell us we need to keep eating.

So, if you're severely obese and are ready to make a big change in 2016, resolving to seriously explore a weight loss procedure -- perhaps by attending one of our regularly scheduled free informational seminars -- might be an excellent idea. Regardless, we're here to help all year long.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Trends Come and Go

Because losing a significant amount of weight is so difficult to do, a whole cottage industry has arisen to offer tips, suggestions, and methods for losing weight to the millions of dieters looking for answers. Far too often, these trends are nothing more than ineffective short-cuts that don’t lead to real results. After all, if any of these hip diet trends were scientifically proven to work, then dieters would not move on to new, different crazes each year. Bariatric surgery, on the other hand, does not wane in popularity simply because it has been scientifically proven to be the best method for losing a significant amount of weight.

While it is true that the gastric sleeve has grown greatly in popularity over the past decade, this is because people have only in the past several years realized just how effective it can be at helping patients lose a significant portion of their excess weight. While studies vary, the average patients can expect to lose 50 to 60 percent of their excess weight with weight loss surgery, and see numerous improvements in overall health. Of course, results are more likely to be positive when patients have a committed medical team guiding them through their weight loss journey, and we at Dr. Feiz & Associates aim to do just that.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Best Way to Eat?

If you follow online features and news stories in a regular way, you'll definitely notice a recurring motif that basically asks a seemingly simple question: "What is the best way to eat?" Given our nation's ongoing obesity epidemic, it's clear that this seemingly simple question has a seemingly simple answer: "Less!"

The fact of the matter is that, while we should all be working harder to include more healthy foods -- fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, lean proteins, etc. -- in our daily diet, the biggest challenge increasingly heavy Americans face on the path to a truly healthy lifestyle boils down to the matter of portion control. With our love of outsized steaks, burgers, and ice cream sundaes, to name just a few national delicacies, traditional American cuisine has always been largely about abundance. This dates back to our agrarian past when most people engaged in fairly demanding physical labor on a daily basis, no doubt mitigating the less healthy effects of our nation's love of fatty red meats and fried potato dishes.

Now, of course, we mostly work in offices and, if we get any exercise at all, it's during our off hours at the gym or doing laps around the park, and -- for the most part, anyway -- obese people know better than anyone that portion control is the key to getting healthy again. After all, even if we're eating a diet rich in all the right foods and relatively free of the wrong ones, it's still entirely possible to be obese if we're eating too much of it. The sad truth is that it's a lot easier to alter the type of foods we eat than the actual amounts.

Indeed, the human brain is designed to encourage us to eat more than we might actually need -- after all, it's essential to our survival and through most of human history, food scarcity was a real issue. Our job, at Dr. Feiz & Associates then, is making it easier for people to do something that might feel more than a little bit unnatural...deliberately eat a lot less than we're used to. Fortunately, we're good at it!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sticking with Science

When it comes to losing weight, it seems as though everyone has an opinion about what the best approach is to shed pounds. Some suggest fasting, other restrictive diets, and some recommend intense work-out regimens. No matter what these people say, it is important to separate opinion and conjecture from scientifically proven facts. Luckily, bariatric surgery has quite a bit of the latter to back it up.

Even though doctors and patients have long known many of the benefits of weight loss surgery, studies are constantly coming out that reaffirm the procedure’s abilities to help patients control their appetites once and for all. Rather than other methods of weight loss that are simply supported by anecdotes and claims of “common sense,” weight loss surgeries like the gastric sleeve have a vast library of scientific data and fact to back up their success. Surely there is anecdotal evidence as well – after all, visitors to our website can see the many patient success stories from the patients themselves, and learn exactly how weight loss surgery has helped their lives. Of course, not everyone has the same results, but it nevertheless important to see how losing 50 percent of one’s excess body weight can help people finally achieve a healthy lifestyle.

Friday, December 4, 2015

As Young as You Feel

We serve patients across a broad span of ages at Dr. Feiz & Associates, so a new study reaffirming the safety and efficacy of weight loss surgeries for people 60 and over was definitely of interest. The fact of the matter is that, as medical science improves in term of extending people's lives, we are becoming a more and more aged society.

Not so long ago, people tended to accept a dramatic decrease in their health and the quality of their life as simply a byproduct of getting older. Fortunately, that is no longer the case and people are looking at interventions such as bariatric surgery as a means not only of extending their life, but also of maintaining the quality of their lives.

We all know that obesity leads to such serious health conditions as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. While these conditions are both potentially life-threatening, as medical science has gotten better at saving people lives, they are increasingly becoming as much a matter of the quality of a life as the length of it. Indeed, a growing number of people who had health problems while relatively young are finding themselves surprised to be living well into their eighties and echoing hard-drinking baseball great Mickey Mantle, who famously said that "If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."

It's a funny quote, but the travails that more and more of us go through as we age are not so funny. As more and more people find themselves surviving many years after such health calamities as strokes and kidney failure, the benefits of preventing these events actually become more obvious. Getting such procedures as gastric sleeve are about a lot more than simply extending our lives, it's about something that might be even more important: making sure we're healthy enough to actually our life for as long as we're lucky enough to be alive.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Being Thankful

Thanksgiving has come and passed, and although it is a wonderful time to bond with family and friends, the holiday serves as yet another reminder to obese patients of the difficulties of losing weight. Food is such an integral part of how we bond and get together as humans, but too much of it can lead to excess weight, which brings with it a slew of health problems. At Dr. Feiz & Associates, we do everything we can to insure that patients have the best chance of ridding themselves of these health problems, and the obesity that is causing them.

For those obese patients who spent Thanksgiving wishing that good health was something that they could be thankful for, weight loss surgery may be the answer. While no bariatric surgery is, in any way, a silver bullet solution to obesity, they give patients the tools they need to reduce their food intake to a level that will allow for weight loss. Many patients find that, in a matter of years after their procedure, they have lost a substantial portion of their excess weight and are living a more healthy lifestyle than ever before. After all, what most people want more than anything is to ensure they have good health so they can be around for as many Thanksgivings with friends and family as they can.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Food of the Gods?

A lower calorie ambrosia salad might seem like an odd jumping off place for a blog post for the offices of a noted bariatric surgeon like Dr. Michael Feiz, but the recipe we featured earlier today on Facebook got us thinking.

In Greek mythology, ambrosia was the literal food of the gods. A human being who consumed some might gain a greatly extended lifespan or even immortality. An ancient myth this might be, but it still holds more than a little psychological resonance. After all, we humans are still searching for the perfect superfood and/or miracle cure that can go well beyond the ordinary benefits of a simple healthy lifestyle. It goes without saying that such a special food would also cure a host of troubles, obesity definitely being among them.

Of course, there are no end of products being sold as modern day ambrosia, particularly in the weight loss arena. Although we are loathe to issue blanket statements, at least in terms of defeating severe obesity, it's safe to say that none of them actually work.

It's easy to make light of these products and the people who use them, but when it comes to dealing with obesity,their appeal is very understandable. People who have never tried to lose a large amount of weight simply cannot understand how difficult it is because, essentially, our own body is turning against us. It does this by trying to persuade us that we need to overeat through hormones like ghrelin, which at one time probably helped people survive by providing a sort of hedge against the likelihood of a famine. Since it's production tends to increase as obese individuals lose weight, it's main function today is thwarting our most earnest weight loss efforts.

So, there's no food of the gods and no shortcuts in the fight against obesity. Smaller portions and exercise are the only route to victory. However, procedures like the gastric sleeve can reduce the cravings that make serious weight loss so unbearably difficult for most people. It's not like a gift from Zeus that suddenly gives us the literal body of a Greek god, but it's a little bit like being given a fairly powerful new weapon that help a great deal of winning the battle against obesity. It's no miracle, but it's the best we've got. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

You’re Not Alone

The struggle with obesity can often be an extremely isolating and discouraging feeling. The inability to lose weight with traditional diet and exercise or to keep the weight off after losing it initially can make obese patients feel somehow inadequate. What is important for these patients to understand is that not every person has the same path to a healthy lifestyle. While some people may have found a way to maintain a healthy weight, others may be dealing with a variety of factors including stress, hormones, or an overall hectic lifestyle that make this very difficult. In these cases, it is important for obese patients to remember that, wherever they are in their weight loss journey, they are not alone.

Weight loss surgery success is shown to be greater when patients have the proper support, so in addition to providing resources and information about patient support groups, we at Dr. Feiz & Associates also provide close post-procedure support to ensure that patients are on the right track. After weight loss surgery, patients are faced with an entirely new relationship with food, so it is extremely helpful to talk with people who are familiar with the change, or those who have gone through bariatric surgery themselves.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Show and Tell

We at Dr. Feiz & Associates we're thrilled to be involved in this week's American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASBMS) Obesity Week conference held in Downtown Los Angeles. It was a rare chance to show what we can do with the new needlescopic approach to the gastric sleeve. Broadcasting to the conference from our surgery center in Rancho Cucamonga, we showed the assembled surgeons and other medical professionals how just using four three millimeter incision points, we are able to perform this highly effective procedure -- without altering our methodology in any significant manner.

It's all very exciting from a number of perspectives, but one of the most fascinating aspects is being to show a large audience of our fellow medical professionals precisely how we work, directly from one of the places we work most frequently. After all, it's one thing to try and explain in great detail how a certain type of procedure is performed, it's quite another to actually be able to show, in precise and graphic detail, a large audience how our approach to bariatric surgery can be help patients get the best possible results.

It's an honor, of course, but also a tribute to the level of technology we currently benefit from. After all, the same kind of high-tech that allows us to perform ,minimally invasive miniature camera-assisted laparoscopic procedures also allows us to stream our procedures live and really show what's possible to other doctors and the general public. It's an exciting time to be alive and working in medicine.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Understanding the Exceptions

By doing a simple Google search for “weight loss success,” those trying to lose weight will likely see numerous stories of obese people who were able to overcame obesity by sticking to a long term diet and exercise plan. While seeing these stories can be inspiring, they can also lower someone’s self-esteem by making them feel inferior to the success of another. While we should always admire and respect people able to achieve those results, Dr. Michael Feiz explains that it is important to remember that these stories are often the exception to the rule. Put simply, what we don’t see are the millions of stories about people trying to lose weight who struggle more than they succeed.

Yet, just because losing weight without help is incredibly difficult, that certainly doesn’t mean there isn’t hope. With bariatric surgery, thousands of patients around the country have been able to get rid of their excess weight and keep it off in the long term. It is important that patients remember that weight loss surgery isn’t a silver bullet cure, nor is it giving up. Weight loss surgery is simply the best, medically proven method for conquering obesity and achieving a healthy lifestyle.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Out of Sight, Not Completely Out of Mind

At Dr. Feiz & Associates, we do a lot of thinking about the root causes of obesity. After all, it helps to understand what lies behind an issue like America's massive weight problem in order to do our small part in trying to defeat it. Also, if bariatric surgery is to work as well as it should, the medical professionals behind it need to understand exactly how it attacks the problem of severe obesity.

One idea that we've happened upon is that, for people battling obesity, our senses seem almost hardwired to encourage us to eat. Just today, we had a news items about a recent study which shows that the items people place on their kitchen counters actually play a role in their weight. Turns out, it appears to be helpful to keep healthy, low calorie foods like fruits and vegetables in plain site, while it's better to keep the sugary sodas and cereals and the like in a cupboard (assuming you want them in the house at all).

This is just another sign of how hardwired we all are to eat in excess, at least to some degree. After all, historically speaking, it wasn't all that terribly long ago when most of humanity rarely knew exactly where it's next meal was coming from. If we see food, smell food, or maybe even just hear about food, we're likely to want to eat it and, sadly, that's even more the case for those of us who are struggling with severe obesity.

The good news for people with serious weight issues, of course, is that the gastric sleeve and other procedures really can reduce those incessant food cravings and can make permanent weight loss much more possible. It might never be possible to keep fattening foods forever out of sight, but we can make them a lot easier to resist when we do see them.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Obstacle of Time

When explaining their motivations for selecting weight loss surgery, most patients will tell Dr. Michael Feiz that it is not the simple act of losing weight that they find incredibly difficult, but rather the feat of keeping the weight off over time. Dr. Feiz explains that many of his patients are able to successfully diet in relatively short bursts, losing 10, 20, or even 30 pounds when they can commit to a healthy regimen for several months.

Yet, what happens after those several months are over is a completely different story. Where all of us are with our weight in the present is rarely a fluke, but rather an indication of our innate relationships with diet and exercise. And while it is possible for a strong willpower to overcome these innate behaviors and adopt a healthy lifestyle in the short term, it is often impossible to permanently change who we are on our own. 

Dr. Feiz explains that this is where weight loss surgery comes in. By permanently changing the capacity of a patient’s stomach with the gastric sleeve, it becomes much more feasible that patients will continue to eat less for years to come.  This is how so many of Dr. Feiz’s patients have found tremendous success losing the weight, and why they continue to keep the weight off years after their surgery.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Fear of an Open Door

Halloween is still a few weeks off, but we've been thinking about fear and the question of what it is that humans fear most of all. Well, while there have been polls indicating that some of us fear death slightly less than public speaking, we're willing to bet that mankind's greatest fear is of the unknown. It's what's behind our innate fear of the dark and the reason that creepy movies and TV shows slow down the pace and delay giving us information other productions would wack us over the heads with.

At Dr. Feiz & Associates, we're acutely aware of this because we see how many patients may take years to work up the nerve to finally take a serious look at a weight loss procedure. Of course, a certain amount of caution with a bariatric surgery, or any other surgery, is entirely warranted. However, we're not just talking about trepidation around getting a surgery, understandable as that is; we're also talking about the fear of what life will be like afterwards.

Losing weight is obviously a very good thing. However, if you've been obese for most of your life and have been looking at food as one of your greatest sources of recreation, the idea of changing your relationship with food once and for may be more than a little daunting. Of course, in return for getting to enjoy food only in much smaller quantities, a gastric sleeve or other procedure will also likely show us the way to a healthier and happier life with all kinds of personal benefits.

Weight loss doesn't solve all of problem, but it can open an awful lot of doors. Sometimes, it seems, walking through a door can take some courage. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Choosing a Path

In this day and age, there is not likely anyone who is not aware that their obesity has a strong possibility of leading to long-term health problems. Dr. Feiz notes that the reason why people do not lose weight is not out of lack of knowledge, but because it is an extremely hard task to accomplish. Even when a person makes the commitment to lose weight, they are still faced with the decision of how they will go about doing this. While there are a seemingly infinite amount of fad diets out there, many of these have already been tried by obese patients, and are found to be insufficient in helping them lose weight. For those patients that cannot sustain a lower weight through traditional dieting, weight loss surgery is an outstanding option for a path to a healthy lifestyle.

Even when a patient has decided to choose weight loss surgery, they still have to have a conversation with their surgeon to determine what procedure is best for them. Recently, more and more patients of Dr. Feiz & Associates have been opting for the sleeve gastrectomy procedure because of its ability to deliver fantastic weight loss results with minimal complications. With most obese patients, the benefits of weight loss surgery far outweigh the risks, but it is still important to go to an experienced, board-certified surgeon like Dr. Michael Feiz.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Insurance Question

Luckily, with more and more information coming to light about the advantages of weight loss surgery, both in terms of improving health and in saving money on healthcare costs down the line, insurance companies are becoming increasingly more amenable to providing bariatric surgery coverage.

Still, Dr. Feiz & Associates remind patients that there are still certain criteria that patients must meet before they are considered eligible by these insurance companies. While a patient’s BMI is the most widely used metric for determining weight loss surgery eligibility, these companies are learning more and more that providing coverage with patients that are suffering from co-morbidities is also incredibly important. In fact, new research has showed that, strictly from a financial standpoint, weight loss surgery is perhaps the best investment when performed on patients who are currently suffering from these obesity related diseases.

While achieving a healthy lifestyle should always be the primary goal for those considering weight loss surgery, it is understandable that insurance companies think about the financial aspect of providing coverage when making their decision. Regardless of their motivations, what remains true is that expanding coverage to more patients is a positive step forward in the worldwide fight against obesity.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

We All Have Our Reasons

Contrary to the belief of some in the outside world, weight loss surgery patients never arrive at the the decision to obtain a bariatric surgery on the spur of the moment. Almost all weight loss patients have made a real attempt to lose weight simply by adopting a more healthy lifestyle but, as most of us know first hand, there's a lot more to defeating obesity than a little exercise, eating more vegetables and going easy on sugary sodas, doughnuts and french fries. At the same time, even though weight loss surgery has become extremely safe, it's still a surgery that, if everything goes well, will permanently alter your digestive system. Nobody undertakes something like that lightly.

Here at Dr. Feiz & Associates, we've noticed that, very often, it's one event -- big or small, that finally gets patients to take the big step of getting a weight loss surgery. Sometimes, it's simply a very real scare from another doctor, perhaps the cardiologist warns us that a heart attack might well be on the way, or an endocrinologist might let us know that, thanks to a combination of high blood pressure and diabetes, kidney failure and regular visits to a dialysis center are likely in our future. For others, having children and wanting to be able to keep up with them as they grow-up...and simply to be around for them as long as possible, might be the motivator.

Of course, there is no wrong reason or right reason to take a major step. It just needs to be right reason for you. Helping patients make these decisions, of course, is what those of us in the medical field are here for. If you're unsure of what to do, feel free to give us a call.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Omnivore's Other Dillemma

You may have heard the short and sweet aphorism created by author/food guru Michael Pollan. "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Sounds good, right? Certainly, it's hard to imagine our current massive obesity epidemic if most of us actually followed this plan. Pollan advocates truly enjoying our food, while eating healthier and, for most Americans, at least a bit less of it. Sounds even better.

At the same time, even those  of us who never really struggle with obesity know it's a lot easier said than done. And, of course, for those who do find themselves at the doorsteps of weight loss clinics like Dr. Feiz & Associates, typically we've tried countless times to at least follow the "not too much" part of Pollans's dictum, only to be foiled by the body's tendency to make us feel increasingly hungry the more weight we lose.

Now, we're not arguing that there is no element of individual responsibility for our own weight. The problem is that we're put on a track toward obesity quite early in life and, the older we get, the more set that track appears to be. It's one reason why preventing childhood obesity is so crucial. Still, once we're in our adult years and lacking a time machine with which to undue the bad habits of our younger days, losing weight and then maintaining a truly healthy lifestyle gets more and difficult. Fortunately, we do have at least one tool that works in the form of bariatric surgery, which really does seem to cut the Gordian knot of severe obesity for many of us.

Of course, bariatric surgery isn't for everyone and it's not a silver bullet all by itself. At least for right now, however, it's mostly what we've got.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Scientific Method

Just today, a new study made the rounds across major news outlets that showed just how effective bariatric surgery was at helping patients with Type 2 diabetes. The study showed that about half of all diabetic patients who had weight loss surgery no longer had diabetes five years after their surgery. What’s particular interesting about this study is that not all of the positive effects were correlated with the amount of weight lost, but simply whether or not the patient had weight loss surgery. Typically, patients can expect to likeliness of remission to increase as more weight is lost (through whatever method), yet this study showed that there was likely some other benefit associated with the procedure at work.

Countless patients of Dr. Feiz & Associates have come into their offices severely obese and with a wide range of medical issues, and have found tremendous success with weight loss surgery. Whether they opt for the gastric sleeve or the lap band procedure to help them lose weight, patients of Dr. Feiz take comfort in the fact that they have embarked on a weight loss journey that has been scientifically proven to help patients lose weight and improve their health.

Friday, August 28, 2015

It's Not Just One Thing

If only we lived in a world where the obesity epidemic could be cured with a pint of water.

If you're wondering what we mean by that, we're talking about a study which just came to us via the the UK's University of Birmingham which seems to indicate that drinking a pint of water before meals might add to weight loss efforts. While we certainly support the consumption of healthy H2O at Dr. Feiz & Associates, we are once again forced to remind everyone that there are no magic bullets, only aids to doing the hard work of altering our relationship with food.

Indeed, as much as weight loss surgeries have been proven effective in terms of making significant weight loss a great deal less difficult, even they are not the be-all and end-all of weight loss. The fact of the matter is that everyone who manages to lose even relatively small amounts of weight has cobbled together their own personal collection of strategies for avoiding overeating and maybe also making sure they get enough exercise. It's the key to that all-important "healthy lifestyle" we're always talking about.

On an intuitive level, drinking that pint of water before a meal seems to make sense. After all, at least for a time we will at least be more full on a literal level for as long as the water remains in our stomach, so that might help curb the impulse to overdo it at mealtime. However, even if the water trick actually turns out to work for most people, it will remain just that -- a trick, or a hack in today's parlance, that might assist us in our weight loss efforts a little bit.

Like it or not, however, losing weight for real requires not just one trick, but an entire proverbial bag of tricks. Still, plain old water is good for you, so drink up!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Return on (Time) Investment

For a number of reasons, the most precious commodity in today's medical world is, very often, time. Indeed, for those of us involved with the struggle against the ongoing obesity epidemic, it can be an especially important matter as every patient has his or her own very personal story...and that story is often the key to understanding how best to change the poor eating and lifestyle habits that got them to where they are. That requires investing some time.

For doctors who are working with patients to help them forge the healthy lifestyle they need to make real progress, it can be a challenge to carve out the time needed to really listen to patients and help them make the adjustments they need. When it comes to bariatric surgery, we often point out that, while procedures dramatically lower appetites and make weight loss a great deal easier, it's no magic bullet. Patients still need to make a variety of psychological and physical adjustments and, at Dr. Feiz and Associates, we work hard to help them do just that.

That's why were heartened to hear about a study published in the the journal Patient Education and Counseling. It found that patients who reported a better relationship with their doctor lost more weight in their attempts than others. While the number of pounds the patients lost in the study was a great deal more modest than the kind of results we regularly achieve in bariatric medicine, we believe more firmly than ever that every moment we spend working with patients, whether it's as part of a procedure or just speaking with them in our offices, really does pay off.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Many Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery

While all patients who select weight loss surgery are similar in that they are looking for a way to lose their excess weight and benefit from the various advantages of being thinner, patients can differ in exactly what they are looking for out of their procedure. At Dr. Feiz & Associates, we know that there are many different benefits of a healthy lifestyle, including those that can benefit both physical and mental health.

For years, it has been known that weight loss surgery can have tremendous benefits for patients who are suffering from diseases such as heart disease and Type-2 Diabetes. More recently, studies have shown that weight loss surgery can have certain positive psychological benefits. One such study noted that couples reported greater intimacy after having bariatric surgery

Each individual patient may find that the thing they gain most from weight loss surgery is different than the last patient, and in fact, every patient should be aware that there are no guaranteed results with weight loss surgery. Yet, going to Dr. Feiz & Associates is a good first step that can help turn the decision to go through with weight loss surgery into long-term success.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Go With What’s Proven to Work

As the obesity epidemic grows every year, more and more “methods” are being developed that claim to help people lose weight. Some of these newer methods, devices, and strategies have more evidence than others in their ability to actually deliver weight loss results, but on the whole, they are all relatively untested. At Dr. Feiz & Associates, we practice the very best, most cutting-edge weight loss procedures that have also been proven to be effective.

The sleeve gastrectomy procedure has helped countless patients of Dr. Feiz lose their excess weight and keep it off in the long term. While there are truly many paths to a healthy lifestyle, there are few that result in as consistent, rapid weight loss as bariatric surgery with a talented surgeon like Dr. Feiz. While it is true that no two patients experience the same weight loss journey, and some may experience more weight loss than others, being properly cared for and prepped for the procedure by a skilled medical team is very important. While the sleeve gastrectomy is a procedure that is proven to help many patients get healthy, Dr. Feiz understands the importance of being prepared both mentally and physically to get the very best results.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Teach Your Children

There's no getting around it, a major part of of the ongoing obesity epidemic is directly related to the frightening increase in childhood obesity that has risen up alongside the adult version. It’s an important matter, because childhood is the time when both unhealthy and healthy lifestyle habits are both formed. Indeed, our brain appears to be more malleable at that age and it may be easier to make big adjustments than later on in in life.

The reason we are talking about this today is because of a pair of studies that have popped up this week about kids and obesity. One noted an increase in the problem during the summer months, when many kids are out of school and have fewer restriction, and other noted that children of parents who are less knowledgeable about health were also less likely to engage their children in various types of weight loss efforts. Of course, as all adult dieters know, trying to lose weight and actually losing weight over the long term are two very different things, and many of us grown-ups also tend to eat more when idle and a bit bored. The bottom line is that it's clearly important to work on children's health habits, particularly if they appear to be obesity prone.

The fact of the matter is that bariatric surgery really does appear to be the best solution for most adults with severe obesity, since significant and permanent weight loss appears to be nearly impossible for most people of that age to achieve. At the same time, being able to prevent adult obesity by nipping it in the bud in childhood, when that might well be a vastly easier goal, is clearly the best solution of all.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Shedding the Myths Surrounding Weight Loss Surgery

When someone searches for news involving bariatric surgery, they can nearly always find recent article or opinion piece explaining either the benefits or the low risk of complications associated with the procedures. Yet, in 2015, it is not as though these facts are new.

The repetition of these stories points to the fact that many people hold on to preconceived ideas of the safety and efficacy of procedures. While some of these opinions may have been rightfully formed in the early days of bariatric surgery where a gastric bypass is the only option, new procedures like the sleeve gastrectomy have been shown time and time again to be relatively safe and effective.

While there are certainly many paths to a healthy lifestyle, weight loss surgery can be the most effective methods of weight loss for severely obese patents. Because individuals are realizing this through their own research everyday, it may seem like many of the press surrounding weight loss surgery is saying the same thing. Either way, the things that are being said are overwhelmingly positive. And, while the benefits of the procedures certainly outweigh the risks, it is still important to trust your surgery to a talented team like Dr. Feiz & Associates.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Good Health Without Shame

A number of news stories and social media items over the last few days are dealing with the concept of fat shaming. From the young Christian newlywed who gently responded when Reddit users made fun of her new husband's weight, to the #NoOneBody campaign to fight the emphasis on ultra-skinny/perfectly toned models in advertisements in the UK, there are times when it seems like the body positivity movement and the all too real obesity epidemic are at cross purposes. We don't think it's quite the case. For starters, fat shaming has never made anyone healthier; there's nothing good about making people feel bad about themselves.

Moreover, as to our work in work in weight loss medicine, it's worth pointing out that, first and foremost, bariatric surgery has never been intended to be a cosmetic procedure. In fact, while patients may find that they like their appearance better once they have lost their weight, relatively few of them end up with the kind of "beach bodies" we see on TV every night. It's not about looking perfect (whatever that means) and it's all about being healthy.

The fact of the matter is that, whatever shape we are in, we should feel as good about ourselves and our appearance as we can, and this includes people who might medically be defined as obese. It's just an unfortunate fact of life that obesity, particularly in its more severe forms, has a large number of physical consequences that can shorten a life and drastically reduce its quality. Our goal at Dr. Feiz and Associates is simply to make it more possible for patients to maintain the healthy lifestyle they need to have the longest, best life possible. There's definitely nothing to be ashamed of in that.

Friday, July 10, 2015

What's New With Weight Loss Surgery?

As the world obesity epidemic continues to be a problem, and the field of weight loss surgery continues to grow, more and more medical research is being focused on the short and long term benefits of weight loss surgery. Several times a month the results of one of these studies is released with news that far more often than not shows various health benefits that weight loss surgery can have.

Recently, many publications have picked up on a study that showed how weight loss with weight loss surgery may actually be a better approach to combat obesity-related type-2 diabetes compared to traditional behavioral modifications. While simply adopting a healthy lifestyle may work for some patients, the results showed that, on average, weight loss surgery patients fared better on all accounts.

These results are great news for any diabetic patient considering weight loss surgery. While previous studies had already shown that weight loss surgery can often lead to better blood sugar levels or even remission of the disease, this comparison to other methods of weight loss makes the choice of bariatric surgery that much clearer.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

What's in a Name?

A lot, apparently, if you're marketing food items. A new study in the Journal of Market Research found that people who were trying to lose weight ate more of a trail mix-type product if it was called a "fitness snack," even though trail mix is not exactly a low calorie food.

Alas, this is not surprising news if you've been following the attempts of Americans to pursue a more healthy lifestyle over the last few decades. Many of us can remember the mania for fat-free foods, which were often filled with sugar and plenty of calories. Today, no doubt, some people think that gluten-free pizza is a health food when, in fact, it's often simply the same fattening, starch-and-fat laden product, only without gluten.

It would be a little bit silly to blame all of America's very serious obesity epidemic on labeling fads and fancies alone, but the truth of it is that people facing these issues are often subconsciously looking for excuses to engage in the kind of eating that led them to their obesity in the first place. It's no panacea, but one good habit to take up is actually looking closely at the labels of the foods you buy. Look beyond the name and the packaging and ask a few crucial questions: How many calories does a product have? How much fat and added sugar? Does it have any fiber to speak of? What about protein and carbs? How about vitamins and other nutrients?

It's just one small part of the puzzle, but here at Dr. Feiz & Associates, we encourage people to really do their best to understand the foods they put in their body.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Keeping Ourselves Accountable

According to a recent article on weight loss, doing daily weigh-ins and continuously tracking your weight during any type of diet, exercise, or weight loss regimen can lead to more positive results. This makes sense, as Dr. Feiz & Associates always stress the importance of being committed and accountable on your own personal weight loss journey.

Especially after bariatric surgery, it is important for a person’s weight loss journey to always be one of their top priorities. While many people may not like the idea of constantly having to monitor what they eat or how much they weigh, being obese can be a detriment to a person’s health, so it is vital that each and every one of us put in the work to ensure success. While putting in the work once your procedure is performed is essential, it is also incredibly important to select the right procedure with the right doctor. By choosing a gastric sleeve with Dr. Feiz, you are taking the first step in keeping yourself committed to a weight loss journey that has transformed the lives of countless similar patients.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Exercise vs. Diet Conundrum

Pediatrician and health care blogger Aaron Caroll has an interesting post up today on The New York Times web site. In it, he takes a strong position that, when it comes to weight loss, reducing the intake of calories through diet completely trumps  increasing the expenditure of calories via exercise. At the same time, he acknowledges the many extremely dramatic health benefits of exercise.

At Dr. Feiz & Associates, our attitude is that much of this is beside the point, particularly for severely obese patients. A great many people try every single day to lose weight primarily by lowering their caloric intake, but the statistics speak for themselves: most people simply can't reduce their intake sufficiently for a long time without the help of a bariatric surgery.The reasons for this are many but boil down to one reality: people who drastically reduce their caloric intake feel hungry nearly all of the time, even though they know intellectually they are consuming enough food.

Indeed, the fact that it's takes quite a bit of time to exercise away the caloric equivalent of a single glazed donut pretty much demonstrates the reality that exercise alone is no magic bullet for obesity. On the other hand, the countless proven and very real benefits of exercise also show that, if nothing else, regular vigorous exercise is perhaps the best antidote we have for the worst ravages of obesity, even if it doesn't do as much as we'd like to cure obesity itself.

The prescription for most severely obese people is pretty clear. Yes, do whatever you can to stop overeating. Execise, too, as much as you can. And, in the likely event you're not making much headway against your obesity, consider exploring whether a gastric sleeve or another weight loss procedures is best for you.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Sleep-Obesity Connection

Sleep is easily the most mysterious and least well understood of any of our vital bodily functions. With all of today's vast medical knowledge it's still a fact that scientists are not even exactly sure why we need to sleep, though it's clear that we can't survive very long without it.

As specialists in weight loss surgery in Los Angeles, we're obviously especially concerned with how, on the one  hand, obesity impacts sleep and, on the other hand, how sleep, or the lack of it, may impact obesity. Specifically, obesity is pretty directly associated in many patients with the condition known as sleep apnea. This is a condition in which sleep is constantly interrupted, resulting in fatigue, depressions and numerous other health risks, some of them quite serious.

Even more interesting, however, are a number of studies showing how poor sleep is related to excessive eating, which is obviously pretty closely related to obesity. Indeed, according to one study we came across from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the hunger hormone ghrelin appears to increase as quality sleep decreases. That's especially interesting to us at Dr. Feiz & Associates because we've been at the forefront of spreading the world about how sleeve gastrectomies appears to greatly reduce the production of ghrelin, which is produced in an area of the stomach that is removed during this type of bariatric surgery.

So, if severe obesity is making you lose sleep...or if losing sleep is making your severe obesity worse...there's a lot that we can do. Give us a call.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Remember the Power of Revision!

Both the Lap Band and the Gastric Sleeve have been shown to be extremely effective procedures that allow obese patients to finally overcome the burden of obesity. Yet, there are some Lap Band patients that, for reasons involving both complications and insufficient diet modifications, decide to have their band removed. While this is an appropriate choice for some bariatric surgery patients, it’s important for them to remember that a revision to a gastric sleeve is another option that typically works wonders for struggling Lap Band patients.

At Dr. Feiz & Associates, we give our patients guidance throughout every step of the weight loss journey, and for those who simply cannot adjust to the new relationship with food required for Lap Band patients, a revision surgery may be in order. Of course, every patient is different. For anyone struggling to lose weight with the Lap Band, the first step is always to talk to our expert team and have a one-on-one consultation to determine what the next step should be. If you are concerned in even the slightest way, please do not hesitate to call our offices today!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

It All Comes Down to Appetite

If you've spent much time in organized weight loss groups, you've probably heard more than your share of discussion about the difference between appetite and hunger. The idea seems clear enough, we might feel like eating for a host of reasons, but that's not the same as actually needing to eat. While it's true that sometimes we eat out of boredom or to deal with certain feelings or simply because we love donuts, obesity is not nearly that simple.

While it helps to learn to deal with emotional eating, that's only one small part of the problem. As we have learned at Dr. Feiz & Associates, as we lose get serious about restricting our eating, very strong feelings emerge wich can be almost impossible to distinguish from genuine hunger.

You see, the more overweight we are, and the more weight we lose, the stronger and more impossible to ignore these feelings become. Indeed, even people trying to lose relatively small amounts of weight can find themselves obsessing over food while dieting. That's why there's a need for bariatric surgery; people who have a lot of weight to lose, and who need to keep it off for the long term, need help suppressing these pangs that feel so very close to true hunger.

That's also why many of us get so frustrated when we hear uninformed people describing a weight loss surgery as "the easy way out." The fact of the matter is that, for most people, it's the only workable way out of obesity.

If you've found attempting to lose significant amounts of weight and/or trying to keep it off, an all but impossible task, then weight loss surgery in Los Angeles with Dr. Feiz might your very best option. Call us today.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Making the Best Choices

Earlier today we saw a news story about more diverse food offerings, including some very healthy choices, being promoted as possible movie theater snacks. Moreover, it seems like every day we read an item about this or that giant fast food chain offering selections that might actually be considered compatible with a healthy lifestyle. At the same time, it's hard not to be discouraged when so many of these healthier offerings turn out to be short-lived promotions, not long-term changes.

Yet, if you look at the relatively recent history of food and drink marketing in America, changes do occur. When Starbucks first began opening locations nationwide in the 1990s, many visitors found their coffee unduly strong, simply because it was so different from the typical U.S. coffee of the time. Now, of course, most coffee lovers are used to Starbucks stronger tasting coffee. (Whatever harm they are doing, vis a vis the obesity epidemic, with some of their very sugar and fat laden desert drink offerings is a separate matter.)

Of course, it's up to all of us to actually take advantage of whatever healthy choices we see, whether we're at McDonald's, the local convenience store, a movie theater, or even just shopping at the supermarket. At Dr. Feiz & Associates, we know two things: 1. Our overall health is an accumulation of the big and small choices we make every day and 2. If we buy healthy things, companies will be encouraged to keep offering them.

By itself, none of this is going to cure obesity, but the more healthy stuff we eat, and the more unhealthy choices we avoid, the better off we'll all be. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

For Men and Women, Weight Loss Surgery is an Equal Opportunity Issue!

Recently, a new study came to light concerning the demographic breakdown of patients of bariatric surgery. The most striking numbers showed that the numbers were dramatically skewed toward women, and that, by far, more female patients undergo weight loss surgery than men. According to the numbers, women make up 80% of all bariatric surgeries performed. As a highly experienced and respected center for bariatric surgery, here at Dr. Feiz & Associates we think these numbers are problematic because it means severely obese men are less likely to seek out and receive the treatment they need to achieve a healthier lifestyle. 

Though some incorrectly believe that weight loss is primarily a women’s issue, the truth is that obesity affects men and women equally. In fact, obesity rates in America are nearly equal for both sexes. Further still, the reasons to pursue weight loss surgery in Los Angeles and beyond are not cosmetic. Severe obesity is linked to major medical issues that include diabetes, heart attack, and stroke to name a few. Weight loss surgery is proven to be the best method to combat severe obesity and improve the quality of life. Living a better, happier, longer, and more healthy life is something both men and women deserve!