Special Advertorial Feature
For many, the blessing of good health has been diminished by diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea, and degenerative joint disease, just to name a few. Being seriously overweight (morbidly obese) increases an individual’s risk of serious health problems by a factor of 10! The good news is that with successful and sustained weight loss, many of these serious conditions improve or resolve completely.
Sadly for many, diets, exercise, and medically supervised weight loss programs fail to get the weight off. That is why Dr. Robert Powell, a graduate of Harvard Medical School and experienced cardiovascular surgeon, transformed his practice to the surgical care of the bariatric patient.
“I am now able to treat the cause of a patient’s illness, not just the effects. In short, I’m getting to the root of the problem, no longer just trimming the branches.”
Dr. Powell is the Medical Director of Gastric Band Specialists located on Hwy. 111 in Rancho Mirage. He specializes in the LAP-BAND® System surgery, which has proven to be the safest, least invasive weight loss operation to help patients lose and maintain weight loss when all other efforts have failed. Dr. Powell first began performing LAPBAND ® surgery in 2003 in Dallas, TX and continues to maintain an office there to follow those patients who are now several years post-surgery. Now that he has relocated to Rancho Mirage, Dr. Powell’s focus is the Coachella Valley where the benefits of the LAP-BAND® are less well known. Both locations help patients who travel from all over the country and Canada to have Dr. Powell perform their surgery.
Thanks to years of clinical experience, Dr. Powell immediately saw the far-reaching health benefits the LAP-BAND® provided patients. “With the BAND you can regain and retain your health through safe weight loss with minimal risk versus the high probability of diseases that come with being seriously overweight.”
The LAP-BAND® has also proven beneficial to help patients lose excess weight before they become morbidly obese. Some family histories can serve as a road map for other relatives. Often patients who are as much as 50 pounds overweight can improve their health and their future by taking action to control their weight before “inherited” medical problems start.
Recent studies confirm that obesity is the only common risk factor in multiple types of cancer. Reducing excessive weight has been found to not only reduce the risk of cancer, but also heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Many medical professionals consider the LAP-BAND® System the safest, least invasive surgical treatment for severe obesity. Patients lose weight safely and gradually; and there is no cutting, stapling or rerouting of the stomach or intestines. It is the only surgical procedure, that is adjusted to each individual and completely reversible. The BAND is simple in concept; it restricts the amount of food consumed at any one time. As patients eat less, their bodies go to storage (fat) for daily energy needs, and weight goes down. The BAND can be easily adjusted during the weight-loss period to maintain the relative restriction needed by each patient. Since its clinical introduction in 1993, the LAP-BAND® has become the most popular weight-loss surgery, worldwide.
Dr. Powell is unique among LAP-BAND® surgeons because of his extensive cardiac, thoracic, vascular, and general surgical background. His Harvard Medical School training and subsequent 20 plus years of surgical practice have prepared him for procedures more technically challenging and serious than gastric banding. However, with more than 50 percent of Americans battling their weight, Dr. Powell knows this is the patient population where he can make the greatest contribution. He has performed more than 1,500 LAP-BAND® procedures. Surgery is never Dr. Powell’s first recommendation for weight loss, but when all efforts of dieting and exercise programs have failed, then patients should consider surgery.
The 30 minute laparoscopic, outpatient surgery is performed under general anesthesia administered by an anesthesiologist. “I practice the same safe surgical care now as I did with all the cardiac surgery I performed,” emphasizes Dr. Powell. The LAP-BAND® fits around the top portion of the stomach creating a small pouch that functions like an hourglass. The BAND requires one to chew food completely and eat slowly. Like the sand in an hourglass, food in the pouch passes slowly through the BAND into the rest of the stomach and intestines, where normal digestion occurs and all nutrition can be absorbed.
Dr. Powell’s credentials and experience convinced Elspeth Thomson-Kane, a former Coachella Valley resident who now lives in Toms River, N.J., to choose Dr. Powell. “I’d always had chronic weight problems and was always dieting. I couldn’t sustain any weight loss and I had tried everything and had lost up to 80 pounds once but gained it back. I looked at gastric bypass and stomach stapling and decided both were too radical for me. Then my pain management doctor referred me to Dr. Powell.”
Like others with morbid obesity, Thomson-Kane suffered with a variety of health issues. Since her surgery, her blood sugar and cholesterol are down, while her confidence and energy are up. “People look at me now. When you’re heavy, they don’t want to,” she admits. In the 9 months since her surgery she has lost 70+ pounds. She has reduced many medications and eliminated some. “Dr. Powell’s qualifications were so outstanding that I decided this is the man I want to do my weight loss surgery. He had done so many LAPBAND ® procedures, and his experience is so extensive. I also felt he was really interested in helping me with my problems and not just doing the surgery.” Since the procedure is minimally invasive, recovery is fast. “I was perfectly fine in less than two days,” Thomson-Kane recalls. She plans to lose another 20 pounds. Since her surgery, she has returned for two simple painless adjustments (fills) to the BAND. Adjustments are done in the office and take only a few minutes. Each patient is different and adjustments are customized. “We tighten the BAND like a notch on a belt as you lose weight by simply adding fluid to the BAND through a simple injection just under the surface of the skin, similar to a vaccination. It takes about three minutes,” Dr. Powell explains.
Because the LAP-BAND® System is reversible without altering internal organs, Dr. Powell believes it is the only procedure to consider for the alarming numbers of obese adolescents and younger adults. “In their lifetimes, I believe medical science will discover a better way to control appetite and eating abnormalities.” The BAND can be removed when a better solution is available, and patients have not been changed internally. “I tell my patients the BAND is temporarily permanent or permanently temporary, whichever they prefer,” says Dr. Powell.
Patients receive an after-care plan formulated to their individual needs, which includes their referring doctor, Dr. Powell, GASTRIC BAND SPECIALISTS staff, and their associated nutritionist, psychologist and other required health professionals for optimum results. “Successful weight loss reduces serious health-care risks and elevates the quality of life and future opportunities for all our patients,” concludes Dr. Powell.
Now that is truly a gift worth giving.
GASTRIC BAND SPECIALISTS
71-511 Highway 111, Suite E Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
760-340-3609 Fax: 760-340-3856
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