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Tag: revisional weight loss surgery

Review & Update Giveaway!

August 31, 2016 6:27 pm

Keshishian Giveaway Ticket

The Prize winners are Jo and Kimberly!  Congratulations ladies and enjoy the Obesity Help National Conference!  Thank you to all that participated in the Giveaway!

We are holding a review and update giveaway for two different prizes! Thank you for your

participation!

One Prize and One Grand Prize

Prize: two tickets to Obestiy Help National Conference Sept. 30-Oct 1, 2016

Grand Prize: two tickets to Obesity Help National Conference and one night
hotel stay October 1, 2016

Conference: 11999 Harbor Boulevard Garden Grove, California 92840 Event link here

Hotel Prize: SHERATON GARDEN GROVE – ANAHEIM SOUTH HOTEL
12221 Harbor Boulevard
Garden Grove, California

Official Rules:

How to Enter and eligibility: All entrants and winners must be 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Up to 5 entries per person.

  1. Write a review of Dr. Ara Keshishian on one or all of the sites below or do an update on your profile on Obesity Help between now and Sept. 8, 2016 at 5:00 PM

2. Take a screen shot of the review or update with your username and date.

3. E-mail the screenshot to contact@dssurgery.com with your contact information (name, phone number, e-mail, and mailing address )

4. Entries must be a verifiable patient of Dr. Ara Keshishian in Glendale, CA.

Promotion Timing:

The Review & Update Giveaway begins September 1, 2016 and ends September 8, 2016 at 5:00pm PST

How Winners are Chosen:

Winners will be chosen by random draw.  Odds of winning vary upon the number of entries received for the giveaway.

Winner Notification and the Claiming of Prizes:

Winners will be notified via the email provided at time of entry and also published on our blog comments www.dssurgery.com/blog and on our FaceBook page. The winner will have 72 hours to respond to the winning notification email or the prize will be forfeited.  The prizes have no cash value. The prizes are non-transferable and must be accepted as awarded. No changes may be made to the prizes. There is no cash value for the prizes.

General Conditions:

By entering the Giveaway, entrants agree to abide by and be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are final and binding in all matters relating to the Giveaway, and release and hold harmless Sponsor and its affiliates, directors, officers, employees and assigns from and against any liability, claims, lawsuits, judgments, losses, damages of any kind, injuries, death, property damage, costs and expenses, arising from, resulting from or in connection with the Giveaway, the participation in the Giveaway, or the receipt, possession, use or misuse of any prize. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, stolen, delayed, misdirected, undelivered or illegible entries or for lost or stolen entry boxes or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the Giveaway, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the Giveaway, the processing of entries, the announcement of the prizes, or in any Giveaway-related materials. Sponsor is not responsible for technical, hardware, software or telephone malfunctions of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed, incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled or delayed electronic communications caused by the user or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Giveaway. Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the Giveaway or who are in violation of these Official Rules, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and all associated entries will be void. The Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Giveaway if, in Sponsor’s opinion, it is not capable of running as planned, including, but not limited to, due to tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical or phone line failures or any other problems beyond the control of the Sponsor, and select the winners for affected drawing(s) from among all eligible entries timely received for such affected drawing(s) prior to cancellation.

Duodenal Switch

August 24, 2016 5:45 am

Buyer Beware ! There are a lot of look alike and counterfeit “Duodenal Switch” procedure being performed. A recent online chat discussion clearly demonstrates the point that just because a patient is told that they had the duodenal switch operation this is not necessarily the case.

In our practice, we always warn our patients of not comparing notes and their outcome to others. I perform the Duodenal Switch procedure  the way it was described by Dr. Hess, making the common and alimentary lengths as a percentage of the total length of small bowel. This is why our patient population has very little nutritional, and gastrointestinal issues compared to others. Unfortunately when a patient is given a disproportionately long Common channel and/or Alimentary channel the patient will have inadequate weight loss. Alternatively, when patients are  given a shorter alimentary channel in proportion to the total bowel length, significant nutritional deficiencies can arise. In a shorter alimentary channel situation patients have to consume higher doses of vitamins and nutrients to keep their laboratory values normal.

I have repeatedly raised the issues to clearly distinguish the single anastomosis procedures from Duodenal Switch operation.

One of the unfortunate problems is the lack of clear guidance given to the patients. It is not uncommon, when I do second opinion consultation with patient who were given generic gastric bypass post op protocol and instructions after their duodenal switch operation. This clearly shows lack of fundamental understanding of the practice performing these procedures and it is carried onto the patient.

 

Let’s Chat

August 22, 2016 8:46 pm

let's chat Keshishian
let's chat Keshishian

We are planning on using this blog post to hold routine sessions called “Let’s Chat!” where Dr. Keshishian is available to answer questions online.

This will be more private than some of the social media sites and give more people an opportunity to ask questions.  We will announce when we are going to hold these Let’s Chat sessions on social media, however, the actual chat will take place here on the blog. You will just need to post your comment or question, provide a name (can be initials if you require more privacy) and an e-mail (which is not posted with your question to provide more privacy). If you scroll to the bottom of this page there is a reply box.  Type in your question or comment, enter the other information and click the post comment icon. Your post will not be visible until it is approved by the host.

The Let’s Chat session will be similar to our FaceBook chats.  Here is an example of one of our FaceBook chats.

Keshishian comment box
Keshishian comment box

Don’t lose your Pyloric Valve over a Failed Gastric Sleeve

June 22, 2016 9:32 am

In my opinion, there are very few reasons to lose your Pyloric Valve after sleeve gastrectomy. Recently, I am hearing of people who have had regain due to a failed Sleeve Gastrectomy being revised to Gastric Bypass RNY and then seeking a Duodenal Switch due to regain from Gastric Bypass RNY. A better option is to go from Sleeve Gastrectomy to Duodenal Switch, due to the long term excess weight loss maintenance of Duodenal Switch. The benefit of the pyloric valve can not be taken lightly.

Let’s start by reminding ourselves as to how the Sleeve Gastrectomy has gained popularity. In the quest for a simple solution to the complex problem of obesity, adjustable gastric banding gained popularity only fail to deliver anything close with the results that were promoted and heavily marketed. The focus was then changed to another seemingly simple procedure, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. For some surgeons this is a new procedure. Surgeons that had been doing the duodenal switch operation for decades, sleeve gastrectomy has not been a new procedure. Surgeons that just started doing sleeve gastrectomy as a stand alone procedure started experiencing complications of the sleeve gastrectomy, such as regain and are now looking for another option for these patients. This complication are even more frequent when they’re done following a failed adjustable gastric band procedures due to the metabolic issues after revising one weight loss surgery to another. A similar short sighted approach is also being promoted with SIPS/SADI procedures, which is significantly simpler to perform than the duodenal switch operation.

duodenal-switch
Diagram of Duodenal Switch
Structures of the Stomach
Structures of the Stomach

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy has a predictable profile for weight loss. It will not have as good on the long-term success rate as a duodenal switch operation. Complications of the sleeve gastrectomy including reflux, stricture, fistula, inadequate weight loss which may warrant evaluation and possible intervention. In my opinion, as a surgeon who does the duodenal switch operation routinely, a sleeve gastrectomy requiring revision should almost never be revised to a gastric bypass. I have seen number of patient’s who have had an adjustable gastric banding which was revised to the sleeve gastrectomy then to a gastric bypass. We are contacted for a possible revision to Duodenal Switch operation because of the weight regain. One can argue that the patient should not have had the sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass. It is critical that the complexity of the disease of the obesity is clearly appreciated that it purely restrictive procedure will not yield the desirable outcome long-term.

Benefits of the Pyloric Valve:

The pylorus is the valve located at the end of the stomach. It controls the release of the liquid mixture of food from the stomach into the small intestine.

The body naturally regulates the passage of food, so food will stay in the stomach for a certain period of time. We believe it is very important to continue that feeling of fullness in between meals. As a result, one of the principle functions of the pyloric valve is to regulate the amount of food products released into the small intestine where they are absorbed. This helps prevent dumping syndrome and ulceration.

The bodies natural diameter of stomach, pyloric valve and small intestine is left intact. This elevates stretching of the stomas created by RNY Gastric Bypass.

Summary

These failed Sleeve Gastrectomies should be revised to Duodenal Switch unless there are overwhelming health issues that would require another option. I always suggest several opinions from different Bariatric Surgeon’s who do a variety of Weight Loss Surgeries before deciding which type of revision to proceed with.

Is Weight Loss Important Before Weight loss Surgery?

June 21, 2016 7:52 am

The question of “Is a pre operative diet and weight loss important?” No. This is the short answer. In a previous blog, “Weight Loss Before Weight Loss Surgery?” I have gone into further detail about why I don’t require a pre operative diet and weight loss program.

More recently there has been a concerted effort by a number of major health plans to require 3-6 months documented pre operative diet attempt prior to authorization for weight loss surgery. Furthermore, there are surgeons who would mandate a 10% weight loss as a precondition for the patient to have a weight loss surgery, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy for example. The overwhelming scientific literature fails to support any direct correlation between preoperative weight loss and the outcome of the weight loss surgery.

Some surgeons require preoperative weight loss as a way to reduce the size of the liver. I’ve personally have never met a liver I couldn’t work around unless it was severely diseased.

Diagram of liver and adjacent organs.
Diagram of liver and adjacent organs.

There is some literature to support this position. However, one has to critically look at all the studies. Almost all the studies have very specific population and procedures that are being looked at. Most often the recommendations had been made for adjustable gastric banding procedures. There are also some that are recommending the same for Lap Sleeve cases only siting the reduction of the liver size as a reason for the Very Low Energy Diet as a precondition to surgery. It is, however, important to remind ourselves that there is no long term studies whatsoever that show any relationship between the preoperative weight loss and the outcome of any weight loss surgery.

Shared Success Story Update- Cyndi RNY to Duodenal Switch

June 06, 2016 6:37 am

Three Years Out Cyndi E … RNY to Duodenal Switch Revision

The Journey to get to the three year mark, has been amazing! And truly, The JOY is in the JOURNEY.

I am a JOYFUL “Third Time’s the Charm Revisionista”…. This is my new title…. And I say this proudly!!

For too many years (like 45! at least) I carried the shame and blame of being overweight and beat myself up on the inside. I tried everything, from age 13. I tried every diet, every program, and yes, I will say it, I have had THREE, yes THREE surgeries. And then, I let others convince me, and I bought into this, that I was a failure… BUT, I am not a failure. Surgery fails. For a long time, I could not say that, again with the SHAME word. BUT, I am done with shame, and I am done with blame. I no longer blame myself and I no longer shame myself or my body, because now, she and I, my body and I, are friends, and we are nice to each other.

Thankfully for me, I was in the right place at the right time, and met Dr. Ara Keshishian… My story with Dr. Keshishian, is simple. Dr. K was the first Doctor that did not blame me for my weight. He explained that each weight loss surgery has different measures of success, and percentages by weight loss surgery and outcomes. He educated me. He did not blame or shame me, he encouraged me. He also did an Endoscopy and found that I has a Gastro-Gastric Fistula. Simply put, this was an abnormal connection between the bypassed stomach and the small pouch created by the RNY Gastric Bypass surgery. Food could travel two ways, thus rendering the Gastric Bypass ineffective causing weight gain.

IMG_3775
Before
After
After
After
After

Dr. Keshishian performed my revision from RNY to Duodenal Switch on May 31, 2013. The procedure corrected my anatomy, enabling me to lose weight and regain my health. I have no complications, no issues post surgery.

Today, being a “Three Year Old” RNY to Duodenal Switch revisionista, I have a better perspective as a relative “newbie”. I am not a prisoner of my weight. I have lost 125-130 pounds, I am 5’12” (6 feet lol) 61 years old and for the first time in my life at a NORMAL WEIGHT! I do not fear, any longer, that I will gain my weight back. I am, however, mindful that I am consistent in my new habits and patterns that I have put in place, that keep me on track. I am also accountable. To myself, also to my Weight Loss Support Group, here in Paso Robles, to some fellow DS girlfriends that

I talk with about challenges, and with Dr. Keshishian. I am not held captive by my limitations, or my weight, and now I live with the possibilities each day brings and the fun challenges I put in front of me to conquer.

To the “newbies” I say, please take your time, treat yourself kindly, with your inner voice. This is not a race, this is a journey. Don’t rush, it’s ok to take it slow, listen to your body. And do not compare your journey to anyone else. You are you! You do you! You can do this well, one day at a time. Listen to the sage advice of those who went before you. We too have learned by trial and error. Be willing to sacrifice in the short term, for the gift of the long term life. Your DS is forgiving, you be forgiving as well!!!

Remember: WATER, PROTEIN, SUPPLEMENTS, EVERYTHING ELSE, EAT CLOSE TO THE DIRT, ELMO DIET

With JOY, Cyndi

Cyndi’s first Shared Success Story here.

Inadequate Weight loss and Weight Regain

May 24, 2016 7:56 am

There were numerous causes for the inadequate weight loss and or weight regain after weight loss surgery.

These factors may include:
1-Type of the surgery: Duodenal Switch, RNY, Adjustable Gastric Banding, Intragastric Balloon, etc.
2-Patients metabolic state (age, activity level, hormones state etc)
3-Co-morbidities
4-Patient compliance
5-Other

Each and every one of these may be an independent factor or may be a contributing cause.

In our experience, patients non-compliance is not as common as others believe. Frequently, we see patients in our office where they have been told that the poor outcome of the surgery is “their fault”
We see this with RNY, and Band patients as well as some of the duodenal switch patients who are seeking advice for weight regain or inadequate weight loss.

I would like to talk about the issues of inadequate weight loss or regain post Duodenal Switch specifically. Duodenal switch operation as described by Dr. Hess, outlined the division of the small bowel lengths to be proportional to each and every patients own total bowel lengths. This meant that two patients with the same BMI and weight will end up with two different lengths for common and alimentary limbs if there total length of the bowel is different. Unfortunately, too often patients are given a “standard”  or “set” ( not clear what that word means, since there is no established standard in the literature) length for common channels and alimentary  channels regardless of the total small bowel length. In some patients, those lengths may result in acceptable weight loss. However, quite frequently a patient with a preselected length for the common and alimentary limbs will end up either loosing too much weight and have nutritional problems or not loose adequate weight. As with all practices, we have over the years had patients who have had nutritional deficiencies and excessive weight loss or have had inadequate weight loss. Looking at the raw numbers however, we have had more patient from other practices that have come to us for revisions and corrections of lengths of the bowel lengths from other practices that our own patients have required.

Another level of the confusion is the improper interchanging of the “SIPS and SADI” procedures with the duodenal switch operation. As I have said in the past repeatedly, SIPS and SAID are not the same as the duodenal switch- and attempt to call these different procedures the same is misleading to say the least.

The other category of weight regain or inadequate weight loss includes medications and new health issues.  Discussed in a previous blog, there are many medications that can influence weight gain.  It is important to work with your health care provider to find medications that have a positive effect on symptoms without added side effects whenever possible.

In summary, weight re-gain or inadequate weight loss can have many facets.  However, surgical technique can provide an advantage.  Each aspect should be addressed and identified.

Dual Testimonial: Cameron’s Gastroparesis surgery & Scott’s Revision of a Duodenal Switch

February 01, 2016 8:04 am

In 2015, I came into contact with the most unique, passionate, urgently responsive; talented beyond belief and caring surgeon I have ever met. Our oldest son who is a 21-year-old cancer survivor, has had nearly five years of medical nightmare as diagnosed with severe gastroparesis resultant from his vagal nerve being severed during a previous Nissen Fundoplication surgery. We didn’t find out that this had happened until nearly two years later and only after a 4 hour gastric emptying test showed that Cameron’s stomach was only about 30% emptied after four hours (should be empty after an hour) due to gastroparesis.

I had heard about Dr. Keshishian on a Bariatric support group page on which I post and get great advice.   The surgeon back in Central, IL where we live told us that Cameron needed a subtotal gastrectomy to remove 80% of his stomach! This sounded radical and no way in the world was that going to happen. I was given Dr. Keshishian’s email address so I could consult with him for his advice. It was a Saturday morning around 7 AM Central time when I sent off an email to Dr. Keshishian detailing Cameron’s medical history and current issues. I was in hoping that his office would get the email on Monday and hopefully get back to me within a week. I went out to my kitchen to get a cup of coffee and when I returned I had a missed call with a California area code. Yep, it was Dr. Keshishian. I called back and we talked for 45 minutes.   He suggested several things and told me that any good general surgeon in my area could do surgery on Cameron and fix him, well that was the only time he was wrong. We couldn’t find anyone in our area who would do the surgery.

So we talked and agreed that Cameron needed a Roux-en Y drain put in place to physically drain his stomach by way of gravity (not for any weight loss as very little small bowel was bypassed). Dr. Keshishian got us in the next week and we flew out to Glendale where he met with Cameron for an examination on that Monday.   On Tuesday, Dr. Keshishian performed surgery to fix Cameron’s herniated diaphragm, loose Nissen wrap, performed the Roux-n Y limb and anastomosis to the stomach.  Dr. Keshishian also found a Meckel’s diverticulum (a congenital small bowel defect that can cause internal bleeding and serious issues). The following Sunday, Cameron developed severe pain due to chronic pain from his Cancer treatment and 12 subsequent surgeries, many on his abdomen. Dr. Keshishian saw Cameron in the ER and  spent 3 hours fixing Cameron’s pain issue and making sure he was medically sound so we could fly home the next day.

Today, Cameron has very little to no issues  which you wouldn’t have believed possible six months earlier. In the past, he had violent retching, dry heaving and bad nausea daily which had him severely incapacitated and very depressed due to a feeling of hopelessness and pain from the Gastroparesis. He didn’t believe he had a chance at a normal life but Dr. Keshishian gave Cameron his life back. We are eternally grateful for your huge heart and talent Dr. Keshishian. Thank you!

During our time in Glendale in 2015 for Cameron’s surgery Dr. Keshishian and I began discussing my situation. I had been given a virgin Duodenal Switch performed by a surgeon in Illinois in September of 2013. A year later in 2014 and 180 lbs lighter, I ended up in the hospital as I was passing out. I had a resting heart rate of 35 BPM, a blood pressure in the 75/40 range and incredibly bad labs including anemia, low copper, low zinc, and dangerously low albumin and total protein. A full cardiac work up was completed and I spent a week in intermediate care. Why? I was extremely malnourished even though I was consuming 200-250 grams of protein daily!   Why was I malnourished? Because my original surgeon performed a “cookie cutter DS” on me where he didn’t measure my small bowel and arbitrarily gave this 6’2 man a 100 cm common channel and a 150 cm Alimentary limb. Way too short on the AL!  Had the Hess method been followed (the only way the DS should be allowed to be completed) my CC would have been 100 cm (that was okay) but my Alimentary channel should have been 275 cm!   Simply put, my absorbing portion of small bowel was 34% and the Biliopancreatic limb (non-absorbing) was 66%. It should have been a 50/50 ratio with 100 cm CC, 275 cm AL and a 375 cm BPL. In order to combat my severe malnutrition that September of 2014 I went on a pancreatic enzyme (CREON) to assist my nutrient absorption.   I was taking with meals right around 400,000 IU’s of CREON (a boat load) and this was barely keeping my nutrients in range and lab values barely in range. After speaking with Dr. Keshishian, he recommended that I give it until around September of 2015 to see if my absorption increased enough to where a revision wouldn’t be required. Towards the end of July, I all of the sudden lost nearly 20 pounds in two weeks from my already frail and scrawny body. I saw my surgeon in Peoria as I was very alarmed; and I had been having bad cramping and other issues point to a possible bowel obstruction   His exact words to me were “see me in 30 days, you are like the DS poster boy of good nutrition”. As you can imagine I found that completely unacceptable and soon as I was out of that appointment I emailed Dr. Keshishian. He told me that if I couldn’t get a revision ASAP I would need to immediately go on TPN. Two weeks later my wife and I landed at LAX and were in Glendale on Monday morning for an exam with Dr. Keshishian.

The job Dr. Keshishian did describing what he was going to do, and of course this was a visual presentation with Dr. Keshishian drawing (you know Dr K’s love of drawing) out for us what he was going to do. He thoroughly explained for my wife and I so she was comfortable with what was going to happen and we fully understood what he was going to do. Doc also found an umbilical hernia that he was going to repair and I had an anal fissure as well that wouldn’t heal so we discussed what he would do to examine and possibly fix during my revision surgery. The next day Dr. Keshishian performed surgery where he fixed the umbilical hernia, measured my total small bowel length to determine appropriate channel lengths and found an repaired a huge mesenteric defect (intestinal hernia and Dr K has a picture of my guts with the huge hole in the mesentery that he has posted on his blog discussing intestinal hernias and blockages), fixed my fissure (Thank you!) and put in a side by side anastomosis that effectively lengthened my AL by 125 cm and my CC by 25 cm worth of absorption. This put my absorbing intestine to BPL ratio where it should have been in the first place (50/50 ratio).

I am pleased to say that I immediately went off the CREON and my absorption and subsequently my lab values improved tremendously. At surgery on August 18, 2015 I weighed a whopping 170 lbs. Today I am weighing in at 183 pounds and well on my way to Dr. Keshishian’s suggested optimal weight target of 205.

Dr. Keshishian is absolutely amazing and the best in the world when it comes to performing the Duodenal Switch and revision to DS Surgery (Band to DS, RnY to DS, Channel extending revision to DS).   I would recommend Dr. Keshishian to any patient who needs a virgin Duodenal Switch to get their health back and especially to those who were sold a garbage RnY or Crapband procedure that ultimately failed you (it failed you, you did not fail). In fact, I am trying very hard to convince my brother and Step Mother to fly to Glendale and have Dr. Keshishian perform a Duodenal Switch on them. They very much need it for their health and Dr. Keshishian is the best in the world having performed over 2,000 DS procedures.

I don’t say this lightly. Ara, you are one of the finest human beings I have ever had the good fortune of knowing and your surgical skills are second to none.   I really do admire and love this gentleman like a brother and consider him to be a friend. Thank you for using your incredible skill to fix my health issues resultant from the failed cookie cutter Duodenal Switch I was given two years earlier by another surgeon.  Had I met you back then and knew what I know now, you would have performed my virgin DS and I would not have suffered for two plus years. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Dr. K!

Success Story: Hasmik

January 13, 2016 2:47 pm

Failed Band: My earliest memory of feeling ashamed of being “too heavy” is from kindergarten. For over 30+ years I have struggled with  gaining weight, trying to lose weight, or going mad maintaining my weight. There is no shortcut that does not come back to bite you in the butt. There is no diet that effectively changes you permanently. For me exercise is a mindful struggle I sometimes successfully commit to over small periods of time.

I was desperate and ready for a real change. I wanted a genuine difference in the way I consumed and related to food and decided the lap band was the way to go. It was marketed as a “non intrusive, non permanent, easily reversible weight loss tool” and that is EXACTLY what I thought I needed and wanted. I was so very wrong, after my surgery I was considered a “success”. In fact up until the removal of my second slipped failed band, esophagus damage, and poor nutrition; I was considered a success. I look back and think how troubling this was/is. How very damaging to the person struggling and dealing with weight issues. Truly, it messed with my mind and my ability to speak up, admit to myself and out loud the band was NOT working for me. In fact, if I’m completely truthful, it was dangerous and turned me into a residue of the person I once was. I was not able to eat comfortably or  eat out any place I happen to be. With the Band, I would need to consider how long I was going to be away from home because I could only eat small bites in small quantities to ensure I did not get stuck or worse vomit what I put inside my mouth. Yes, I had lost almost 100 lbs, but I had given my quality of life as payment. My guilt ensured I would never speak up or complain since I felt “fortunate” and grateful to have had this second chance at life. In my mind, speaking up meant possibly losing the tool (lap band) that allowed me to change my life and reality. Because for the first time in memory, I was the same weight at the start, middle, and end of the year. I did not have to buy different sizes of clothing or underclothing. I could predict what I might wear since my size was stable and my clothes fit. The reality is and was far from this corrupted self truth. I was unhealthy with the restrictive nature of how the lap band worked. In fact my band slipped twice after a severe stomach virus. I later learned of many other symptoms I was making excuses for and quite frankly straight out ignored.

I met Dr. Keshishian (Dr. K) at my lowest weight and at the lowest point in my health. I finally realized, the lap band needed to come out after it had slipped again. It was clear I needed a doctor who would be straight with me and cared for my health and not his/her “success” rates and have the expertise to deal with my failed band. I researched and called several bariatric surgeons then attempted to make appointments with each to discuss the urgent band removal surgery I needed (not as simple as you would think). I was also hopeful I might have the option to undergo the bariatric sleeve surgery because I knew I would not be able to keep my weight under control on my own.  I was unwilling to undergo the emotional and mental torment of gaining and losing weight for the rest of my days. I succeeded in making three appointments and truthfully after meeting and speaking to Dr. K and his office staff I canceled them immediately. Let me start with the staff as that REALLY is important; they help you feel comfortable with the doctor, the procedure, and overall experience. They represent and reflect how the doctor you’re about to see will treat his patients. The expected standard within Dr. Keshishian’s office immediately made me feel like I called the right place. I was taken by the knowledgable, kind tone and efficient manner in which they requested the necessary information to effectively help me get from the starting point to the end goal. When I got to my appointment, Dr. Keshishian BLEW MY MIND. He not only presented himself as an approachable person I  immediately felt at ease with but also reveal my concerns and questions.  He treated me like a person. This may sound strange but this doctor made me feel like a human being with real concerns. He listened to me, asked questions rather than talked at me, and explained how and what was happening to my body and mind. He spent 3 hours with me to answer all my questions (even if I repeated them), draw diagrams, show me video to better help me understand what was happening, and then just sat with me while I cried for a moment. I cried because my 30+ years journey of ups and downs, crazy and insanity finally led me to the door of a man who understood and knew how to help without judgment. WHICH DOCTOR DOES THIS! None that I know.

My life post surgery is what I always hoped it would be. I am able to eat vegetables, leafy greens, fruit, grains and basically a well rounded diet. What’s amazing is that I naturally do not crave sweets, heavy creamy dressings, sauces and fill up quickly. There is after all a difference between the restriction of a lap band and the feeling of being full with the sleeve which Dr. K patiently explained. Today I am able to go any where,  at any time, enjoy the moment and the company rather than worry about what I’m not able to consume. My days of scanning to locate the nearest bathroom in case I need to dash to it are over.

As I write this today, I feel like a real person, not some transient hoping to savor my life at glimpses. I am a person that is balanced in my heart with the average person’s anxiety and mindful eating habits. The sleeve is not a magic end to weight gain, it does give you the fighting chance to make choices in life leading up to results you’re willing to work for.

~ Grateful and Mindful, Hasmik (September 2015 Sleeve Op Patient)