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Recommendation or concerns about surgeons/Centers in the Los Angeles/Torrance Area

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Hi All,

I am thinking about having a surgery to solve a lifelong issue with obesity. This forum is super helpful. There are a lot of surgeon/centers near me that do this surgery, but my doctors don't have any good recommendations and I can't make heads or tails over which ones are good or not based on websites and searches. Anyone have recommendations/cautionary tales in the LA or better yet Torrance, California area? So far I've reached out to the UCLA bariatric center, but they want a ton of information and for me to register in their surgery system before even having a consultation. Feels a bit invasive when I haven't even talked to anyone there. Would love to hear any thoughts or recommendations.

Thank you so much!

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UCLA is excellent.

Having surgery will not solve a lifelong issue with obesity. It won't fix your relationship with food, and every single surgery can fail and you can eat yourself fat again if you don't address your past relationship with food and make the needed changes.

Cutting out your stomach doesn't fix your brain. But it really can help you to work on your behavior, your choices and your future eating habits.

Expect to work harder than you ever have, and use a clinic that works closely with therapists who can help you along in the process.

Beware clinics that make it sound like a quick fix. It isn't.

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Most practices have support group/information seminars - online these days but some may be going back to in person soon - where you can get some idea of how the practice works, their biases and philosophies, which are useful in helping to make a decision. Looking at their websites is OK< but that's a bit like choosing a car dealership based upon their website - they are heavily marketing oriented; they are designed to bring you in the door rather than provide much useful information. Many list all of the WLS procedures, including some of the obsolete ones that haven't been done in years, while in reality they only offer one or two of them. It helps to be familiar with the different current procedures that are offered in the industry (the ASMBS website has good coverage of all of the commonly approved procedures, as well as some of the newer, more investigative procedures.) Have some idea which one or ones may be most appropriate for your needs, and then go to the seminars or do some surgeon consults and see what their opinion is. They will want a lot of information before a doctor consult, as will any doctor, so that they can better see who you are and what your issues are.

UCLA is good by reputation, though I haven't had any dealings with them. I have had some dealings with Cedars Sinai bariatrics and would be comfortable with them, though I never went through the whole program with them. Most programs offer the VSG and the RNY; some now offer the SIPS/SADI/Loop DS which is gaining acceptance (though doesn't seem to quite be there yet,) and a few rare ones offer the BPD/DS, which is more complex than the others (hence fewer practices offer it) but generally works better than the others, particularly for those in the higher BMI range or with more severe metabolic problems.

For the VSG or BPD/DS, I would go to Dr. Ara Keshishian, who is in the Glendale/Pasadena area working through USC. Patients travel from all over the country to see him for the DS or complex revisions. When I had my VSG ten years ago, I went up to SF to have it done as no one in the LA area at the time had much experience with them yet (and Dr. K was still working out of the Central Valley at the time.)

As a start, I would try to attend, online or in person, as many of the informational seminars as I could, and get a feel for the personality of the practice. Good luck,

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