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San Jose Woman Turns Life Around After Weight-Loss Surgery

Latest Advancements in Weight Loss Surgery at Advanced Surgical Associates Demonstrate Results gI_62655_Michelle_Bariatric_AdvancedSurgicalAssociates-150x150

Dr. Thomas J. Hirai of Advanced Surgical Associates announced today that patient, Michelle Maes, because of the latest advancements in bariatric surgery, is no longer a victim of the obesity epidemic plaguing this country. Bariatric surgery can produce positive results in the battle against obesity, especially for those who have not experienced long-term weight loss success through other means. Weight loss can be achieved through various procedures or a combination of them.

Making the decision

Prior to making a decision on choosing to get weight-loss surgery, Michelle reached an all time high of 317 lbs. For Michelle’s height and weight, her BMI was 48. Anyone with a BMI above 40 is considered morbidly obese. The conditions that may arise from this level include hypertension, increased risks for stroke and cardiac arrest, and severe acid reflux.

When Michelle had her first grandchild in her late thirties, she decided to make a change for the better and for the future of her children and grandchildren. Today, she has 3 children of her own, 4 grandchildren, and 6 stepchildren. Michelle wanted to enjoy her life with her family and couldn’t find the energy to keep up. She recalled eating fast food 4 days out of the week, and her family did the same. After “yo-yo” dieting, cutting out sugary drinks and fast food, and even exercising often, she was only able to lose 30 pounds, after which she gained it back. Furthermore, she was unable to wean off the multiple medications her doctor had prescribed. After consulting with her family doctor, she chose Dr. Thomas J. Hirai of Advanced Surgical Associates in San Jose, to be her surgeon for weight-loss surgery.

Planning for Best Results

“When I first met Michelle, not only did she have physical pain, but emotionally she was hurting,” Dr. Hirai recalled.
There are several options for bariatric surgery, such as gastric bypass, LAP-BAND®, and sleeve gastrectomy. “I went over the options with Michelle and her husband, the pros and cons, and we decided together that the laparoscopic gastric sleeve procedure was going to be the best option for her for optimal results,” Dr. Hirai said.

In the sleeve gastrectomy procedure, the surgeon creates a small, tubular shaped stomach. This procedure is recommended for individuals with BMI over 40, or over 35 if they also have obesity related co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea. Dr. Hirai specializes in laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, which means that the painful recovery that usually follows an open procedure  is reduced. With the minimally invasive approach, patients experience much less pain and are left with tiny scars.

The Results

Michelle had her surgery on June 3rd, 2013. As of this report, she has already lost 67 lbs., bringing her down to 250 lbs. She is still losing weight every day.

“I can’t be happier with the decision I made. This wasn’t just about me; it was about my family, and their happiness. They didn’t want to see me suffer any longer,” said Michelle.

Many patients like Michelle, under the care of Dr. Hirai, have experienced tremendous positive results, including improved energy and stamina, lowered rates of heart disease and other health risks, and improved outlook for their future.

Today, Michelle is busy with her new lifestyle. She’s joined two local support groups for women, and you can usually find her at the park with her grandchildren, enjoying the activities she couldn’t before her surgery.
“My outlook on life couldn’t be better. I’m at a very happy place in my life and couldn’t ask for a better support team or a better doctor like Dr. Hirai. This is just the beginning and I hope by sharing my story with others, it’ll inspire women out there like me to make a decision to be in their future,” said Michelle.
Dr. Thomas Hirai heads the bariatric surgery division of Advanced Surgical Associates, with this goal in mind: “To provide compassionate, individualized care and guide each patient on the road to optimal health.”

About Advanced Surgical Associates

Advanced Surgical Associates is a general, minimally invasive, and bariatric surgery practice comprised of Drs. Huy Nguyen, Nang Nguyen, Thomas Hirai, and Christopher Kim. Advanced Surgical Associates pioneered and specialized in single incision laparoscopic surgeries for colon resection, gallbladder removal, and sleeve gastrectomy. These procedures, performed through a small 2 cm. incision at the umbilicus, provide patients with less pain, shorter recovery time and improved aesthetic appearance (cosmesis). The group is the first in the nation to adopt robotic single site laparoscopic cholecystectomy and have dedicated surgeons who have mastered this skill. In addition, surgeons have performed over 1200 SILS (Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery) procedures for gallbladder, colon, and bariatric surgery, placing them among the leaders nationally and internationally. Additionally, Advanced Surgical Associates is known as an epicenter of surgical training for SILS,  having trained over 500 surgeons.

To learn more about Advanced Surgical Associates, visit our websites:

Advanced Surgical Associates

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  • John Y. Chang

    great news, very inspiring.