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Dr. Higa’s Patients’ Success

I didn’t realize I had a weight problem until I started having health issues and began making better decisions about my food.  I had been considering weight loss surgery for two years before I finally met Dr. Higa.

Working with Dr. Higa and his team has been amazing in every way. I am so thankful to them for giving me back my life!

After undergoing weight loss surgery, I feel like a million bucks. I no longer have knee pain, I no longer snore, and I can now walk and play with my grandkids.

-Martin G.

My weight kept me from playing with my kids, being able to take them to the park and chase after them. My blood pressure was pretty bad as well.

I put off weight loss surgery for about a year in the hopes I could lose weight on my own. However, motivation and lack of confidence kept me from doing so.  I absolutely loved this team. Everyone was so nice and understanding.

In the last 7 months, I have more energy to run after my toddlers. I do more around the house, I’m riding a bike again and overall I am happier.

-Alicia R.

Before weight loss surgery, I was unable to do family activities with my wife and son. Flying was impossible, hiking or even walking anywhere was a no.

It was about a year of doctor appointments and testing before I was cleared for surgery. Working with your office was a dream! Everyone was very friendly and helpful. After the surgery on my first appointment with Dr. Higa, they were so happy to see my progress.

I love being able to do family activities, soccer games, working in the yard, and restoring my grandfather’s

-Josh S.

My life before surgery was very depressing. I didn’t want to go anywhere and I didn’t want to socialize with anyone. I reached the biggest I’ve ever been in my life, 269 lbs. and a size 4x! At my height of 4’11 that’s insane! I couldn’t tie my shoes and nothing fit. I was in pain all day, every day. It was exhausting just to get up in the mornings.

After years and years of struggling with my weight, I tried counting calories, cutting carbs, and Herbalife. Some weight would come off, but then I would stop and gain it all back, plus some. I was frustrated with my life. A year before surgery I started watching stories about weight loss surgery and how it has changed so many lives.

Working with Dr. Higa was very easy, and Billie Jo made me feel very comfortable and reassured. After Weight Loss Surgery, I am waking up pain-free! I can go grocery shopping, I’m able to cook without getting tired or running out of breath, and I’m not embarrassed to go out in public.

-Laura M.

Before having surgery I was lazy and unmotivated. I had zero energy and felt achy and tired all the time. I had considered Weight Loss Surgery for years.

Dr. Higa and his entire staff have been so great!

I love the energy I have now after my Weight Loss Surgery. I love having the comfort of shopping knowing most things in a store will fit me.

-Amy R.

Before my surgery, my health was very bad. I had pre-diabetes and other different health problems because I couldn’t lose weight.

I waited three years to have surgery. Once my daughter had her surgery I felt less scared to do mine.  I was very well attended by Dr. Higa and his team. They kept me informed and I felt very comfortable with all of them.

After my weight loss surgery, my knees don’t hurt a lot like they did before.  I have a lot more energy now. And I can bend over to tie my shoes! I am able to control my appetite after surgery as well which is helping me keep off extra weight.

-Luisa G.

In the summer of 2022, my granddaughter turned 13 years old. Her parents and I took her to Maui for her big day! I weighed 267 lbs at the time. We toured a few places while we were there and some were hilly.  My son had to take my hand and drag me up the small hills because I couldn’t make it on my own. I couldn’t breathe and physically ached.

At 5’8″ tall, very active, and having been around 130 lbs for most of my life, not being able to enjoy our vacation was distressing and humiliating, to say the least. My doctor advised me that I was pre-diabetic, had sleep apnea and needed a C-pap, and was experiencing high blood pressure. Needless to say, something had to change.

Dr. Higa and his team were extremely cordial, answered all my questions, and worked with me to get the insurance approvals needed. I felt very comfortable about my decision because of them.

I had my surgery 6 months ago, so far I have lost 70 lbs. and feel fantastic. While I still have a way to go to get back to my fighting weight, I feel great. I am no longer pre-diabetic, do not have sleep apnea and my blood pressure has normalized. Having been an avid rodeoer in the past, I can now ride horses again, which is worth all the time and effort to me. I take walks with my grandkids now and outwalk their pace! The best part is seeing in their faces, how proud they are of me and enjoying our time together.

-Peggy B.

My weight before was affecting my life in any and everything I did. I couldn’t tie my shoes without having to hold my breath. I hated the way I looked completely. I looked “fat” no matter how hard I tried to cover up. Clothes never fit properly. Frumpy is the best word I could use to describe it! Plus size clothes for younger women are not cute, and if they are they are not affordable! My biggest frustration was not being able to feel attractive due to my weight.

I initially started expanding my knowledge in January of 2022. I suddenly lost my dad in December of 2021, and with that came multiple trips back and forth to Texas to handle estate planning and sale. I finally “jumped in” I believe in May or June of 2022! I was TIRED of being fat, unhealthy, and bleh all the time!

From the beginning, the process was fantastic. I have worked with Taylor the most throughout my process. She has always been kind, professional, and excited for me.  If I had questions she couldn’t answer, she would consult with Dr. Higa and get me the answers, or he himself would call me back and answer them directly.

I can’t tie my shoes AND breathe!! I also have noticed that I am able to sit comfortably with my knees to my chest and my arms wrapped around my knees!

-Laci M.

Being an Educator I am on my feet all day. Sometimes when it was time to leave for the day, getting to my car was a prayer. It was hard for me to fit into chairs and clothes. I was not sleeping at night & constantly in pain.

I tried the process once about 5 years ago but mentally wasn’t ready.  Reaching over 400 lbs during the pandemic and going back to school and being exhausted is when I decided I should consider Weight Loss Surgery.

I started working with Dr. Monash first and then started working with Dr. Higa once I had reached all of my needed items for my insurance. Dr. Higa was great and explained everything in great detail.

I love being able to walk, run, stand, and enjoy life with little to no pain. I have so much energy. I eat amazing food in small increments and enjoy things I never thought possible.

-Ellen F.

I couldn’t bend over to put my shoes on, I had a lot of back aches, and was frequently nauseated. I had a lack of energy. I am diabetic & was on 3 different medications before surgery. I also have high blood pressure. Now I take a very low dose of just one diabetic medication & half the dosage of blood pressure medication. I was very frustrated that I could not get my A1C down to a normal range no matter how hard I tried.

I talked to my primary care nurse practitioner about weight loss surgery mainly because of how much medication I was taking for diabetes. She suggested the gastric sleeve, which I had never heard of. She recommended I go see Dr. Higa for a consultation to help me understand the procedure & what changes I would need to make. After I spoke with Dr. Higa, I still wasn’t absolutely sure I would have the surgery. I decided to start the process anyway. After discussing the procedure with my family, they encouraged me to have the surgery. So from the time I first spoke with my primary until I made my decision to have the gastric sleeve, was just a few months. And frankly, I never really considered weight loss surgery until I learned about the gastric sleeve.

Dr. Higa and his team are fabulous. Everyone, Dr. Higa, Billie Jo, and the staff were always so helpful & understanding. All of my questions & concerns were always answered. From my very first appointment, I always felt very comfortable talking to every one of the staff. They are all great.

I can bend over to buckle my shoes, I can walk my dog & do other exercises without getting winded. I have so much more energy, and no nausea anymore. My life has really changed so much for the better, my health is better and I am so happy that I had the surgery. It is the best thing I have ever done for myself.  I highly recommend Dr. Higa!

-Janice W.

I’m 36 years old and I was miserable before this surgery. I couldn’t dance, walk my dog or simply tighten my shoes without being out of breath. I was frustrated every day.  I hated the way I looked.

After trying so many diets I went to the doctor for an annual check-up, but when I stepped on the scale I couldn’t believe how much I weighed. That was when I realized that I needed professional help. After I left the doctor’s office the first thing I did was call Dr. Higa’s office and make my first appointment.

The entire team is awesome!!! They have the answers to all your questions. Taylor was the lady working with my insurance and making sure everything was in order. She’s very kind and professional.

My life now is beautiful! I love dancing and that’s something I don’t struggle to do now. I can also take my dog on long walks around my neighborhood without feeling fatigued. I feel energetic, confident, and healthy. I wish I would have made this decision sooner.

-Cindy F.

Before surgery, I was a working momma who had tried everything in the book for dieting and trying to get back to being healthy.  Nothing worked! I was stuck, nothing was budging, so I made the decision to make a change, I couldn’t fit into clothes, and I wasn’t happy in my body or with myself. I wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin. I loved myself, just not the body and weight I had grown to.

I considered WLS for over 6 months before getting the courage to ask my doctor about it. Luckily I have an amazing PCP who recommended Dr. Higa, and boy is he the best!

I adore Dr. Higa, Billie, Brenda, and everyone there! They don’t judge and they’re straight with you but so compassionate and understanding along with it. Still, over 8 months later, they still are here for me if needed! Best team I could ask for!

Life now is crazy, BUT GOOD CRAZY!  I had to buy a whole new wardrobe and it was scary trying to find small clothes. I kept finding myself in the plus size section but smiling because I knew I’d made it so far to be able to be like “Hey I don’t wear these anymore haha”. It was a little struggle, in the beginning, it was like a break up literally from food but having the support I had from my surgical team and the team at home helped it go well! I’m still learning something new every day. I feel so confident and much more healthy. I look at photos and can’t even believe I once looked how I did. I looked so unhealthy and I looked like I was struggling.  Now I look happy and healthy and can match how I feel inside on my outside! If I had to do it all over again I would 1000x!!

-Haylee V.

My weight stopped me from living a normal life. I wasn’t able to be active with my kids. I could not go to amusement parks and ride the rides with my kids and seeing my kids unhappy made me unhappy. My biggest frustration was looking at myself in the mirror and being disgusted that I made my kids unhappy. I had slight sleep apnea, I was pre-diabetic, and severe asthma.

I went back and forth for about 2 years because I really wanted to try and lose the weight on my own. What made me decide to go for it was the time we went to Six Flags with my family and I was terribly depressed because I could not ride the rides with my kids.

Dr. Higa is absolutely amazing! So supportive and always answered my questions.

Since I started my weight loss journey in Jan 2022 I have lost 115 lbs. I lost 87 lbs since I started meeting with Dr. Higa and his team. I can run, I have more energy to keep up with my 8 and 5-year-old kids and I can go on rides at Peter Piper Pizza with my kids. The smiles on their faces remind me of why I started this journey and that I made the right decision. I have become an inspiration to friends and many people who are following my journey.  I would like to be an advocate for weight loss surgery and just for anyone who wants to live a healthier lifestyle!

-Brittany J.

I had no life before surgery, I had pulled away from my family, my relationship was not going well and I had no energy for my kids. I was in bad moods and depressed all the time and had just absolutely no energy for anything. All I wanted to do was be home and in bed eating.

I had considered weight loss surgery for about 5 years, but it just seemed like an impossible thing to do. We got a new scale at work that was calibrated and I decided to try it and weigh myself.  To my extreme shock, the scale was reading 317 lbs (the heaviest I had ever been). I decided it was time for a change and started dieting and exercising. I got down to 295 lbs but just could not break that. I decided to see my PCP for help because I was exercising 5 days a week, dieting, and taking a lot of pills to complement all of that.  At the same time, my knees and joints were hurting from all the weight. She referred me to weight loss surgery. It was very pleasant working with Dr. Higa and his team!

I love being able to do physical activities! I can now go on runs, something that I had never ever been able to do. I even went skydiving! I enjoy hikes and going to the gym, and I can buy clothing in normal stores now. The biggest thing was that my youngest son hugged me 2 weeks ago and said “mom I can actually reach my hands around you, I can give you proper hugs now”

– Guadalupe R.

I tried every diet out there and nothing worked for me. I was diagnosed with prediabetes. My insurance never approved the surgery, so it took me 5 years to save up for it.

Great experience, great team! Dr. Higa is so great!

Weight Loss Surgery is a lifelong process, and I am taking it one day at a time. And I am feeling great!

– Alejandro G.

My biggest struggle was just living in the skin I was in. I also had heart issues and two strokes and was just unable to live life to its fullest. I had been considering weight loss surgery from the moment I heard about it, which was over 20 years ago.

I absolutely adore you guys. You laughed at my corny jokes. You made me feel better when I was completely nervous, discouraged, confused, and a little manic. There was never a time when I felt I was not being guided through or made to feel comfortable about the procedure. It was just a really good experience having worked with all of you.

My life now is amazing! I kind of walk like a Clydesdale now because I’m not used to not having so much weight to carry around. My confidence is almost through the roof. I’ve lost a total of 60 lbs since November 30th. I am in awe of myself!!!! The weight is coming off so fast. It can get a little scary and exciting from one week to the next. I lose a pound a week. It is amazing to go from a size 26 to a size 16 within such a short amount of time.

– Catherina M.

I am 63 and I knew I was “heavy”. The stress from my work as a physician did not help as I used food as comfort. It seemed I would gain 10+ lbs. every year despite trying to exercise and eat right. My exercise tolerance was poor. I even had difficulty tying my shoes in the morning. I have Hypertension, Sleep Apnea, Gout, Low back pain/Arthritis, and recently had become Pre-Diabetic. I tried a medically supervised weight loss program and made some progress but gained it back rapidly after stopping. I seemed hungry all the time even if I’d had a normal meal. And because of how I felt, I almost completely stopped my volunteer job with the US Forest Service which I loved.

Two of my siblings had the surgery and had done well. Honestly, I had not thought of weight loss surgery thinking only those people with severe/morbid obesity qualified. My personal physician suggested I look into it. Although I am a Physician (Emergency Medicine) I learned very little about the procedure and its multiple benefits. I learned that patients with other medical conditions besides obesity improved. In fact, ALL the conditions I had had the potential to improve with the procedure. Once I learned about these additional benefits, I made the decision to be evaluated for the procedure.

Dr. Higa’s surgical team is outstanding. From the first visit, I felt comfortable and was given information about the process and reading materials to review. The program and process were clearly explained. The team made the extra effort to help me get scheduled during the winter holidays over my work break which allowed me to avoid a 4-month delay. The Nutrition counseling with Zoe and my weekly meetings with NP Billie Jo made for a seamless process. The hospital liaison person has kept in touch during the hospital stay and after. I am now 7 months post-op and feel like my old self in many ways.

– Mark W.

Before my surgery, I was pre-diabetic and had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I would struggle to do everyday things like tying my shoes. I was so tired and never wanted to do anything. I even hated going out in public because I felt like people were staring at me for being overweight. I thought people would judge me for what I was eating. I was miserable! I had been considering weight loss surgery for 6 years before I finally decided to do it. I put it off for so long because I thought I could do it on my own and was just a failure every time I would try to lose weight on my own. My friend inspired me to finally have surgery because she was so successful on her journey.

Dr. Higa’s office and staff are supportive and helpful, and really helped me feel like I was going to change my life, and I have.

The best thing about the surgery is the energy I have. I have no issues keeping up with my life now. I enjoy working out and being busy. I also don’t feel like I am a slave to food.

– Kristina M.

I’m a 46-year-old over-the-road truck driver that has been overweight for most of my life. I didn’t know anything different other than how to live with the struggle of everything. From getting dressed to using the restroom to always burden my friends and family with special accommodations when going to dinner and special events. I’ve been a diabetic for at least 16 years, have high blood pressure, and of course back and leg pain. I always had to order my clothes online because I could never just go shopping for an outfit.

I had been considering Weight Loss Surgery for a couple of years.

Dr. Higa and his team are truly amazing! They are very professional and caring.

I’m 7 months post-operation and I’ve lost 103 lbs. I feel amazing and like I’ve never felt before. I can tie my shoes and sit in a booth at a restaurant. I’ve even flown on an airplane since my surgery. I’m no longer on any diabetes medication or blood pressure medication. I feel like I’ve had a new life given to me!

-Robert P.

First of all, my experience with Dr. Higa was awesome! He did an amazing job! No recovery time! I got this surgery back at the end of March and I have already lost 95 lbs. I feel amazing! The only thing I regret is not getting this procedure a lot sooner.
I have been considering weight loss surgery for 7 years now.

Dr. Higa is a 10 out of 10!

My surgery has been a life-changing experience! I have lots more energy and I am excited about life.

– Michael P.

I didn’t really have any medical problems, but it was very frustrating to be very overweight. In daily life, I wanted to be able to do things, but I was always tired. With little exercise I was already short of breath, shopping was frustrating, and everything I liked didn’t work for me well or I couldn’t find my size.

When my primary doctor told me about weight loss surgery, I had doubts. I was afraid of surgery, but after a month, I made the decision to accept the referral, and when I went to the doctor, I felt very calm

Dr. Higa and his team were always very kind. They answered all my questions and especially in my language. They always supported me in everything!
I feel very happy when I look at myself! I can now do all my daily activities. Everything is better since my body is healthier.

– Zoraida G.

I have struggled with being overweight for 25 years now. At 15 years old I was over 330 pounds. I was in a group home at the time, and I couldn’t even walk because I weighed so much. They helped me get up and walk to lose some weight. I lost some, but I am now 35 and have been over 200 lbs. since I can remember. I struggle with a broken L4 & L5 disk in my back, so my weight never helped. On top of that, I have bad nerves in my back which makes my left side go numb.

A few years ago, I got hit by a car. It was a hit-and-run. I had a concussion, and I was out for over 12 hours. The doctor said that time my WEIGHT saved my life because I was over 300 pounds at the time I got hit. That was the only good thing I got from being overweight. I had fatty liver disease and other health issues.

I always wondered about weight loss surgery, but I was terrified to do it. For 4 years I watched “My 600 Pound Life,” and saw half of what they went through. Two people I know inspired me to go through with surgery, so I did it.
Dr. Higa’s team was great, helpful, and motivated me to go ahead. I can now stand almost all day at work. I am very active now and I’m like a kid with much more energy, most days.

– Nicole B.

Before having weight loss surgery, I was so miserable. I begin to have medical problems. I became a diabetic and began to lose my eyesight. I also started having issues with breathing and started having to sleep with a breathing machine. I was really suffering. Even to go to the grocery store, I would have to get into the little driving carts just to be able to shop and not be out of breath. I couldn’t even tie my shoes, and this was not only hard and frustrating but embarrassing. I had to put an end to all of this, so I decided to begin with surgery.
I kept putting off the surgery for about four years because I didn’t want to take off work. My weight had gotten so bad that I had to just start somewhere. Because I had waited longer, I had gained another hundred pounds or so. I couldn’t breathe and was scared of dying in my sleep.

It has been the best experience ever working with Dr. Higa and his team. They took their time in helping me to prepare for the surgery. All questions were answered to my complete understanding.

– Meriam Thomas

I was always suffering from:
Heart issues

My biggest frustrations were not being able to go anywhere with the kids, I was always embarrassed by how big I was, and being seen by everyone around me. I never had any energy to even get up or make them food, always took the easy route, and had fast food.

I had been considering losing weight for years and it was just me being lazy and embarrassed by being judged that I never wanted to start the process. Seeing that I was 325 lbs. and being fat-shamed by my ex-husband every day until I had enough of it. I finally decided to educate myself and ask my doctor for recommendations.

From the very beginning, I felt comfortable with Dr. Higa and wasn’t even looked at as a patient but as a friend. Starting from the location in St. MARYS the receptionist was amazing, she knew me by name and when I was able to go, she always had a positive attitude. Then, Dolores was always checking to see how I was and not just as part of her job, but she knew I was exhausted with everything going on, I loved how she listened to my boring life and problems and never judged. Billie Jo and Dr. Higa are amazing! They always educated me on how I was doing and what I needed to correct. Dr. Higa always made me feel confident in myself and educated me on the sleeve vs the bypass.

I had my sleeve done in 2019, and today in 2022, I continue to have that connection with them and keep in touch on how I’m doing. After my weight loss surgery, I have my CONFIDENCE back. I’m able to get up every day and think positive thoughts. Yes, I enjoy every day of my life now! I’ve lost so much weight and I was even able to finally get pregnant and now have my baby boy.

– Karla A.

I was carrying so much extra weight that my joints were always in pain; I couldn’t exercise the way I wanted to. I never enjoyed clothes shopping because everything I liked never fit right and I had to buy what fit and cover my bulging areas.
I wanted the surgery, but I could never get my insurance to cover it. I had no idea that I just needed to go see a bariatric surgeon and they could get the insurance company to cover it.

Dr. Higa and his staff are amazing. From my first appointment until now, they always make me feel like I’m their favorite patient. They were always eager to help me and answer any questions, even when I thought asking if I was allowed to chew gum was a ridiculous question.

I love that I no longer crave the bad food that caused me to gain weight. I was a fast-food junkie. My job involves driving and it helped make it too easy to go to the drive-thru than pack a lunch.

– Monica C.

Dr. Higa was amazing!!! He took the time to just sit with me and set all my fears aside. As a personal trainer, I appreciate him so much because I’m now able to teach my classes without back pain from lipoma removal. Dr. Higa is a true angel on this earth!!! I recommend him highly. His staff is also freaking rock stars!!! You never wait, you get and get out the best experience I’ve ever had.

– Kittawarrior

Dr. Higa is one of my favorite doctors! He actually listens to his patients. He cares about your feelings as well as your health. You never feel rushed in an appointment, and you don’t spend hours sitting in the waiting room! His staff is the best around; they are friendly and caring, from the front office to the PA. Do not hesitate to see Dr. Higa!!!

– Sue M.

Dr. G. Higa is very knowledgeable, easy to talk to, and concerned, and describes in detail possible conditions and resolutions to medical problems. He is very personable.

–Glenda B.

Dr. Higa did my gallbladder, hernia, and hemorrhoid surgery. He is an excellent and attentive surgeon and will choose him for any other needed surgeries. Very knowledgeable, well respected in the community, and good with patients.

– J.D.

Dr. Higa is very professional and relaxed. He answered all my questions and informed me of things I didn’t know about. I can’t wait to begin my 6-month program with him to get surgery for weight loss.

– Jamie Lee

My experience [with Dr. Higa] could not have been better. I especially appreciated the kindness and humor of everyone I had contact with. They actually made my procedure a pleasant experience. I was especially grateful for the numbing shot before the IV was inserted. Everything was painless and professional. Thank you all so much.

– Mary Kessler

Dr. Higa did my gallbladder removal almost 3 years ago, and I am hoping he will be doing my weight loss surgery. He is a very nice, professional doctor who cares about his patients. He is really good at his job. I would recommend him to anyone.

– Heather Cezanne

Dr. Higa is one of the BEST doctors I have ever seen! He is caring, as is his entire staff, from the receptionist to his PA, Billie Jo. You never have to wait long at an appointment, even if an emergency arises! If you need a surgeon, don’t look any further!! Dr. Higa will make sure you have the best possible experience!!!!

– S.M.