Very interesting research has emerged about sodas and how they affect our bodies. A recent study set out to determine if soda consumption reduced a person’s life expectancy, and if so, was diet soda any better?
The surprising conclusion was that all sodas, even diet sodas that contain no sugar, may have a significant detrimental effect on life expectancy. But if diet soda was created to address, in part, sugar-related excess weight, why would it also be problematic?
The answer is simple.
Dumping syndrome is a somewhat common problem that primarily affects bariatric patients that have undergone gastric bypass surgery. Dumping occurs when food and water pass through the stomach and into the small intestine too quickly, causing nausea, dizziness, vomiting and general discomfort in the patient. Its symptoms are very similar to low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. It is also called rapid gastric emptying.
I began performing robotic-assisted surgical procedures about six years ago. I was initially very skeptical of the robot. Since I was fellowship-trained in minimally invasive surgery, which at that time was primarily laparoscopic surgery, I was very confident in my skill set and the advantages that laparoscopy offered the patient. Laparoscopy is the use of small instruments, through small incisions, in performing operations that would otherwise require a large incision to access the patient’s abdomen. We found, first through procedures such as gallbladder removal, that the small incisions provided less pain, quicker recovery, better cosmetics, and fewer complications that traditional open surgery. It does require certain skills, however, since using long, thin instruments takes away the tactile feel of the surgeon’s hands, forces us to look at a two-dimensional screen instead of directly at organs and tissue, and requires quite a bit of manual dexterity.
I worked at it, however, and became confident; even winning a fun type of competition at one of our national surgical meetings that pitted surgeons against each other in a laparoscopic simulator. So, when robotic surgery started to be introduced to us, the idea of adding expensive, bulky, and technical equipment that was touted to improve our dexterity and skills seemed unnecessary.
I was wrong about robotic surgery.
Despite initial skepticism, my scientific mind required that I at least investigate before discounting this new technology. I became trained on the surgical robot and performed my first procedures shortly thereafter. What I found surprised me: the robot does require skill; it does not supplant skill in the surgeon. With patience and time, the advantages were clear.
Robotic surgery’s primary advantage, to me, was the ability to articulate the tips of instruments in any direction that I needed. Laparoscopic instruments are mostly like dinner tongs – they are straight, long, and they only open and close. Robotic instruments are wristed: whatever my wrists, hands, and fingers do, they do.
The visualization was also superior. Since the robotic camera is three dimensional, I was able to see within the patient’s abdomen with new clarity and depth perception. These, along with other computerized enhancements such as warning systems, tremor control, and infrared vision, made robotic-assisted surgery a clear choice for me.
Robotic surgery does not serve as a crutch for an experienced laparoscopic surgeon, but rather as an augmentation of skills using the best of modern technology.
Most men have been admonished their entire lives…don’t lift too much, don’t push too hard – you’ll get a hernia. While this may be true, and upwards of 25% of all men will develop an inguinal hernia, the diagnosis is not always straightforward.
You’re playing sports, most likely something that involves planting and twisting, like soccer or basketball, and there it is…the dreaded groin pain. It has to be a hernia right? Well, maybe not.
You might think that, as a weight loss surgeon and advocate for healthy eating, I’ve lost my mind saying that fast food is OK after weight loss surgery. It goes counter to everything we’ve learned since we decided to have surgery, right? Not exactly.
To be sure, fast food should not be a regular indulgence…but it doesn’t have to be a complete disaster. A renewed interest in personal health has brought about strides in the right direction as it relates to fast food. Not only are there dozens of new fast food outlets that have truly healthy offerings, but even supermarkets are getting in on the game. Prepared foods are no longer the concern that they once were.
Acid reflux is a very common and usually transient condition that affects virtually everybody once in a while. Also known as gastroesophageal reflux or GER, occasional reflexes nothing to be concerned about and if anything tells us what to avoid and how much to eat. At this stage, conservative options such as lifestyle change, losing weight and over-the-counter acid reflux tablets are effective options.
Weight loss surgery has proven an effective for weight reduction, but it is important to realize that bariatric surgery is not magic, requires many lifestyle changes and there can be complications. About half of all bariatric patients will have some weight regain after their active weight loss phase over the first year or two after surgery. This might seem alarming, but statistically post-op weight regain does not mean what you might think. In most, only about 5% of excess body weight is regained two or more years following surgery. Naturally you will not be in an active weight loss phase forever.
There are several materials in the body that make up important, protective layers. In the abdomen we have muscle, connective tissue, and fat that overlay our internal organs. Each element has its designated place and job. In the abdomen, these layers can sometimes become weakened, making it easier for things to shift out of their normal home. Fatty tissue or even an organ, often your intestine, can push through a weak area causing a bulge. This is where a hernia occurs. This bulge may start off small and grow over time, or it can occur suddenly or wax and wane. The bulge itself may be painful, but many patients do not experience pain. Not all hernias will require surgical treatment, but it important to not ignore symptoms if a hernia occurs or if you know you have an existing hernia.
Everyone’s gastrointestinal tract has a natural balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria. This mixture of bacteria contributes to the system by aiding in digestion and immune support, among other things. During some weight loss surgery procedures, the digestive tract undergoes a large change, but no matter what procedure you choose, it is likely your gut health will shift. From research we know that the gut flora of obese individuals tends to be different from those with a healthy body mass index, or BMI. Research studies have also been exploring the weight loss effects of altering the gut bacteria using methods like introducing probiotics to the system with some encouraging results, both in studies of patients who have had bariatric surgery and those who have not. So, should you be taking a probiotic supplement?
Last April, fitness expert Jillian Michaels authored a blog post called “The Truth About Keto.” In it, she makes several points that I would like to address. She does note that she will infuriate the “Keto community,” is willing to incur their wrath and outrage. I am neither infuriated or a part of the “Keto community,” but I do find it necessary to counter some medical inaccuracies.