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Dumping Syndrome. What It Is and Why We Love It

January 21, 2022

Man eats a sugary, high fat snack and suffers with symptoms of dumping syndrome after his gastric bypass surgery

Dumping syndrome is a postoperative concern primarily for gastric bypass patients. Dumping, also known as rapid gastric emptying, occurs when food from the stomach passes into the small intestine largely undigested. While this may seem relatively benign, and it certainly isn’t life-threatening, dumping can cause significant symptoms including tiredness, sweats, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms associated with low blood sugar.

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Maintaining Muscle Mass After Bariatric Surgery

January 7, 2022

 A significant challenge for anyone trying to lose weight, but especially somebody who has just had bariatric surgery is maintaining muscle mass while also significantly restricting their calories. Unfortunately, as we reduce our caloric intake, the body tends to use muscle mass for energy and the result can be a general sense of weakness, less definition in the body and less energy.

Woman in gym works on resistance exercise to build and maintain muscle mass during weight loss

This is especially problematic after bariatric surgery where muscle mass is one of the best long-term weight loss tools that you can develop. Why? Muscle burns significantly more calories at rest than the same weight in fat. That means, if you build your muscle mass, you’ll be losing more calories every single day.

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What Is Dumping Syndrome and How It Can Help You Stay on Track

December 17, 2021

Ask any gastric bypass patient about dumping syndrome and you will likely be met with a distinct look of dread. Dumping syndrome is something that almost every bypass patient has experienced. So, let’s learn a little bit more about the gastric bypass and why dumping syndrome happens.

Man holds abdomen in discomfort after a fatty meal due to his dumping syndrome after weight loss surgery

Dumping syndrome is also known as rapid gastric emptying – when solids and liquids move from the stomach into the small intestine too quickly. Rapid gastric emptying occurs in bypass patients more frequently than gastric sleeve patients, for example, because the valve between the stomach and the small intestine is cut away during a bypass and a replacement valve is created surgically. This new valve does not offer the same closing pressure as the original anatomy. Therefore, when patients eat high fat, high sugar or large meals, or when they drink liquids during their meals, the contents of the stomach can empty into the small intestine too soon.

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Preparing for Holiday Eating

December 3, 2021

There is a definite weight and stress-boost that comes with even LOOKING at the family calendar around the holidays. From Halloween to the New Year’s resolution, we pack those dates with family get-togethers, work obligations, school parties and bake sales, candy, and sweets fundraisers, trick-or-treating and the aftermath, and endless buffets. We wash it down with spiced cider, eggnog, champagne, grown-up beverages, hot chocolate and then we do it again.

Holiday table is set for a feast, but how should a bariatric patient navigate holiday eating?

And when we reread that, no one can argue that there needs to be a method to this madness.

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Why Is the Gastric Sleeve the Most Popular Bariatric Procedure?

November 19, 2021

The gastric sleeve also known as the sleeve gastrectomy is currently the most popular bariatric procedure in the United States. However, it was once just a (very successful) 1st part procedure to a larger duodenal switch. In fact, it was the unexpectedly excellent outcomes of the sleeve that vaulted it into the ranks of major surgical procedures and covered by most insurances including Medicare.

Medical Illustration of the most popular weight loss surgery option the gastric sleeve with Dr. Guillermo Higa in Tucson

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The Ideal Gastric Bypass Patient

November 5, 2021

The gastric bypass has been the gold standard in bariatric surgery for several decades. By combining restriction and malabsorption, it offers the best potential weight loss of the major bariatric procedures available today. And while the gastric bypass is no longer the most performed bariatric procedure in the United States (gastric sleeve is), it can still be the best option for patients looking to lose weight and eliminate certain obesity related diseases.

In this article, we will address the two main obesity related diseases that the gastric bypass is ideal for – type-2 diabetes and gastroesophageal reflux disease or Gerd.

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Hernias & Hernia Surgery – Truths and Myths

October 22, 2021

Surgeon reaching for a piece of hernia mesh to repair an abdominal hernia is Tucson, Az

Hernia surgery is one of the most performed general surgical procedures in the United States and around the world. Of all the hernia surgeries performed every year, inguinal hernia surgery is the most common. An inguinal hernia is a hernia in the groin area and disproportionately affects men over women. About 750,000 inguinal hernias are repaired every year out of the million-or-so total hernia repairs. Hernia repair has improved both in safety and efficacy over the years. With better technique and better technology, we have reduced recurrence rates significantly while also reducing the likelihood of post-hernia chronic pain. However, despite these massive improvements, there are still many misconceptions about hernias and how we repair them. In this article, we will discuss some of those truths and myths.

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Dr. Higa Achieves MBSAQIP Reaccreditation

October 15, 2021

During your research into bariatric surgery, you may have heard of a MBSAQIP Accreditation. MBSAQIP is a long acronym that describes the national standard for bariatric surgery: the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program

Dr. Higa has performed over 1000 bariatric surgeries that have helped patients lead a happier and healthier life.

Dr. Guillermo Higa recently stood as the MBS Medical Director on the Carondelet St. Mary’s Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Committee for MBSAQIP reaccreditation. This designation ensures that they can continue to serve the greater Tucson community with safe and quality care for patients as a Comprehensive Bariatric Facility.

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Does Having Gallstones Increase Your Risk for Gallbladder Cancer

October 1, 2021

Gallbladder illuminated in medical illustration highlighting conditions of the gallbladder that may require removal by a surgeon like Dr. Guillermo Higa in Tucson, Arizona

You might be surprised to know that many, many people have gallstones. By some estimates this may be upwards of 15% of the entire US population. Gallstones come in different shapes and sizes. One may have a single large gallstone or thousands of stones the size of grains of sand. Similarly, gallstones do not necessarily translate to gallbladder issues. Millions of Americans live with gallstones and never have a problem at all. However about 20% of patients with gallstones will ultimately develop symptoms that can include nausea, vomiting, pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, especially after eating a high fat or large meal, and general malaise. For this subset of patients, gallbladder surgery or cholecystectomy is usually required to eliminate the pain.

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The Benefits of Bariatric Surgery Beyond Weight Loss

September 17, 2021

The topic of this blog is particularly interesting because while the most visible benefit of bariatric surgery is weight loss, it is not the most important nor is it the one that we focus on. In fact, we consider weight loss to be a very welcome side effect to the true purpose of bariatric surgery – disease improvement and/or resolution. What does that mean exactly?

Healthier blood sugar levels and type 2 diabetes resolution is one of the many benefits of having bariatric surgery according to Dr. Guillermo Higa

When we talk to a patient about bariatric surgery, we want them to understand that this procedure is about their health, longevity, and ability to perform activities that keep them healthy in the future. It is not about looking better or having a better social life or even having better prospects in work and elsewhere. The weight loss process after bariatric surgery is hard work and not everyone is ready for that. In fact, we stress the idea that bariatric surgery is a very personal decision and patients must be comfortable with the hard work ahead. Continue reading

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