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  • Surgeon of Excellence in Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery


Obese Women at Higher Risk of Developing Cancer

August 30, 2015 | Posted by: Advanced Surgicare
Obese women at higher risk for cancer

A recent study has just shed light on one of obesity’s most serious health effects. British researchers found that obese women are at far higher risk for cancer than women of healthy weight. This latest study adds to a growing body of research that links obesity to cancer and other serious diseases and conditions. Here, Dr. V. Kuzinkovas of Advanced Surgicare takes a look at the most recent findings.

What the Study Found

Researchers at Cancer Research UK found that obese women have a one in four risk of developing a weight-related cancer in their lifetime. The study also found obese women have a 40 percent higher risk for cancer than thinner women. Obese women are at higher risk for seven types of cancers, including:

  • Bowel
  • Gallbladder
  • Uterus
  • Kidney
  • Pancreas
  • Esophagus
  • Breast (post menopausal)

As of now, there is no one clear explanation for this increased risk, but researchers believe one possible reason may be because cancer is linked to a fat cell’s production of hormones, especially estrogen. Having excess fat can change the level of estrogen a woman’s body produces. The more estrogen produced, the higher the risk for certain cancers. Additionally, research has also found that too much fat around the stomach is linked to bowel, kidney, esophagus, pancreatic, breast and womb cancers.

Weight Loss Surgery Options

One way women suffering from obesity can lower their risk of cancer is by losing weight. Healthy lifestyle habits such as not smoking, exercising regularly and eating healthy can help maintain an ideal weight. However, losing a massive amount of weight can be difficult, especially for women. Hereditary disposition and hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and menopause can affect a woman’s ability to lose weight.

If you are overweight and are having a hard time losing weight, Advanced Surgicare can help. Dr. V. Kuzinkovas and the entire medical team at Advanced Surgicare have helped thousands of women reach their weight loss goals through bariatric surgeries including gastric bypass and laparoscopic weight loss surgery. Dr. Kuzinkovas can determine which best surgical procedure and/or weight loss treatment plan will help you live a happier, healthier life.

Learn more about the different bariatric surgery procedures we perform by scheduling a one-on-one consultation. Please call us today at 1 300 551 533.

Study: Bariatric Surgery May Have Long-Term Benefits on Memory

July 30, 2015 | Posted by: Advanced Surgicare
Bariatric Surgery improves memory

Past research has found people with obesity are at a higher risk for cognitive function impairments, including memory loss. Because of this, a team of researchers in the United States decided to investigate whether bariatric surgery can improve cognitive function in people with obesity. Below, Dr. V. Kuzinkovas discusses the study’s findings in detail.

The Study

For the study, a total of 86 people with obesity were tested on their cognitive abilities. Of those participants, 63 had undergone bariatric surgery and 23 people did not. All participants completed a series of tests three times: before surgery, 12 weeks and 24 months after surgery. The tests examined several cognitive functions, including attention, strategizing, organizing, memory and language.

As predicted, the participants who had undergone bariatric surgery showed improved cognitive function, specifically memory, both 12 weeks and 24 months after surgery. Participants who did not undergo surgery did not show any changes in cognitive function. Because bariatric surgery patients showed improved memory 24 months after surgery, researchers believe surgery has long-term effects in cognitive function and can possibly lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

While it’s unclear why bariatric surgery patients showed improved cognitive function, researchers believe changes in blood pressure may be at least part of the explanation. Obesity increases the risk of high blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of cognitive impairment. Researchers hope further studies can look at even longer follow-up periods to see if bariatric surgery patients still show improved cognitive function five or 10 years after surgery.

Start Your Weight Loss Journey with Advanced Surgicare

Dr. V. Kuzinkovas of Advanced Surgicare is a leading bariatric surgeon who has helped hundreds of patients achieve their weight loss goals and improve their overall health. To learn more about the different bariatric surgery procedures we perform, schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Kuzinkovas by calling 1 300 551 533.

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

June 30, 2015 | Posted by: Advanced Surgicare
Binge eating disorder

Many of us overeat, from time to time, but some people overeat regularly, even when they want to stop. Frequent overeating and the inability to stop eating can lead to binge eating disorder and serious health risks. Here are some commonly asked questions — and answers — on binge eating disorder.

What Is Binge Eating?
Binge eating means eating a large amount of food in a short period of time; for example, eating two large meals within two hours. Binge eating is common; many people overeat during holidays or when they feel stressed.

What Is Binge Eating Disorder?
Someone with binge eating disorder frequently overeats within short periods of time and feels a lack of control over their eating.

How Common Is Binge Eating Disorder?
Binge eating disorder affects millions of people each year. According to the National Eating Disorders Collaboration, binge eating disorder is more common than both anorexia and bulimia.

What Causes Binge Eating Disorder?
People develop binge eating disorder for a number of reasons, including genetics as well as psychological, emotional and social factors. Binge eating disorder affects both men and women of all ages and backgrounds.

What Are the Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder?
A person with binge eating disorder may show one or several of the following eating-related symptoms:

  • Eating a large amount of food in a short period of time
  • Eating uncontrollably, even if not hungry
  • Eating until uncomfortably full
  • Eating faster than usual

Other symptoms include:

  • Guilt after overeating
  • Tiredness
  • Trouble sleeping

What Are the Health Risks of Binge Eating Disorder?

People with binge eating disorder put themselves at risk for depression and anxiety. Other health risks include chronic kidney problems, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can then lead to stroke, diabetes and heart disease.

How Is Binge Eating Disorder Treated?
Fortunately, binge eating disorder is treatable and a full recovery is possible. Possible treatments include nutritional management, psychotherapy, antidepressants, and counseling. Not every treatment is suitable for every person. If you have been diagnosed with binge eating disorder, consult with your doctor about what treatment may be best for you.

A Higher Risk for People with Obesity
While people of all body shapes and sizes can be diagnosed with binge eating disorder, individuals with obesity have a higher risk for developing the disorder. Advanced Surgicare offers people with obesity several bariatric surgery treatment options to help them achieve healthier lives. To learn more about your weight loss surgery options, schedule an appointment with Dr. V. Kuzinkovas by calling 1300 551 533 today.

What Is Laparoscopic Surgery?

May 13, 2015 | Posted by: Advanced Surgicare

Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique that Dr. V. Kuzinkovas of Advanced Surgicare uses whenever medically appropriate. Developed over four decades ago, modern laparoscopy has many surgical applications. It is commonly used in bariatric procedures, including gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery. Dr. Kuzinkovas has had great success performing bariatric surgery with laparoscopic techniques.

In this blog post, Dr. Kuzinkovas describes laparoscopic surgery in further detail, and explains why it is preferred (in most cases) to traditional surgery techniques.

Procedures that Can Be Performed Laparoscopically

Our three most popular bariatric procedures can be performed laparoscopically (when appropriate for the patient):

Laparoscopic Surgery Procedural Details

Laparoscopic surgery is performed through several small incisions, in contrast to the single large incision used in traditional “open” surgery. The incisions usually measure up to half an inch. After making the incisions, Dr. Kuzinkovas fills the patient’s abdomen with carbon dioxide to help him see the organs clearly. He uses special surgical instruments, including a laparoscope, which is a thin, lighted camera that magnifies and projects images from inside the abdomen onto a monitor in the operating room. The camera functions as Dr. Kuzinkovas’ eyes, allowing him to watch the images on the screen as he works through the smaller incisions. The surgical steps vary, depending on the specific procedure being performed.

In some cases, laparoscopic surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis, and the patient can return home to recover on the same day. Just as with traditional open surgery, anesthesia is used for the patient’s comfort and safety.

Advantages of Laparoscopic Surgery

Although the specific surgical steps will vary by procedure, laparoscopic surgery is generally less traumatic on the body’s tissues. Using smaller incisions minimizes a substantial portion of the surgical risks, shortens the hospital stay, speeds up recovery time and causes less post-operative pain. Patients are able to return to work more quickly and with minimal discomfort after laparoscopic surgery.

Scarring is significantly lessened with the laparoscopic approach. There may also be less internal scarring with laparoscopic surgery, compared to traditional surgery.

Learn More about Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery is not appropriate for everyone. To learn more about laparoscopic weight loss surgery and determine whether you qualify for the minimally invasive approach, please contact Advanced Surgicare. Call 1 300 551 533 today to speak to a member of our team or schedule a consultation with Dr. Kuzinkovas.

Famous People that Have Had Bariatric Surgery

April 13, 2015 | Posted by: Advanced Surgicare

Dr. V. Kuzinkovas and the team at Advanced Surgicare believe that having weight loss surgery is a personal and private decision. No one else needs to be privy to the details of your weight loss journey (although the results will surely attract some glances!). It is your business alone.

Having said this, we appreciate when people in the public eye admit to and discuss their experiences with weight loss surgery. This helps to raise awareness of a wonderfully effective solution for people struggling with obesity.

Here are a few famous Australians that have talked openly about their experiences with obesity and bariatric surgery.

Songbird Sings a Sweeter Tune

Kate DeAraugo, the 2005 winner of “Australian Idol,” is 60kg (more than 130 pounds) slimmer, because of gastric sleeve. DeAraugo made the decision to have weight loss surgery when she realized she felt out of breath and tired performing simple tasks, like toweling off after a shower or walking around. She said that at her biggest, “there were days when I wouldn’t get into the shower because I didn’t want to look at myself.”

After weight loss surgery, DeAraugo is half her former size and appeared proudly on the cover of Woman’s Day magazine. She is currently working in radio and planning to release a new album for her fans.

Billionaire Makes an Investment in His Well-Being

Reportedly weighing close to 130 kilos at his heaviest, billionaire casino mogul James Packer is thinner, trimmer and healthier, thanks to undergoing gastric bypass surgery in 2011. After losing 35 kilos, Packer was able to start exercising regularly and playing with his three young children more easily. Although photos surfaced in 2014 of Packer on his yacht, appearing to have regained some of the weight, he was recently spotted in New York City looking trim (he flashed his flat belly to photographers coming out of a hotel).

Politician Works On His Own Health Campaign

A sweetly innocent encounter motivated politician Joe Hockey to explore his weight loss surgery options. According to a report he gave The Sunday Telegraph, Hockey’s six-year-old daughter was watching the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and asked her father whether he would be alive to see her own wedding. It was at that moment Hockey decided, “I want to be healthy. I want to be around to see my grandchildren. I want to be my very best.” Gastric sleeve surgery in 2012 helped Treasurer Hockey slim down.

Learn More about Weight Loss Surgery

Are you struggling with obesity and weight-related health conditions? If so, bariatric surgery can help you lose weight and improve your quality of life. For more information on gastric sleeve, gastric bypass and other surgical weight loss solutions, please contact Advanced Surgicare by calling 1 300 551 533.

Foods That Seem Healthy But Aren’t

March 13, 2015 | Posted by: Advanced Surgicare

Back in January, Dr. V. Kuzinkovas and the team at Advanced Surgicare blogged about what makes a food item nutritious. To piggyback on that topic, the team thought we would reveal the truth about foods that may seem healthy, but actually aren’t. If you regularly consume any of these products, you may want to re-evaluate your choices!

Frozen Meals

Microwavable frozen meals are easy to prepare and convenient to pack for a workday lunch. They boast low calorie counts, which might sound great to a dieter, but they are also low in nutrients. And, frozen meals are packed with sodium. Instead of microwaving a frozen meal for lunch, opt for last night’s leftovers, or a salad.

“Light” Olive Oil

Have you been using light olive oil to sauté your veggies and proteins, believing it is lower in calories than regular olive oil? Unfortunately, the “light” moniker is misleading. “Light” refers to the color of the oil, not the number of calories. Both light and regular olive oil have the same amount of fat and calories. You can continue to use the oil in cooking and salad dressings, but don’t use more than necessary (one tablespoon is probably enough).

Bottled Green Juices

Bottled green juices plucked from the grocery store or smoothie bar may seem healthy, since they boast ingredients like spinach, apples and kale. However, bottled green juices are filled with sugar. If you prefer to consume your fruits and veggies in liquid form, mix up your own green juice at home, so you can control the ingredients and avoid the sugary extras. Or, if you like sipping on something sweet throughout the day, reach for a bottle of calorie-free sparkling water.

Pita Chips

Since pita chips are generally baked instead of fried, they may appear to be a healthier alternative to Lay’s potato chips or Doritos. Truthfully, many pita chips are made with enriched wheat flour, which is a refined grain lacking the nutrients found in whole-grain flour. Instead of reaching for a bag of pita chips to eat with your hummus, chop up some raw vegetables (e.g., celery, carrots, bell pepper) to dunk into the dip.

Yogurt-Covered Pretzels & Raisins

Yogurt doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Well, it’s not actually nutritious yogurt covering the pretzels or raisins. Think of it as a shelf-stable icing product made up of mostly sugar and oil (and “yogurt powder”). Enjoy this treat in moderation. Or, want a more diet-friendly choice? Mix plain raisins (nature’s candy!) into a bowl of high-fiber cereal and almonds, and add fresh fruit for a delectably sweet treat.

Final Thoughts

As a bariatric surgery patient, you must make substantial changes to your diet to lose weight and keep it off. Some of the foods listed may be prohibited in the first few weeks after surgery. These changes can seem overwhelming or confusing at first, but the Advanced Surgicare team has resources in place to help you make the transition successfully. We are happy to provide detailed nutrition information, and suggest smart meals and snacks for steady, sustainable weight loss.

For more information about post-bariatric dietary guidelines, please contact Advanced Surgicare by calling 1 300 551 533.

The Simple Thing You Can Do in the Morning to Help You Lose Weight

February 13, 2015 | Posted by: Advanced Surgicare
Good Morning, Sunshine

You are probably familiar with the expression, “rise and shine.” Now, scientific evidence is taking this expression to a new level by suggesting that morning sun exposure can help individuals lose weight. Let’s explore the study findings.

About the Study

In a study recently conducted by the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the United States, researchers explored how getting morning sun exposure affects weight loss efforts. The findings from the study were published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal PLOS ONE.

Fifty-four study participants, at an average age of 30 years old, wore wrist monitors that tracked their exposure to sunshine in the mornings, for seven consecutive days. The participants also kept food journals in which they recorded what they ate and how many calories they consumed each day.

The results from the study showed that the participants who were exposed to more sunlight in the morning had lower BMIs (body mass indexes) than the individuals who got less exposure to sunlight in the a.m., regardless of age, activity levels or the foods they ate.

The Correlation Between Morning Light and Weight Loss

The researchers pointed to two possible reasons that individuals who got more morning sunlight exposure had lower BMIs than those who got less.

The first explanation is that being exposed to sunlight during the morning, instead of later in the day, helps synchronize your internal clock. This, in turn, contributes to a steady, healthy sleep cycle. In addition, there is a proven link between getting a good night’s sleep and maintaining a healthy weight. One reason this is true is that getting at least seven hours of sleep each night helps regulate the hormones that cause the sensation of hunger and helps individuals stay focused and preserve their willpower, so they make healthier food choices throughout the day.

The second reason that morning sunlight exposure might help individuals lose weight is related to the first reason: Morning sunlight has a larger amount of blue light; and blue light has the strongest effect on the body’s circadian rhythm, which, again, helps regulate physiological functions, including metabolism, allowing them to work as efficiently as possible during every 24-hour cycle.

How Much Sunlight Should You Get in the A.M.?

For the sun to have the desired effect on your body’s circadian rhythm, and therefore on your efforts to lose weight, you need about 20 to 30 minutes of sun exposure between 8 a.m. and noon. You can compound the positive effects of morning sun exposure on weight loss efforts by exercising outside in the morning. This activates your metabolism earlier in the day so you burn more calories over the course of the day, and might motivate you to make healthier food choices throughout the day. If you cannot get a morning workout in, try to save a bit of time in the a.m. to enjoy a healthy breakfast or your cup of coffee outside. Make sure your face is pointing toward the sun. Your figure will thank you.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kuzinkovas to learn more about your weight loss surgery treatment options, please contact Advanced Surgicare by calling 1 300 551 533.

What Makes Something Nutritious?

January 13, 2015 | Posted by: Advanced Surgicare
Understanding Nutrition

Do you ever wonder why a plain white bagel, which has very little fat (1.5 grams) and is about 250 calories, is not considered to be a healthy food item while a 36-gram serving (¼ cup) of almonds, which has 18 grams of fat and is about 210 calories, is a healthier snack choice?

Here, Dr. V. Kuzinkovas and the team at Advanced Surgicare explain what makes a food item nutritious.

Our Nutritional Needs

Everybody needs certain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients for their bodies to function properly. For instance, your body needs vitamin A to support growth, the immune system, vision and reproduction as well as vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone health. Your body also needs a certain amount of protein to build and maintain muscle mass. It even requires a small amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (i.e., “good” fats) to promote sound cardiovascular health.

By eating a wide variety of foods from each of the five food groups — whole grains, fruit and vegetables, protein, dairy, and fat and sugar — you should be able to get the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that your body needs.

That being said, not all food groups are created equally. For instance, your body requires much more protein than it does mono and polyunsaturated fat. Therefore, to be healthy, you should eat more whole grains, vegetables and protein than you do dairy, fat and especially sugar.

In addition, every person’s nutritional needs are different, depending on his or her sex, height, body frame, metabolism, etc. Males tend to need more protein because they inherently have more muscle mass. Also, a very active adult male might need to consume 2,000 or more calories a day while a small, less active woman might only require 1,400 calories a day.

Good Nutrition = A Balanced Diet

No single food item contains all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that your body needs. For instance, a green bell pepper is a great source of vitamin C and contains some fiber, but it is not a good source of protein. So, a healthy eater might have some tofu with the green bell pepper to get the protein he needs. That same person needs a small amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to keep his heart healthy, so he might then eat a ¼ cup of almonds, which is a great source of good fats.

In this manner, the healthy eater consumes some of this and a little of that, from each of the five food groups, until he has eaten a well-balanced diet that has provided all the vitamins and nutrients he needs.

Why Certain Food Items Are Not Nutritious

Food items are not nutritious if they do not offer a significant amount of any of the vitamins, minerals or other nutrients that the body needs to function soundly. Furthermore, if a food item does not offer any nutritional value and contains high amounts of sugar, bad fats, salt, etc., it is unhealthier still.

Going back to the original example, although the plain white bagel does not contain much “bad” fat (i.e., trans and saturated fats), it also does not provide any needed nutrients; the bagel is simply a source of “empty” calories.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that nutritious foods are whole, unprocessed foods that offer some of the nutrients your body needs while containing very little or no sugar, trans fats, saturated fats, salt and other ingredients that can be harmful to the body when eaten in large amounts.

To eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, you should stay away from refined and processed foods such as bagels; these items are usually devoid of any nutritional value. You should, however, eat a wide variety of natural, whole (unprocessed) foods from each of the five food groups, in the amounts recommended by your nutritionist or the Department of Health.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kuzinkovas to learn more about healthy eating and the surgical treatment options for individuals suffering from obesity, please contact Advanced Surgicare by calling 1 300 551 533.

What Is the “Paleo Diet”?

December 13, 2014 | Posted by: Advanced Surgicare
Is the Paleo Diet for You?

It seems as though everyone is talking about the “paleo” diet these days. You might be wondering what it is and if you could benefit from trying it. The answer is that, yes, the paleo diet might be beneficial for individuals who are trying to decrease their percentage of body fat. Let’s take a closer look at what it entails.

Eat Like a Caveman (or Woman)

“Paleo” refers to the Paleolithic era, otherwise known as the Old Stone Age. Thus, the paleo diet is based on the idea of eating as if one were living during the Paleolithic era. Given that our Stone Age ancestors were hunters and gatherers (and not farmers), this means eating only food items that could be hunted or found in nature (versus those that are farmed and / or processed). Basically, if a caveman did not have access to a certain type of food, individuals following the paleo diet will not eat it.

Foods That Are Allowed on the Paleo Diet

Individuals following the paleo diet eat:

  • Fish and other seafood
  • Grass-fed meats
  • Fresh veggies
  • Fresh fruits
  • Eggs
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Healthy oils, such as olive, coconut, avocado, flaxseed, walnut and macadamia

Foods That Are Not Allowed on the Paleo Diet

Those on the paleo diet do not eat:

  • Legumes (including peanuts)
  • Cereal grains
  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • Potatoes
  • Processed foods
  • Foods high in salt content
  • Refined vegetable oils
  • Candy / junk food

The Philosophy Behind the Paleo Diet

In order to understand the philosophy behind the paleo diet, envision the timeline of humanity as a 12-month calendar. For the first 11.95 months, our human ancestors were hunters and gatherers. It is only in the past .05 months of the year that we have started farming. Farming has caused a dramatic transformation in our diets, which now include processed grains and dairy products, neither of which were part of our early ancestors’ diets. Adherers of the paleo diet posit that although our diet has changed as a result of agriculture, our genetics have not had time to adjust to the new diet; therefore, the human body still responds best to the type of diet our Stone Age ancestors followed.

Learn More About Healthy Living

For individuals recovering from bariatric surgery, following the paleo diet can be beneficial to their weight loss efforts. For more information about available bariatric surgery options, such as the Lap Band System or gastric bypass, contact Dr. Kuzinkovas of Advanced Surgicare. He will work with you to devise a weight loss surgical treatment plan, complete with nutritional counseling, to help you lose weight successfully and keep it off over the long run.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kuzinkovas to learn more about your weight loss surgery treatment options, please contact Advanced Surgicare by calling 1 300 551 533.

What Is Obesity Exactly?

November 13, 2014 | Posted by: Advanced Surgicare
What is obesity?

Have you been told that you suffer from “obesity,” yet no one has explained exactly what this term means? At Advanced Surgicare Clinic in Sydney, we believe that in order to lose excess weight and lead a healthier lifestyle, you must first understand the health condition you are trying to overcome: obesity. Here’s a look at what obesity is, how it is measured and how it affects your health.

Obesity, Defined

Obesity is a health condition characterized by having an excess of body fat. Specifically, someone who suffers from obesity is classified as having a body mass index, or BMI, of 30 or more.

How Obesity Is Measured

Obesity is measured in various ways, but the two most common measurements of obesity are BMI and waist circumference.

BMI can be calculated by dividing your bodyweight (in kilograms) by your height (in meters squared). In general, an adult with a BMI of 30 or more suffers from obesity.

Waist circumference can be determined by wrapping a tape measure around your natural waist, the region below your rib cage and above your hip bone. An adult woman with a waist circumference of 89 centimeters or more has an unhealthy waist circumference. An adult man with a waist circumference of 102 or more has an unhealthy waist circumference.

How Obesity Affects Your Health

Suffering from obesity puts you at increased risk of developing certain related health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), type-2 diabetes, high levels of cholesterol, asthma, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, certain cancers (i.e., colon, endometrial, breast) and others.

Fortunately, losing excess weight with the help of bariatric surgery often resolves obesity-related health conditions.

If You Need Help Combating Obesity

Do not be ashamed to ask for help if you suffer from obesity. At Advanced Surgicare Clinic, compassionate bariatric surgeon Dr. V. Kuzinkovas is ready and happy to help. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kuzinkovas to learn more about your weight loss surgery treatment options, please contact Advanced Surgicare Clinic by calling 1300 551 533.