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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

A Tucson Alternative to Bariatric Surgery in Mexico

September 3, 2021

Tuscon, Arizona offers weight loss surgery close to home with long term follow-up and a board certified surgeon, Dr. Guillermo Higa

When looking for the bariatric surgeon, many of you will have come across advertisements for surgeons and facilities in Mexico. To be sure, pricing in Mexico can be very favorable. There are also several well-trained surgeons and some quality facilities there. However, Dr. Higa and our hospital partners, understanding that our patients should have access to a lower cost cash pay bariatric surgery option, have created a surgical package that offers the highest quality of care with attractive pricing right here in Tucson. in fact, many patients from Mexico come to Tucson to have surgery with Dr. Higa because of their confidence in him as a surgeon, and in our facilities providing the safest possible environment for recovery.

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Drinking Plenty of Water After Bariatric Surgery

August 16, 2021

It’s a given, bariatric surgery or not, that you should drink a sufficient amount of water every day to maintain your health. As a significant cause of readmission to the hospital after bariatric surgery, dehydration is even more of a concern for post-op bariatric patients.

Woman adds a squeeze of lemon to her water to help add flavor when she is trying to stay hydrated after weight loss surgery with Dr. Guillermo Higa

Managing your diet and liquid intake might be one of the trickiest things to achieve after bariatric surgery, but you must commit to these type of lifestyle changes to ensure that the surgery is successful.

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Does Everyone With a Hernia Need Surgery

August 2, 2021

Hernias can be a painful and inconvenient condition that many experience at some point in their life. In fact, men have a 25% chance of developing an inguinal hernia at some point in their lives. A hernia occurs when the fascia abdominal wall weakens and fatty tissue or organs (usually the colon) bulges through. There are over one million hernia repairs performed every year in the United States, which brings to mind the question “Do all hernias need a surgical repair?”

Hernia doctor's hands feel a man's abdomen to evaluate if a hernia needs surgical repair by Dr. Guillermo Higa

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Fad Diets: Are They Effective?

July 19, 2021

Let’s cut straight to the short answer: no., fad diets are not effective – at least not in the long-term.

Glass of green juice and vegetables for juice cleanse trend as recent fad diet proven to be ineffective for health and long term weight loss. Higa Bariatrics logo at top left.

We live in an age where people are looking to lose weight quickly and easily. Social media has provided a platform for all kinds of health conversations and awareness, but along with that comes the spread of misinformation.

We may see a person on Instagram who looks physically healthy and may be promoting meal replacement shakes or restrictive dieting. We may believe that if we follow what they say, we will eventually look like them. This is an unhealthy perspective, and it makes us forget that every body is different. Something that appears to work for someone else, does not necessarily work for us all.

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BMI: What is it?

July 5, 2021

When talking about weight and weight loss, your Body Mass Index, or BMI, is often brought up at your doctor’s office. Your BMI is a rough calculation of body fat based on the formula of your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters squared. This yields a two-digit number that puts your body weight into one of four categories: underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obese.

BMI wheel shows Body Mass Index calculations and categories of underweight, overweight, obese which describes a ratio of height and weight. Higa Bariatrics logo at top left.

Medical professionals use BMI to identify the weight status of individuals and across populations. According to BMI studies, the United States falls 16th in the world for highest obesity rates – having an average BMI of 28.8 and an obesity rate of 36 percent. However, the US has, by far, the highest proportion of obese adults of the largest countries in the world.

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Is Weight Loss Surgery the Easy Way Out?

June 17, 2021

Sadly, many patients postpone their decision to have weight loss surgery because they or others may believe that it is the easy way out and diet and exercise is the only way to lose weight. Sadly, this is far from the truth. In fact, approximately 90 to 95% of patients who follow a diet and exercise regimen alone are able maintain their results over the long term. The other 90 to 95% typically regain their weight and sometimes gain even more weight than they had before. The result is a vicious cycle of obesity and poor health.

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The Difference Between Weight Loss Surgery and Metabolic Surgery

June 3, 2021

Simply put, the term “weight loss surgery” does not fully or accurately describe the benefits of the bariatric procedures we offer. Most patients’ first goal is to lose weight, but for us as clinicians, we are more concerned with the resolution of life shortening and debilitating diseases associated with morbid obesity such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, certain forms of cancer and much more. As a result, there is a significant push in the clinical realm toward renaming weight loss surgery as “metabolic surgery.” Why? Because the surgeries we perform, including the gastric sleeve and the gastric bypass, have a broad effect on our patients’ metabolisms and metabolic health, which in turn has a profound effect on their overall health.

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