Is Weight-Loss Surgery Right for You?

Weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is a safe and effective treatment for individuals suffering from morbid obesity, a serious health condition that can interfere with basic physical functions such as breathing or walking. Obesity puts people at greater risk for illnesses including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gallstones, osteoarthritis, heart disease, and cancer.

To be considered morbidly obese, you must have a BMI of 40 or more or be 35 or more and experiencing obesity-related health conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. These are important for qualifying for a bariatric procedure.

People seeking weight-loss surgery are not usually considered candidates unless they have tried and failed to lose weight through traditional forms of treatment. People at high risk for disease or who have a life-threatening condition, including those with a disabling condition from obesity, are often considered good candidates for surgeries such as gastric bypass. People with a genetic condition that causes obesity are candidates as well.

Are you a candidate?

Weight-loss surgery may be right for you if:

  • Your BMI of 40 or more.
  • Your BMI is 35 or higher, and you also suffer from one or more health problem such as Type 2 Diabetes or Hypertension.
  • Your past attempts to lose weight have been unsuccessful.
  • You do not have any other disease that may have caused your obesity.
  • You are prepared to make substantial changes in your eating habits and lifestyle.

Other guidelines can include an extremely high body mass index, obesity that exists for five or more years, no history of alcohol or drug abuse, and no untreated psychiatric disorder. Candidates are typically between the ages of 18 and 65. Certain adolescents may be eligible for weight loss surgery, too.

Being a good candidate means having realistic expectations. Weight-loss surgery can help reduce your risk of life-threatening conditions and improve your overall health and appearance, and these changes should improve your quality of life; however, surgery alone is often not enough to turn your life around. Significant behavior modifications are necessary.

To decide about the gastric bypass procedure and to find out if you are a good candidate for weight loss surgery, talk to the doctors at VIP SURG. Their experts can help you find the right weight-loss treatment for your unique situation.

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Plastic Surgery After Dramatic Weight Loss

Dramatic weight loss either through bariatric surgery or diet and exercise is truly a life changing event. You look and feel better, but after any substantial amount of weight loss, the skin and tissues often lack the elasticity to conform to the reduced body size. Hanging skin can affect both comfort and self-confidence and can be a daily reminder of past obesity. Bariatric plastic surgery after weight loss is often done for medical reasons as much as or more than for aesthetic reasons. 

However, before having bariatric plastic surgery after weight loss, consider the following:

  • Are you at your low weight? Wait until you’re at your low weight and have stayed there for several months. If you had weight loss surgery, you’ll need to wait at least one year, preferably two. 
  • How is your current physical and mental health? Better overall physical health means less likelihood of complications. Work with your primary care physician to determine if your physical health is appropriate for plastic surgery. Mental health is a big consideration. Surgery preparation and recovery can be a lengthy process, and you must have the proper mindset going into it.
  • Would you do this for mental reasons, health reasons, or both? Mentally, the saggy skin may cause you to feel embarrassed both with and without clothes on. Physically, it can cause a myriad of issues ranging from annoying to potentially serious, including:
      • Difficulty getting dressed
      • Difficulty exercising, which may impact long-term weight maintenance and health
      • Skin fold rashes or breakdown of skin
      • Skin fold infections

These are just a few of the issues to think about before deciding to move forward with plastic surgery after weight loss. You should consider the severity of the mental and physical issues caused by your excess skin and weigh that against the risks and side effects of surgery along with how much it will cost.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are considering bariatric surgery, VIPSurg is ready to help. Dr. Tsuda and his team of experts can help find the right treatment for you.

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Gallbladder Disease and Symptoms

Unless they’re experiencing bothersome symptoms associated with gallbladder disease, most people don’t give much thought to their gallbladder. However, when there is an issue, it can be quite painful and require immediate action.

The gallbladder is a 4-inch-long organ found under the liver in the upper right area of the abdomen. It stores bile, a compound produced by the liver to digest fat, and helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients. Unfortunately, when the gallbladder stops working properly or the bile ducts are blocked, it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.

Some common gallbladder problems include:

  • Gallstones – solid masses of cholesterol. Gallstones occur when high levels of fat and bile cause crystals to form. Over time, these crystals may combine and expand into stones.
  • Inflamed gallbladder, cholecystitis – Acute or sudden cholecystitis occurs when bile can’t leave the gallbladder. This commonly happens when a gallstone blocks the bile duct. Chronic cholecystitis occurs if there are recurrent acute attacks.
  • Perforated gallbladder – If left untreated, gallstones can lead to a perforated gallbladder – in other words, a hole in the wall of the organ can develop. Perforation also occurs as a complication of acute cholecystitis.
  • Porcelain (calcified) gallbladder – a condition where, over time, the muscular walls of the gallbladder develop a buildup of calcium. This makes them stiff, limiting the gallbladder’s function and increasing the risk of gallbladder cancer. With this condition, the organ becomes bluish and brittle.

Symptoms of gallbladder problems include:

  • Pain in the mid- or upper-right section of the abdomen: Gallbladder pain usually comes and goes. Gallbladder pain is often severe and can cause pain in the chest and back as well.
  • Nausea or vomiting: Any gallbladder problem may cause nausea or vomiting.
  • Fever or shaking chill: These are signs of infection in the body. Along with other gallbladder symptoms, fever and chills may point to a gallbladder problem or infection.
  • Changes in bowel movements: Frequent, unexplained diarrhea can signal a chronic gallbladder disease. Light-colored or chalky stools may point to a problem with the bile ducts.
  • Changes in urine: Dark urine may indicate a bile duct block.
  • Jaundice: Yellowing of the skin occurs when liver bile does not successfully reach the intestines. This normally happens due to a problem with the liver or due to a blockage in the bile ducts caused by gallstones.

If you’ve been diagnosed with gallbladder disease in the Las Vegas area or are experiencing these symptoms, schedule an appointment with VIPSurg. Dr. Tsuda is the area’s foremost robotic surgeon specializing in gallbladder, weight-loss/bariatric, and other areas of general surgery. Call for an appointment at (702) 487-6000.The Photo Of Liver On Woman's Body Against Gray Background, Hepatitis, Concept with Healthcare And Medicine

Benefits of Robotic Surgery

Robotic surgery, or robot-assisted surgery, allows doctors to perform many types of complex procedures with less trauma to the patient than is possible with conventional techniques. Da Vinci robotic surgery enables your surgeon to operate with enhanced vision, precision, and control.

Robotic surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000. The technique has been rapidly adopted by hospitals in the United States and Europe for use in the treatment of a wide range of conditions.

Da Vinci Robotic Surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery. Minimally invasive is often preferable to operating on patients through large incisions. 

During robotic surgery, miniaturized surgical instruments are inserted through a series davinci1of quarter-inch incisions. The surgeon controls these instruments and a camera from a console located in the operating room. The surgeon operates the special “wristed” robotic arms while looking through a stereoscopic high-definition monitor that allows him or her to see inside the patient, giving a better, more detailed 3-D view of the operating site than the human eye can provide. 

Every movement the doctor makes with the master controls is replicated precisely by the robot. When necessary, the surgeon can even change the scale of the robot’s movements. Because of the console’s design, the surgeon’s eyes and hands are always perfectly aligned with his view of the surgical site, minimizing surgeon fatigue.  

Since procedures can now be performed through very small incisions, patients experience several benefits compared to open surgery, including:

  • Less trauma on the body
  • Minimal scarring
  • Faster recovery time
  • Fewer complications, such as surgical site infection

The da Vinci System represents the latest in surgical and robotics technologies. Your surgeon is 100% in control of the da Vinci System always. Da Vinci technology translates your surgeon’s hand movements into the smaller, precise movements of tiny instruments inside your body. 

At VIPSurg, our doctors specialize in minimally invasive surgical techniques including the laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy, foregut surgery, ventral and inguinal hernia repairs, endoscopy, and basic laparoscopy, using the da Vinci Robotic Surgery System whenever it benefits our patients. Call for an appointment to see how we can help with your surgical needs.

Single-Site* Gallbladder Surgery: Helping Patients Heal Faster

If you have a gallbladder attack or severe symptoms, your doctor will likely suggest surgery to remove your gallbladder, a pear-shaped organ that sits just below your liver on the upper right side of your abdomen. While this organ is part of the digestive system, it is one which you can live without. The surgery for gallbladder removal is known as a cholecystectomy.

Cholecystectomy is a common surgery, and it carries only a small risk of complications. In most cases, you can go home the same day of your procedure.

Conservative treatments, such as dietary modifications, unfortunately, usually can’t stop gallstones from recurring or causing pain and other digestive problems. Surgery is often the best or only option to relieve the discomfort of gallbladder disease. A cholecystectomy can relieve the sometimes-severe pain of gallstones.  

Gallbladder surgery can be done using open surgery (through one large incision) or minimally invasively (through a few small incisions or one belly button incision) using da Vinci Surgery or traditional laparoscopy. Most people who require gallbladder removal are candidates for the robotic, single-incision surgery. 

In some cases, one large incision may be used to remove the gallbladder. This is called an open cholecystectomy.

Present-day cholecystectomy is most commonly performed by inserting a tiny video camera and special surgical tools through four small incisions to see inside your abdomen and remove the gallbladder. Doctors call this a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. 

Surgeons using da Vinci technology can remove your gallbladder through one small incision in your belly button using Single-Site* technology, or through a few small incisions. The da Vinci System is a robotic-assisted surgical device of which your surgeon is always in 100% control. 

With the da Vinci System surgeons get:

  • A 3D HD view inside your body
  • Special wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human hand
  • Enhanced vision, precision, and control

Benefits of laparoscopic cholecystectomy can include:

  • minimal scarring
  • less pain
  • less bleeding
  • faster recovery
  • shorter hospital stays

A cholecystectomy is most commonly performed to treat gallstones and the complications they cause. Your doctor may recommend a cholecystectomy if you have:

  • Gallstones in the gallbladder (cholelithiasis)
  • Gallstones in the bile duct (choledocholithiasis)
  • Gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis)
  • Pancreas inflammation (pancreatitis) due to gallstones

If pain from gallstones or cholecystitis are disrupting your life, schedule a consultation at VIPSurg. Dr. Tsuda and his team can determine the best method for treating your condition. Robotic surgery can get you home and back to doing what you love — quickly and with minimal pain! Call for an appointment at (702) 487-6000. 

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Plastic Surgery After Dramatic Weight Loss

Weight loss whether through bariatric surgery or diet and exercise is truly a life changing event and a major achievement. You look and feel better and are healthier. And while most of the changes that accompany weight loss are positive, loose skin is a concern for many patients. Hanging skin can affect both comfort and self-confidence and can be a daily reminder of past obesity. 

Unfortunately, when skin has been stretched around the abdomen, arms, legs, breasts, and face, it may lose its elasticity. After significant weight loss, the skin often fails to shrink back to its former size and shape. How much this loose, saggy skin affects personal appearance can depend on age, genetics, exercise, speed of weight loss, and smoking, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

The areas of the body that most often are affected by excess skin include:

  • Abdomen
  • Breasts
  • Buttocks
  • Face
  • Groin
  • Thighs
  • Neck
  • Upper arms

For some people, weight loss might be gradual enough that skin adjusts along with weight loss. For others, the loose skin can be hidden with clothing and compression garments. But when that isn’t enough to manage the problem, plastic surgery might be a logical next step.

The best time to consider plastic surgery in when you are as close to your goal weight as possible and are weight stable. Surgeons often recommend waiting at least 18 months before having surgery to remove or reduce excess skin because the more weight you lose, the more excess or saggy skin you could have.

 The goal of plastic surgery after dramatic weight loss is to restore attractive proportions by removing the sagging skin that creates a misshapen contour. Although these procedures leave scars, most patients find them to be an acceptable tradeoff for an improved appearance.

As with all major decisions, it’s always advisable to consider the positives and negatives:

Pros

  • Gets rid of loose skin so you can fit into your clothes better.
  • Gets rid of overhanging skin that might be causing painful chafing, rashes, and infections.
  • Improves your self-esteem.

Cons

  • Surgery results may not meet your expectations.
  • You will have permanent scarring.
  • Your surgery results may be affected by weight gain, aging, and lifestyle choices.

If you are considering plastic surgery to improve your body contour, these characteristics make you a good candidate:

  • Your weight has been stable for at least six months with no further weight loss expected. 
  • You are in overall good health without chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. 
  • You have a healthy diet; problems such as protein deficiencies can interfere with healing.
  • You do not smoke; smoking slows down the healing process and increases the risk of serious complications during and after surgery. If you smoke, you must quit at least six weeks before surgery.
  • You have mental stamina; surgical contouring procedures require patience and endurance.
  • You have realistic expectations; surgery will lead to marked improvements in your shape, but it is impossible to restore the skin or body to what it would have been without the weight gain. Even after body-contouring surgery, skin continues to sag over time as part of normal aging.

If you are considering bariatric surgery in the Las Vegas area, schedule a consultation at VIPSurg. Our doctors and expert team can help you find the right treatment for your unique situation.

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Benefits of Robotic Surgery

Technology is changing the way we do practically everything now, and the medical world isn’t immune. The da Vinci robot is changing the way surgeons are performing operations and is providing benefits to both patients and doctors.

While the surgeon sits at a modified computer console, he/she can control the instruments and camera. Placing their fingers into the master controls, the surgeon operates the arms of the da Vinci robot while simultaneously looking through a stereoscopic high-definition monitor that gives a better, more detailed 3-D view of the operating site than the human eye can provide. Every movement he makes with the master controls is replicated precisely by the robot. The robot’s “hands” have a high degree of dexterity, allowing surgeons the ability to operate in very tight spaces in the body that would otherwise only be accessible through open (long incision) surgery.

Using the da Vinci robot allows surgeons to perform a growing number of surgical procedures. Since these surgeries can be done through very small incisions, patients experience many benefits compared to open surgery, including:

  • Less trauma on the body
  • Shorter hospitalization
  • Reduced pain and discomfort
  • Faster recovery time and return to normal activities
  • Smaller incisions, resulting in reduced risk of infection
  • Reduced blood loss and transfusions
  • Minimal scarring

The surgical team supervises the robot at the patient’s bedside. Unlike traditional surgery where the surgeon stands over the patient sometimes for hours, a surgeon using the da Vinci system is seated, substantially decreasing surgeon fatigue. Add in the greater visualization abilities, enhanced dexterity, and greater precision and there are major advantages for both patients and surgeons using robotic surgery alike.

Dr. Tsuda and Dr. Ryan at VIPSurg are expert robotic surgeons. Call 702-487-6000 to schedule a consultation.

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