Chronicling the Journey to Bariatric Surgery

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 21, 2014

Emily Bell, 43, has made the decision to seek surgical treatment for her obesity.

Today’s post is written by BWH patient Emily Bell, a 43-year-old woman who has made the decision to seek surgical treatment for her obesity. Emily will be blogging about her experience throughout her journey to better health.

A couple of months ago, I had lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in more than a year. We were once in Weight Watchers together, and neither of us was new to weight loss. We’ve shared the tribulations of “keeping it off” and commiserated over the way we’ve dieted our hearts out and always gained the weight back.

When I saw her recently, I noticed that my friend had lost weight again. “What have you been eating …” I trailed off, realizing that her body wasn’t just smaller. Something was different. I changed my question. “How did this happen?”

She answered in a dramatic stage whisper. “I got the surgery.”

It took me a minute to figure out what she meant. I frowned. “Obesity surgery? Really? But that’s …” In my mind it was like admitting failure. Except my friend isn’t a failure. She’s a highly functional, social, confident, and intelligent woman. I asked, “What procedure did you have?”

“Gastric sleeve,” she said with a wink and a nod.

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The Heat is On – Using Hot Sauce for Weight Loss

Posted by Blog Administrator May 10, 2012

hot sauce weight loss esearch - Ali Khademhossein

According to new research by Dr. Tavakkoli (above), the ingredient that gives hot sauce its heat could play a role in the future of weight loss.

Gastric bypass, Lap-Band, and hot sauce. One of these things is not like the others – or is it?

The first two are weight-loss surgeries, but hot sauce? The ingredient that gives the peppery liquid its heat could play a role in the future of weight loss, according to BWH researchers.

As the rate of obesity continues to rise throughout the U.S., so does the number of patients choosing weight-loss surgery. Yet, while most common weight-loss surgeries prove successful, they also involve significant recovery time and notable side effects. Not surprisingly, patients and doctors alike are on the lookout for less invasive surgical alternatives for weight loss.

That’s where Dr. Ali Tavakkoli, Department of Surgery, his research team, and capsaicin – the component responsible for the burning sensation in hot sauce – come in. Dr. Tavakkoli is investigating whether two surgeries – vagal de-afferentation, which uses capsaicin, and vagotomy – can achieve weight loss and reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes, with fewer side effects than today’s surgical options.

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