Category Archives: News articles

Bariatric Surgery Linked to Fewer Childbirth Complications

According to a Swedish study, weight-loss surgery reduces the likelihood of childbirth complications, such as emergency caesarian sections, hemorrhages, tears, post-term deliveries, uterine inertia, infections, and more. It has long been established that obesity leads to more complications, and according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, obesity is on the rise in the pregnant population.

Between 2011 and 2015, the rate of obesity among pregnant women increased by eight percent, which may be a greater indicator of an overall growth rate of obesity in the United States.

The study itself does not establish cause and effect; however, there is enough strong evidence to suggest that women who undergo major weight loss before pregnancy will have fewer risks during their term. Studies have also shown that weight-loss surgery can also be linked to premature childbirth and small babies.

The only proven way to sustain significant weight-loss is through bariatric surgery. The advantages of bariatric surgery, particularly procedures like the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, is that they work with the body’s natural satiety mechanism to help the patient feel full with less food. Many procedures, like the LSG, can be revised in the case of weight gain; however, patients can experience significant weight loss (up to 75%) within the first year of their procedure.

Trying to get pregnant while overweight or obese should be carefully considered and endorsed by your doctor, as it can lead to major complications, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes or heart problems. If you become pregnant, speak to your doctor about the inherent risks involved.

If you’re interested in learning more about weight-loss surgery before pregnancy, take a look at our general surgery guidelines or fill out a patient questionnaire to get started.


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Research Suggests Higher BMI leads to Lower Happiness and Satisfaction

A recent study published by the BMJ used a research technique called Mendelian randomization to determine if whether poor mental health and wellbeing can lead to poor physical health or whether poor physical health can lead to poor mental health and wellbeing. It’s a chicken and egg scenario. Using this technique has allowed researchers to determine that there is “a consistent causal effect of higher BMI on lower mental wellbeing.”

In other words, an individual’s level of overall happiness and satisfaction in life is consistent with his or her BMI. The higher the BMI, the lower the mental wellbeing. Satisfaction in life is based on more than an individual’s health and weight, and so the Mendelian randomization technique helps researchers rule out other factors that cause physical and mental wellbeing. Along with the body mass index, the study utilized 11 factors of physical health, including heart attack, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and coronary artery disease, but only BMI showed a causal link to low mental wellbeing.

As for low mental well-being being a factor in any of the 11 health traits (including BMI), the researchers found a minimal causal effect in that direction.

Assessing Your Own Body Mass Index

Your body mass index, or BMI, is one of the first measurements that healthcare professionals use to determine the amount of fat in your body. A BMI range of 18.5 to 24.9 is in the normal or healthy zone. A healthy BMI can appear differently on a range of body types. If your BMI is higher than 30, you are considered obese and may be a candidate for bariatric surgery. Weight-loss surgery can significantly increase your chances of achieving long-term health and reducing or eliminating type 2 diabetes and the risk of heart disease. If you’re interested in a weight-loss procedure, please fill out our patient questionnaire to get started.

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A Decrease in Type 2 Diabetes Linked to Bariatric Surgery

A French study conducted between 2008 and 2009 showed that almost half of bariatric surgery patients stopped taking their anti-diabetes medication within six years of their surgery. Of the many bariatric surgeries studied, the biggest drop in anti-diabetes and insulin medication use was from patients who had undergone a gastric bypass procedure.

On an individual level, however, every patient will experience a varied mid- and long-term prognosis of obesity-related conditions. Patients who have only just started taking anti-diabetes medication are more likely to overcome their condition with bariatric surgery than patients who have been taking anti-diabetes medications including insulin for decades.

What is Gastric Bypass? 

Clinique Michel Gagner performs two variations of gastric bypass procedures: Mini Gastric Bypass and Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass.

The difference between a Mini Gastric Bypass and Gastric Bypass procedure is that the “mini” procedure involves only one connection or anastomosis of the stomach and intestine, whereas a Gastric Bypass involves two. This procedure combines two factors in achieving affective post-surgical weight-loss: intestinal malabsorption and gastric reduction. This is achieved through creating a gastric pouch near the esophageal sphincter, which is then attached to the first part of the intestine.

A Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass procedure was developed by Dr. Gagner in 1996. As with the Mini Gastric Bypass, a Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass also involves creating a gastric pouch, but with the first part of the intestine being cut into two sections and attached to the newly formed gastric pouch and further down the Roux limb.

Link Between Obesity, Diabetes, and Pharmaceutical Companies

In the article recently released about the French study, Dr. Michel Gagner posited that the number of patients examined represented only a small number of patients who have diabetes, and that the staggering number of money spent on anti-diabetes medication ($38.8 billion dollars in the United States alone) could afford to treat over a million people surgically.

Contact Clinique Michel Gagner today or fill out our patient questionnaire to start your weight loss journey.

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Dr. Michel Gagner Performs All-New Type of Surgery

Clinique Michel Gagner was recently featured in Le Journal de Montreal for performing the country’s first non-invasive bariatric surgery of its kind, called aspiration therapy. The surgery will be performed on Hélène Sénécal-Blanchet, a Quebecoise woman suffering from obesity and diabetes. Invented in the United States, aspiration therapy was first approved last year in Canada, but has been used in Europe since 2012.

The Difference Between Aspiration Therapy and Bariatric Surgery

Unlike other forms of bariatric surgery, aspiration therapy requires zero removal of the stomach. A laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, for example, involves the removal of up to 85% of the stomach pouch. After an LSG procedure, the patient will experience satiation sooner as their stomach volume is significantly reduced. While safe, LSG procedures do require general anesthesia and are not reversible.

Aspiration therapy, or AspireAssist, is a whole new approach to weight loss surgery. Instead of removing the patient’s stomach volume, a tube is inserted into the patient’s stomach and out the abdomen, where food can be disposed of in the toilet via a button that is attached to the patient’s skin. By disposing of the food before it is digested, the patient will not absorb as many calories, which can therefore lead to weight loss. Patients are required to replace their AspireAssist kit every year, and the treatment is completely reversible.

More About Aspiration Therapy

AspireAssist costs roughly $9,000 compared to the $13,000 to $20,000 price tag attached to other bariatric surgeries. So far, aspiration therapy is only available through the private sector. With such a long waiting list for obese patients to receive proper bariatric care in this country, therapies like AspireAssist could significantly reduce wait times for people in need.

If you’re interested in learning more about how weight loss surgery may be right for you, please fill out this patient questionnaire or contact us for more information.

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How Well Are We Treating Obesity in Canada: A Quick Overview

When it comes to access to bariatric surgery in Canada, our country’s report card could be better. The highest score we received was a C for waiting times between consultations and surgery, which doesn’t even apply to all provinces. Part of the reason for our low scores is that despite the fact of obesity in this country, not one province considers it a chronic disease, which has a major effect on how obesity patients receive health care.

Despite the Millions of Obese Patients in Canada, there are only 113 Bariatric Surgeons

Of the millions of obese patients in the country, every single one of them must rely on the training and expertise of a very low percentage of surgeons. That is not to say that these physicians are fairly spread out throughout the country. For instance, bariatric surgery is not even available in PEI or the territories. This is not reflective of the number of patients who are eligible for bariatric surgery. On average, bariatric surgery is only available to 0.54% of the population of Canadians who qualify.

Limited to No Access to Prescription Medication

There are only two approved anti-obesity medications in Canada. However, neither of these are offered by provincial drug benefit plans, and only less than 20% of Canadians with private insurance have access to these two drugs. Canada and the provinces/territories all scored an F on access to anti-obesity medications.

Access to Obesity Specialists

There are only 40 specialists in the country who are qualified and trained to provide obese patients with interdisciplinary care. The majority of these services entail dietetic services, while mental health support and cognitive behavioural therapy access is severely limited. Interdisciplinary treatment for obesity management is simply unavailable for the many people who need it, and Canadian physicians are just not seeking formal training in obesity management.

Clinique Michel Gagner is committed to providing our Canadian and international patients with superior service in bariatric surgery. Fill out this patient questionnaire or contact us today for more information.

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Constats sur la chirurgie bariatrique: Des résultats positifs dévoilés à la conférence FALS 2017

Du 6 au 8 octobre dernier, 180 chirurgiens bariatriques ont eu la chance de recevoir une formation dans le cadre d’un programme organisé par la Indian Association of Gastrointestinal Endosurgeons (IAGES) pour une deuxième édition à Mumbai. Lors de cet événement, plusieurs sujets comme l’avancement dans le domaine de la chirurgie bariatrique et des résultats de recherches concluantes à propos, par exemple, du bienfait des chirurgies bariatriques sur le diabète, l’obésité et d’autres maladies chroniques ainsi que sur l’importance de l’éthique dans le domaine. Le Dr Michel Gagner faisait partie des invités internationaux.

Les chirurgiens suivant cette formation de 3 jours ont pu en apprendre sur les bases de la chirurgie bariatrique, ses aspects techniques et les résultats possibles de celle-ci, sur les procédures postopératoires et la façon d’évaluer les patients pour ce type de chirurgie. Ils ont aussi pu assister à des discussions et le partage de résultats d’études menées sur le sujet.

 Des résultats positifs sur plusieurs maladies chroniques

Le Dr Phil Schauer de la clinique de Cleveland a dévoilé des résultats sur les bienfaits de la chirurgie bariatrique sur les patients souffrant de diabète type 2 au terme de l’étude Surgical Therapy and Medications Potentioally Eradicate Diabetes Efficiently (STAMPEDED), qui s’est étendue sur une période de cinq ans. Effectivement, l’étude a démontré que ces patients ont de meilleures chances de rémission qu’avec des traitements conventionnels incluant médications et mode de vie sain. «La chose la plus surprenante, spécialement pour les patients ayant subi un pontage gastrique, est de constater que presque un tiers ont connu une rémission complète du diabète.» A-t’il témoigné.

Zahabiya Khorakiwala, de l’Hopital Wockhardt a aussi partagé qu’au moins 3000 millions adultes souffrent d’obésité et que ce problème est associé à plusieurs maladies chroniques comme l’hypertension, crise cardiaque et plusieurs types de cancers. La perte de poids serait plus efficace lors de chirurgie bariatrique et il s’agit d’un traitement plus bénéfique que les thérapies et diètes conventionnelles.

 L’importance de l’éthique

Directeur du département de chirurgie bariatrique et métabolique à l’Hopital Wockhardt, le Dr Ramen Goel a souligné l’importance d’une pratique éthique sur le terrain. Avec plus de 17 ans d’expérience, il affirme qu’il ne s’agit pas de se demander quels patients opérer, mais bien de se questionner sur les patients à ne pas opérer, mentionnant qu’un docteur devrait avoir le courage de refuser une chirurgie si un patient est psychologiquement instable ou s’il souhaite une intervention chirurgicale pour des raisons d’apparence seulement.

L’honorable Bhikku Sanghasena, possible candidat au prix Nobel de la paix en 2017 a aussi pris la parole pour soulever un point important  en  faisant remarquer aux médecins qu’au-delà du partage de leur expertise, leurs connaissances, du diagnostic et de la sélection du bon traitement, la compassion fait une grande différence.

Cette formation, à laquelle le spécialiste Dr Michel Gagner assistait, a permis d’en savoir plus sur la chirurgie bariatrique, si vous souhaitez avoir plus d’informations sur ce type d’intervention, n’hésitez pas à contacter la clinique Michel Gagner, votre spécialiste dans le domaine.

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Obesity Linked to Greater Risk of Developing Certain Cancers

According to the American Centre of Disease Control (CDC) Newsroom, there is a strong link between being overweight or obese and cancer. In fact, these recent CDC findings link as many as 13 different types of cancer to obesity. While the rate of newly developed cancers has slowed down since the 1990s, obesity-related cancers are slowing down this rate.

Overweight and Obesity-Related Cancers

The main cancers associated with being overweight or obese are: meningioma, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, multiple myeloma (blood cell cancer), and cancers of the thyroid, breast, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, ovaries, uterus, pancreas, colon and rectum, and upper stomach. The rate at which people are developing obesity-related cancers in the United States has risen by 7% since 2005.

Obesity in America

In 2014, over 600 thousand people were treated for overweight and obesity-related cancer in the United States. Two-thirds of these patients were between 50 and 74. Since two out of three Americans are considered overweight or obese (according to their body mass index), this has led to a global concern for the American people, especially since it seems as if not many Americans are aware that being overweight can pose a greater risk of developing cancer.

Lower Your Risk

From a healthcare perspective, more needs to be done to spread awareness about these types of cancers, to encourage patients to exercise and eat right, and to make healthy foods available to all demographics. Over half the cancer diagnoses in women and almost a quarter of the diagnoses in men were related to being overweight or obese. That staggering figure demonstrates the absolute need for overweight and obese people to make major life changes. Losing weight and reducing your BMI into a normal range will significantly lower your risk.

However, sometimes eating right and increasing your exercise is not enough to lose weight. If you’re morbidly obese, you may need more help. If you’re considering bariatric surgery, please feel free to fill out our patient questionnaire or to contact Clinique Michel Gagner for more information.


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Dr. Gagner to Debate at IBC World Congress at Oxford University

Between March 26th and 27th, Dr. Michel Gagner will take part in a debate with Dr. David Kerrigan over the motion that “staple line reinforcement with buttressing should be the standard of care in sleeve gastrectomy.” The debate is to take place at the first International Bariatric Club (IBC) World Congress at Oxford University, England. The theme of the congress is “Managing Obesity & Diabetes: From the Laboratory to Clinic to Operating Room to the World” (click here for more info or to register).

The International Bariatric Club
The IBC represents a group of bariatric surgeons from all over the world who discuss recent issues and industry news, provide support, share videos of surgeries, participate in live discussions, and host webinars. It is a closed member-only group and a global network for surgeons in this field. Dr. Michel Gagner is an IBC board member.

The IBC was established by three professors of surgery in Ohio: Dr. Tomasz Rogula, Dr. Raul Rosenthal, and Dr. Philip R. Schauer and began as a series of seminar broadcasts based in Cleveland. Of note, all three surgeons have received training in various degrees by Dr. Gagner. In 2010, the IBC opened a Facebook webpage and has since expanded its membership by promoting a sense of community where the world’s bariatric professionals can freely discuss issues related to their field.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

The topic of debate, that is, what should be considered the standard care in sleeve gastrectomy, will be interesting for Dr. Gagner to discuss, as he pioneered the procedure in 2000 and has been performing it ever since. Sleeve gastrectomy procedures have been a popular weight-loss surgery option for high-risk patients and as an alternative to gastric banding.

Check our news page for updates on recent publications, appearances, discussions, and interviews with Dr. Michel Gagner. If you’re interested in learning more about laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and how it can help improve your quality of life, please contact Clinique Michel Gagner today.

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Diets Might Be Unpopular, but We Never Stop Trying Them

In a recent New York Times article, writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner explores the current landscape of dieting and weight loss and how, after almost a century of thin people telling fat people the key to losing weight, we are now no closer to ending the social stigma—or the existence—of obesity.

When Dieting Stopped Being a Thing

Atkins, South Beach, Jenny Craig, Paleo, and other dieting names have been making promises to people for decades. In practically every dieting method, a macro-nutrient is vilified as being the main culprit for excessive weight and promises that by cutting out this essential nutrient (carbohydrates and fats are usually the main bad guys), weight loss will naturally occur. The problem with diets have long been documented: none of them promise long-term sustainability, and dieters usually gain the lost weight soon afterward. Without one’s honest effort to increase their physical activity and change their relationship with food, unhealthy patterns are bound to repeat themselves. This, of course, ignores the fact of extreme obesity, where efforts to change one’s lifestyle and eating habits are almost never enough to lead to a dramatic drop in weight.

Recently, the word “diet” has fallen out of favour in the wake of anti-fat-shaming campaigns and the global movement of overweight men and women who are beginning to embrace their weight while shedding Western society’s narrow (some might say impossible) definition of beauty that made them start dieting in the first place.

Healthy Eating is Dieting in Disguise

Today, you’d be hard-pressed to hear the word “diet” uttered from anyone’s lips. The pejorative term hardly denotes the modern ideals of health and fitness. After all, dieting is bad. But what’s so terrible about eating greens, using natural sugars, eliminating gluten, drinking plenty of water, eating lean protein, choosing whole grain, drinking coconut water, brushing our teeth with charcoal, eating local, fresh, and seasonal, strengthening our cores, working on our yoga poses, and getting our butts kicked in high-intensity interval training?

While some might argue that the mental shift from fat-loss to “staying healthy” is a step in the right direction, others, including Brodesser-Akner, point out that healthy eating is a more self-conscious synonym for dieting. If we should love our bodies no matter what, then why are we letting Hollywood fitness gurus with BMIs we’ll never achieve in a million years tell us what to eat and how to work out?

Oprah Winfrey and Weight Watchers

In 2015, Oprah—the most recorded yo-yo dieter in history—became the official spokesperson for Weight Watchers, and within a year, membership had skyrocketed. Oprah, who has given up dieting several times in her past, is supposed to embody a higher state of being, a sense of enlightenment, notions of self-acceptance, self-love and all that. Although she remains all that and more, there is no denying that by accepting her weight as it is, she is also accepting the inevitability that she will develop type 2 diabetes (which runs in her family) and other obesity-related health issues.

The ideal weight will forever be a social construct that is loosely based on health statistics but more often blown out of proportion by the media and advertising companies who have spent decades convincing people of the existence a problem in order to sell them the solution. However, underneath the Atkins and the Weight Watchers and the gluten-free bread lies a serious health concern for people with extreme obesity; a health concern that dieting simultaneously ignores and undermines.

If you are morbidly obese, extreme dieting will not likely show you the results you’re looking for. While healthy diet and exercise can reduce your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers, it may not be enough to significantly lower your BMI. Contact Clinique Michel Gagner or get started with our Patient Questionnaire to find out if bariatric surgery is right for you.

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Excessive Weight Linked to 11 Types of Cancer, Study Finds

Cancer is one of the global leading causes of death, and more than one-seventh of the population is considered obese. Researchers have been studying the connection between these two health problems for years, and while there has always been a debate over how obesity is linked to cancer, studies are now being published that prove that it plays a bigger role than we thought. The higher the body mass index (BMI), the higher the risk of dying from malignant tumors.

Obesity and Hormone-Related Tumors
Excessive weight gain in women, especially that centred around the midsection, seems to increase the risk of endometrial cancer. For every 0.1 unit increase of weight in the midsection, the risk of developing a malignant tumor jumps by 21%. Breast cancer in postmenopausal women increases by 11% by every 5 kilograms of adult weight gain.

Obesity and Digestive Tumors
Excessive weight gain in men is linked to an increased risk of colon and rectal cancer as well as biliary tract tumors. Colorectal and gallbladder cancers are also strongly linked to morbid obesity. However, the research is yet unclear as to how obesity directly affects or influences the development of these cancers. More concrete studies are needed to determine if obesity directly causes malignant tumors.

How Bariatric Surgery Can Help
There has never been a shortage of research on how obesity severely affects our health. For patients who are considered morbidly obese, lifestyle changes, such as exercise and healthy diet, may not be sufficient to reduce excess body fat. According to the Swedish Obesity Study, where more than 2,000 patients were followed for more than 20 years, weight loss surgery dramatically reduces the risk of cancer, especially in women. What these studies indicate is that obese adults should do whatever it takes to lose weight. If you find yourself struggling to shed the necessary pounds, bariatric surgery may be the logical next step.

Contact Clinique Michel Gagner or fill out our patient questionnaire to determine if weight loss surgery is right for you.

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