Jennifer Covarrubias, and Janis Limon, Natalie Amroso, and Dr. Ramy Awad.
PHOTOGRAPH BY GEORGE DUCHANNES
When Tony Gonzalez finally made the decision to undergo gastric sleeve surgery, he was already extremely familiar with the popular weight loss procedure. As a surgical scrub technician for Dr. Ramy A. Awad, he’d witnessed his share of weight loss success stories. Still, having never undergone surgery himself, he was admittedly nervous. Tony says a desire to be healthy for his family ultimately helped him make the decision that changed his life.
“I’d been having gallbladder issues and Dr. Awad mentioned that he could surgically deal with my gallbladder and perform the gastric sleeve procedure at the same time using robotics. At the time, I was 364 pounds and pre-diabetic — I knew I needed to do something if I wanted to be around for my young kids and my future grandkids.”
A little over a year later, the 38-year-old has lost 127 pounds and his only regret is not having the procedure sooner. “I feel great, have more energy and am no longer pre-diabetic. The biggest revelation came when I was able to enjoy a roller coaster with my child — I actually fit on the ride!”
The decision to undergo bariatric surgery is never made lightly. When exploring your options for surgical and medical weight loss you naturally want the very best care. As Tony and countless other patients have discovered, you will find compassionate, skilled care when you put yourself in the highly capable hands of Dr. Awad. Advanced technology permits Dr. Awad to offer robotic options for minimally invasive surgical weight loss, which translates into shorter hospital stays and less post-operative pain. Robotics also grant him greater surgical dexterity, precision in suturing, precise wristed instrumentation, and 3D visualization.
Board certified and a Fellow of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Dr. Awad’s robotic services include gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, LAPBAND® and duodenal switch. The practice also offers revisional surgery for patients who’ve had prior weight loss surgery and experienced weight regain or non-resolution of their medical problems.
“My program offers a multi-disciplinary approach to surgery which involves a dietician, a psychologist, a nurse practitioner and personal trainer, he says. “Patients have access to support groups, exercise classes and lifelong aftercare.” With excellent outcomes well above the national average, Dr. Awad constantly pursues the most advanced surgical options and techniques for his patients.
Medical Assistant Angelica Khoder thought long and hard about weight loss surgery before she consulted with Dr. Awad. His straightforward manner and approachable demeanor convinced her to move forward. Now, a little over a year later, Angelica has lost 107 pounds and says she feels healthier and more self-confident. “I’m no longer pre-diabetic, my knee pain is gone, and my mood swings and depression have disappeared,” she says. And, like Tony’s experience fitting on an amusement park ride, she notes that some of the smallest changes are actually the most significant. “I can tie my own shoes now, something I could not do before.”
Dr. Awad is the bariatric director at Desert Regional Medical Center. He maintains privileges at all three Valley hospitals and his patients rate him among the top one percent of the country’s physicians as a Vitals Top 10 Doctor. Consistently selected as one of America’s top doctors and voted by his peers as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor, he serves as a trainer of future robotic surgeons by providing mentorship and case observations.
In addition to his focus on bariatrics, Dr. Awad’s training encompasses a wide range of general surgical procedures including hernia, gall bladder and cancer-related cases. “For anyone thinking about weight loss surgery, don’t be afraid,” says Angelica. “You will be so thankful when you see the positive changes it makes in your life.”
Desert Surgical & Bariatric Specialists
555 E. Tachevah Drive, Suite 3W-105
Palm Springs, CA 92262