Choosing Bariatric Surgery – A Weighty Decision

Making the decision to have any type of bariatric (weight-loss) surgery is not a choice to take lightly. It’s not about looks—although you will look better. It’s not about pleasing other people—although they will be pleased, and so will you.The biggest benefit of weight-loss surgery is you’ll be healthier.

There are several different weight-loss operations that are currently available that can lead to this desired result. This brief overview can help you understand the options available. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda to get expert advice on which treatment could be right for you.

Bariatric surgery contributes to weight loss in two main ways:

  • Surgery is used to physically limit the amount of food the stomach can hold, which limits the number of calories you can eat.
  • Surgery is used to shorten or bypass part of the small intestine, which reduces the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs.

Four common types of weight-loss surgery are:

  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
    • The surgeon creates a small pouch at the top of the stomach. The pouch is the only part of the stomach that receives food. This greatly limits the amount that you can comfortably eat and drink at one time.
  • Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding
    • A band containing an inflatable balloon is placed around the upper part of the stomach and fixed in place. This creates a small stomach pouch above the band with a very narrow opening to the rest of the stomach. Because food now bypasses a portion of the small intestine, fewer nutrients and calories are absorbed.
    • Gastric banding restricts the amount of food that your stomach can hold, so you feel full sooner, but it doesn’t reduce the absorption of calories and nutrients.
  • Sleeve gastrectomy
    • Part of the stomach is separated and removed from the body. The remaining section of the stomach is formed into a tube-like structure. This smaller stomach cannot hold as much food. It also produces less of the appetite-regulating hormone ghrelin, which may lessen your desire to eat.
    • Sleeve gastrectomy does not affect the absorption of calories and nutrients in the intestines.
  • Duodenal switch with biliopancreatic diversion
    • This procedure begins with the surgeon removing a large part of the stomach. The valve that releases food to the small intestine is left, along with the first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum.The surgeon then closes off the middle section of the intestine and attaches the last part directly to the duodenum. This is the duodenal switch.
    • The separated section of the intestine isn’t removed from the body. Instead, it’s reattached to the end of the intestine, allowing bile and pancreatic digestive juices to flow into this part of the intestine. This is the biliopancreatic diversion.
    • As a result of these changes, food bypasses most of the small intestine, limiting the absorption of calories and nutrients. This, together with the smaller size of the stomach, leads to weight loss.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are considering bariatric surgery, Schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his team of experts can help you choose the right option for you.

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Remake Memorial Day! Healthy Cookout and Picnic Recipes

Red, White and Blue Picnic Table SettingKicking off summer with a food-filled celebration? It’s easy to give in to tradition and indulge in unhealthy barbeque favorites like cheeseburgers, heavy mayonnaise-laden salads, and sugary desserts. There are plenty of ways to lighten up your menu without sacrificing flavor, though. Whether you’re hosting your own feast or contributing to a potluck party, here are a few ideas to slim down your Memorial Day menu, while keeping the offerings traditional and delicious.

Burgers are a must at any cookout, but they don’t have to be greasy and full of fat. This year try this healthy twist:

Maybe a picnic is more your style; if so, the perfect take-along protein is fried chicken, right? Unfortunately, anything fried is not usually one’s healthiest choice. Try this remake for a delicious option:

With your healthy main dishes ready, it’s time to think about a yummy side dish, and nothing says picnic or cookout than creamy potato salad. This particular dish is usually full of mayo, but this recipe keeps it tangy and low fat:

Asparagus is the quintessential summer veggie, and grilling it is a fabulous and healthy way to showcase it’s wonderful earthy flavor. It’s easy!

Finally, what’s a celebration without a luscious, decadent dessert? Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean that you have to give up all sweets. Here are a couple of fantastic dessert ideas. First this delicious cobbler will leave you satisfied:

Second, traditional no-bake cookies are rich, chocolatey, and sweet, but these small drop cookies have healthy oatmeal, peanut butter, and cocoa, so eaten in moderation they are still a good option for a sweet treat:

Dr. Heidi Ryan and her team wish you and your loved ones a fun, safe, and healthy memorial day weekend! If you live in the Las Vegas area and are considering bariatric surgery, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ryan. She can help you find the right treatment option for your situation.

Things are Heating Up! Exercise Safely this Summer

Summer is upon us, and many people flock outside in warm weather to jog, play basketball, or do yard work. Unfortunately when the temperature rises, easy exercise becomes a huge physical undertaking, and intense exercise can even be deadly.

Here are some important tips to protect yourself in extreme summer heat:

  • Drink up.
    • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
    • Drink early and at regular intervals.
    • A good way to know that you’re hydrating properly is by checking the color of your urine. If it’s pale yellow (think lemonade), you’re well hydrated. If it’s darker (heading toward the color of apple juice), drink more.
  • Avoid the hottest part of the day.
    • Rise early to catch the cool of the morning, or go out at sunset or later.
    • In the heat of midday, take cover under shade or jump in a pool.
  • Ease up.
    • If you’re used to working out in cooler climates, take it easy at first.
    • accept the fact that you can’t do what you normally do.
  • Wear light-colored, lightweight clothing.
    • Dark colors absorb the heat, which can make you feel as if you’re wrapped in a warm blanket.
    • Heavyweight, tight-fitting clothing will also heat you up. Keep it loose. Keep it light. More air will be able to circulate over your skin, keeping you cool.
  • Know when to say, “I’m going inside.”
    • Pay heed to the heat.
    • Listen to your body.
    • If you’re feeling any of the following, find air-conditioned comfort fast.
      • Weakness
      • Light-headedness
      • Dizziness
      • Paling of the skin
      • Headache
      • Muscle cramps
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Rapid heartbeat
  • Finally, if it’s just too hot, stay indoors in the air conditioning and exercise!

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are suffering from health problems due to obesity, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his team of experts can help you find the right treatment for you.

man throwing water over his head for cooling under heat and summer sky

Acid Reflux – Learn about Symptoms and Treatments

Almost everyone has heartburn now and then. Unfortunately, heartburn is also the most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic disease that causes ongoing pain and burning in the chest and throat. GERD is also called acid reflux disease. Untreated GERD can cause serious health problems. The acid can damage your esophagus and make it hard to swallow. In some people with GERD, the cells in the esophagus can become abnormal. These abnormal cells could lead to cancer of the esophagus, although this is rare.

You should talk to your doctor if:

  • heartburn happens 2 or more times a week
  • heartburn gets worse
  • heartburn happens at night and wakes you from sleep
  • you have difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • your discomfort or pain interferes with your daily activities

sick old man suffering from heartburn, acid refluxThere are several reasons why people have GERD. One possible reason has to do with the muscle at the bottom of the esophagus. Normally, this muscle closes to keep food and stomach acid from coming back up the esophagus. In some people with GERD this muscle does not always work right.

There are some diet and lifestyle changes that you can make that can sometimes ease the symptoms of GERD. These include maintaining an upright posture until meals are digested, raising the head of your bed, or inserting a triangular wedge to keep your esophagus above the stomach. Gravity is your friend! Avoid large meals, especially late in the day. Try to make your main meal the mid-day meal.

Other treatments include:

  • Medication
  • Surgery
  • Endoscopic treatments

If you suffer from GERD which has not responded well to non-surgical treatments, schedule an appointment with Dr. Heidi Ryan to learn about the LINX procedure. You can read more about this innovative treatment for GERD online at:

You Have To Walk Before You Can Run Towards Your Health Goals

Obesity is a major health concern and epidemic in the United States, but healthy living isn’t easy. For some, it comes naturally, but for those folks who are already overweight—large enough that it’s difficult or even painful to do what thinner people can do—it’s even tougher to get started.

A healthy lifestyle is a skill you work and get better at—not a thing you just get up and start doing one day. If you expect to just hop on a stationary bike, start lifting, or turn your diet upside down without challenges or setbacks, you’re setting yourself up for trouble. Approach your health and fitness goals from a place of self compassion and like you would any other skill that you’re learning.

Getting into the right mindset is only half the battle. The rest, obviously, is actually putting your plans into motion. If you’re already struggling with your weight, or if you Fat man runninghave no idea where to start, this can be one of the biggest hurdles to get over. What kind of exercise should you do, and how much?

Seek out exercise that rewards you mentally and emotionally as well as physically. Find things you enjoy doing, at any activity level. Don’t get caught up in the “all or nothing” mindset, where you think you have to buckle down and do an hour of cardio or strength training every other day for the rest of your life—start slow with something you know you can do, even if it’s once a week. It’s more important, especially when you’re getting started, to focus on what you can do and step up from there.

Start slow, and focus on what you’re physically capable of. If you’re heavyset or sedentary, don’t expect an explosive start. Starting light—just doing whatever you can, even if it’s not much—is critically important to building good habits, getting you moving, and acclimating your body to activity. Once you’ve started, listen to your body.

Don’t be afraid to adjust your workout plans as necessary. If you love playing ping pong, but your joints and knees ache every time you play, you may want to tone it back a bit so you don’t hurt yourself doing what you love. Similarly, mix it up a bit and find other things to do as well.

Read more online at:

If you are considering weight-loss surgery and live in the Las Vegas area, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his expert team can help you find the right treatment for your unique situation.

Body Image and Bariatric Surgery

Despite the fact that a primary goal of bariatric surgery is to prevent, improve, or cure Body Mass Index Words Scale BMI Measure Overweight Fat Lossmedical health problems, the psychosocial effects of the surgery can be just as powerful and important. Several studies have reported dramatic positive changes in the body image of patients following weight-loss surgery. So what really motivates people to seek this surgery in the first place?

Body image is loosely defined as a person’s perception of their own physical appearance, or the internal sense of how one’s body appears to others. Although it is a complex subject, research suggests:

  • Body image dissatisfaction is greater in women than in men.
  • A person’s body image is often dramatically different from the way their body actually appears to others.

There is no doubt that there is still a great deal of stigmatization and moralizing about obesity and excess weight in this society. Many scientific studies demonstrate this point. They show that people with excess weight, in comparison with their normal-weight counterparts, are often perceived as being:

  • Less intelligent
  • Lonelier
  • Having less self-control
  • Lazier

While these perceptions are often not true, they still persist and can have a marked effect.

Although body image seems to develop naturally as we mature, there is probably a large part of our body image that is socially derived from real or imagined perceptions, judgments, and comments of other people. When you add this social stigma to a person’s previous failure at dieting, already low self-esteem, and poor body image, it is not difficult to imagine that the idea of significant weight-loss through surgery is appealing for a number of reasons.

There are many sources for motivation, and they should be examined carefully, especially when the subject is weight-loss surgery. Primary motivating factors often include:

  • Health concerns, including medical co-morbidities
  • Improvements in self-esteem, including feelings of self-worth and enhanced body image
  • Increasing physical functioning, including better mobility and ability to accomplish physical tasks
  • Business or job advancement
  • Increased social attractiveness

Read more online about body image at:

People choose to have bariatric surgery for many reasons. If you live in the Las Vegas area and are considering bariatric surgery, schedule an appointment with Dr. Heidi Ryan. She and her team of experts can help you find the right treatment for your unique case.

Healthy Eating is a Balancing Act

We are inundated with stories about how healthy eating can prevent serious diseases like obesity, type II diabetes, and heart disease, but the messages can be mixed about just what that is. Understanding a few things about food and nutrition is a good way to get the answer.

The crucial part of healthy eating is a balanced diet. A balanced diet – or a good diet – means eating from all the different food groups in the right quantities. There are five main food groups: whole grains, fruit and vegetables, protein, diary, and fat & sugar.

  • Whole grain
    • unlike refined grains, still has the bran and the germ attached.
    • we should consume at least 3 ounces of whole grains per day.
    • are rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins.
    • To be really sure something is whole grain, you have to read the label. In the list of ingredients, the word whole or wholegrain needs to appear before the name of the grain.
  • Fruits and vegetables
    • are rich in vital vitamins, minerals and fiber.
    • may protect from developing heart disease, diabetes type 2, and cancer.
    • Most health departments throughout the world recommend that we consume five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. This could include either fresh, frozen or canned, or dried.
    • A portion means either one large fruit, such as an apple, mango, or a banana, or three heaped tablespoons of vegetables. It could also include one glass of 100% fruit or vegetable juice.
  • Protein
    • is the building and repairing of tissue in our body.
    • Protein-rich foods also include essential minerals, such as iron, magnesium, zinc, as well as B vitamins.
    • should make up about 20 to 25 percent of our nutritional intake.
    • The following foods are good sources of protein:
      • Tofu
      • Meat
      • Poultry
      • Fish
      • Eggs
      • Beans
      • Nuts
  • Dairy
    • a good source of calcium which is important for healthy bones and teeth.
    • Dairy products include:
      • milk
      • yogurt
      • cheese
    • Nutritionists say we should aim for low fat dairy products.
  • Fats
    • There are two basic types of fats –
      • saturated
        • Cream, margarine, and fried foods are high in saturated fats.
      • unsaturated
        • Vegetable oils and oily fish are rich in unsaturated fats.
  • Sugars
    • Sugary foods and drinks, like some sodas and sweets should be kept to a minimum because they are high in calories and bad for your teeth.

Read more online at:

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are considering bariatric surgery, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his team of experts can help you find the right treatment for your unique situation.

food pyramid