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The Ghrelin Connection

Michael Feiz, M.D., F.A.C.S. is one of the best known weight loss specialists in the United States. A leader in the field of minimally invasive laparoscopic surgical techniques, he has also been at the forefront of raising awareness of the importance of a previously little known hormone in weight gain and weight loss. It’s an important factor for patients who are weighing the various pros and cons of lap band vs. sleeve procedures, and it’s of interest to anyone with a serious interest in matters relating to weight and health.

When food was often scarce, ghrelin served an important function in helping motivate our ancestors to find food. Today, however, the body often misinterprets any slowdown in the amount of calories we consume as the first sign of a possible famine, encouraging us to eat as much as possible so that we’ll have plenty of calories stored up in our bodies in the form of fat the help us weather a period of starvation. Of course, in today’s developed world full of cheap and easy calories, the real threat is obesity and the brain’s hunger signals can easily short circuit our well-intentioned weight loss efforts.

Dr. Feiz has noted that the increasingly popular weight loss procedure known as the gastric sleeve removes the fundus, a portion of the stomach associated with ghrelin production. It may be one of many reasons both gastric sleeve and band to sleeve conversions have proven to be so reliable, though lap bands and other procedures can also produce outstanding results for many people.

If you are interested in any weight loss procedure, including a gastric sleeve or a lap band revision surgery to deal with a procedure from another doctor that has failed to produce results, it’s possible that ghrelin, and Dr. Feiz, might hold the key to your future.