Efren’s personal journey to weight loss

“I was skinny most of my life, but the battle with weight began when I turned 40. I tried all kinds of diets with some results, but right after all the sacrifices, I ended up gaining back the pounds I had lost, plus a few more. My weight fluctuated throughout all these years, and it really affected me – until I came to the OCC to have the Gastric Plication. I went from 300 lbs. to my current 185 lbs.

I cannot tell you how my life quality has improved and how happy I am now feeling so complete. My only regret is not having it done before! Here are my before and after pics (it’s a miracle I even have a picture from then since I felt so bad, I always used to run away when I noticed there was a camera in the room). I totally understand what you are experiencing and I’m more than happy to help you go through all this process.”

Q&A with Efren

Did you struggle with weight during your childhood?

What was your highest weight?

When did you decide you needed help or was there one specific turning point you recall?

What options did you explore (other surgeons, diets, exercise, etc.)?

What were you scared about?

Who supported you in your journey?

How was the experience prepping for surgery?

How was the experience traveling to OCC (plane, hotel, the night before, etc.)?

What was your first impression walking in the door at OCC?

What surgery did you have?

What was the recovery like?

How much weight have you lost?

What is your best advice for someone else considering bariatric surgery?

What is one of your favorite stories you have encountered being a coordinator at OCC?

What is your favorite thing about working for OCC?

Did you struggle with weight during your childhood?

I didn’t struggle with my weight as a child nor a young adult. It started at around 38. Then everything changed.

What was your highest weight?

I weighed more than 300 lbs.

When did you decide you needed help or was there one specific turning point you recall?

I heard a lot of all the benefits you could get with weight loss surgery.

What options did you explore (other surgeons, diets, exercise, etc.)?

All diets and some exercise.

What were you scared about?

My overall health for later years.

Who supported you in your journey?

In the beginning, my friends and family all asked me not to get the surgery, but afterward, they were all supportive.

How was the experience prepping for surgery?

Super strict pre-op diet, I was very committed. I lost 30 pounds in two weeks.

How was the experience traveling to OCC (plane, hotel, the night before, etc.)?

All smooth and everybody was very friendly, and you could tell they were very sympathetic.

What was your first impression walking in the door at OCC?

Very clean and modern. Everybody was very friendly (like in the movies).

What surgery did you have?

Gastric Plication.

What was the recovery like?

The next morning, we drove to a mall in Carlsbad. Everything went very smoothly, and I walked the gas out. Then we went to the movie theater the day after. It was an incredibly smooth recovery. Back at home, it was very easy, and I started losing all the excess weight day by day.

How much weight have you lost?

I have lost 115 lbs.

What is your best advice for someone else considering bariatric surgery?

Don’t wait to do it for too long. The only regret I have is not having it earlier. Also don’t buy so many clothes when you start losing weight. They will be too big in a short time. Wait for your final weight before you go shopping.

What is one of your favorite stories you have encountered being a coordinator at OCC?

I love when a patient refers to us as all their family members. We become a family business!

What is your favorite thing about working for OCC?

The quality of the people, I love it.

OCC’s epidemiologist is closely monitoring the COVID-19 status and is actively issuing updates as they are available. The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization are the most trusted sources online.  While the CDC has announced new mask protocols for vaccinated individuals, there will be no changes for our office protocols for patients, guests, and staff members as the announcement does not apply to hospitals or medical facilities. Masks are still a requirement for all patients, guests and staff at our facility.

As we reinitiate weight loss surgery, we are constantly adapting and installing new and updated safety measures.

Weight loss surgery is medically necessary.

Bariatric Surgery and the clash of two pandemics.   

Major metabolic and bariatric surgery Societies and colleges globally are now calling for the safe resumption of bariatric and metabolic surgery before the COVID-19 pandemic is declared over. 

The sooner bariatric surgery can be safely performed, the quicker obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases can be reduced or resolved as they are not only chronic they are also progressive.  Obesity is also linked to more than 40 diseases including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and at least 13 different types of cancer.

A recent statement from the ASMBS says “Before COVID-19 began, it was clear that patients with obesity were ‘safer through surgery.’ In the era of COVID-19, ‘safer through surgery’ for patients with obesity may prove to be even more important than before.” Obesity and Metabolic syndrome have been identified as an independent risk factor for adverse outcomes including death among COVID-19 patients.

See here for full COVID-19 update. 

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