Your personal guide to successful weight loss surgery

Ora Herrera has had the pleasure to work with world-renowned doctors in the field of esthetic medicine (dermatology and plastic surgery) and has served as our Patient Care Coordinator for over ten years. Ora finds great pleasure in assisting and aiding patients with the challenging task of educating them and helping them make an informed decision when choosing a medical procedure.

An extraordinary level of care and support: It’s the OCC way.

Currently, as a Patient Care Coordinator for Obesity Control Center and The Ariel Center, Ora has the opportunity to guide patients in making an informed decision when choosing one of the surgery weight loss options the center delivers. She also has great pleasure in helping patients that have achieved a large amount of weight loss achieve the final step in a long journey by finding the best cosmetic surgical treatment to achieve a firm, fit look that lasts.

Our patient liaison

Ora, as well as our other Patient Care Coordinators, act as a liaison between the patients contacting Obesity Control Center and the various departments. This helps make the patient’s experience with us smooth and pleasant when scheduling surgery.

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The road from Beverly Hills to OCC

Ora’s experience in patient care is exceptional. Her last position was as a Medical Aesthetic/Patient Liaison Provider with Dr. Zein Obagi’s, Obagi Skin Health Institute in Beverly Hills, CA. This job involved working closely with patients to help develop and maintain long term relationships with the clinic through patient education and care.

She also had the privilege to assist in several large-scale educational seminars with Dr. Obagi and worked closely with the Marketing Director on their social media. Ora also enjoyed providing patients with skincare services as a licensed State of California Medical Esthetician.

Cosmetic surgery after weight loss? 

Lori had the pleasure to work as a Patient Care Coordinator and assistant to now retired, Dr. Leonard Glass in San Diego, CA. Dr. Glass worked in the field of Cosmetic Surgery for over 40 years and was a Surgical Professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine. This position gave Ora her first experience in the medical field, where she saw first-hand the importance of the support a Patient Care Coordinator can provide.

She truly hopes to continue in the field of medicine, as a supportive staff member for years to come, as she finds it to be an extremely invigorating and rewarding job.

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In her own words…

My struggles with weight started as an adult. I, like many women, experienced weight gain with hormonal changes. I realized I needed to take command of the situation when I reached my highest weight, which was around 186 pounds. I had not realized how much weight I had gained as I did not regularly weigh myself, but quickly came to the realization that I needed to take hold of my weight gain to avoid potential health issues in the future."

When diets don’t work

Before working with Obesity Control Center, I had tried many diets that always failed and left me feeling frustrated. At the time, the procedure that was offered to me based on my weight loss needs was the gastric balloon, combined with personal nutritional counseling. With this tool I was able to change my eating habits and sustain the change with help of OCC and the amazing nutritional information they provided. When patients ask me if I would refer a family member, I answer with an emphatic YES! And this not only due to the benefit I achieved, but because OCC and staff are absolutely top notch. This was my personal experience as a patient.

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A new body, a new life.

I loved the experience as a patient at OCC, and thoroughly enjoy being able to help patients achieve their weight loss goals. Being a patient coordinator with obesity control center for almost 7 years has enriched my life by allowing me to witness, firsthand, the amazing life changing experiences of many patients, including patients who run a first marathon, getting pregnant for the first time in their lives after struggling for years, and saying goodbye to lifelong illnesses brought on by excess weight.”

Ora’s story of success

“Whether you are struggling to lose 20 pounds or 120 pounds, it is still a STRUGGLE! Obesity Control Center truly was a blessing for me. They offer several options for weight management, and for me, the best option was the Obalon gastric balloon program. This process involved the placement of a 3-month gastric balloon that limited the amount of food I was able to eat, HOWEVER, the real MVP was the Vitaleph Nutritional system that OCC places all their patients under. It is a program that was designed and supervised with the help of OCC’s nutritionist.

"At the time of being placed on the program, I needed to lose approximately 30 pounds to be at a healthy BMI, and this system was the ONLY thing that worked for me! I continue to use and benefit tremendously from the Vitaleph protein supplements, and don’t think I will ever stop using them! They provide the right amount of protein, without the fillers and chemicals other products on the market have, and it truly shows! You are satisfied and not hungry or craving junk food which has assisted me in weight management!”

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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