Never in his wildest dreams did Folahan Ayoola, MD, Medical Director for the Weight Loss Center at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound, imagine he’d be helping people become healthier by losing weight.
“It was not a thought in my mind when I went to medical school,” said Dr. Ayoola, who moved to the U.S. from his native Nigeria to follow his dream of becoming a surgeon. But during his residency at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, Dr. Ayoola became fascinated with minimally-invasive surgery, eventually learning about bariatrics, something that changed the trajectory of his career and, ultimately, his life.
“I was ignorant that obesity was such a big medical problem and also a difficult one to solve,” he said. “Once I started learning about it medically, I was hooked.”
Since early 2016 he has put those talents to good use as Medical Director of the Weight Loss Center at Texas Health Flower Mound. He and his fellow doctors and hospital staff have helped countless people struggling with obesity. Many individuals come to the facility seeking help because they have tried and failed to achieve lasting weight loss on their own.
Their efforts helped the Center become certified as a MBSAQIP Center of Excellence with no deficiencies by the American College of Surgeons and American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery within its first year of operation.
“It speaks to the quality of the Program. In order to receive these accreditations, a facility must have a certain volume of cases and the Program must achieve certain clinical outcomes, including a low complication rate,” said Dr. Ayoola. “The hospital must also be able to perform a range of clinical studies and, most importantly, have a culture of tolerance and sensitivity.
“There are hospitals in DFW that have been trying to get accredited as a Center of Excellence for years and Texas Health Flower Mound’s Center earned it in its first year. It really reflects the physicians’ and the hospital’s commitment to having a strong weight loss program for our community.”
The Program has grown from three surgeons to eight performing more than 200 surgeries each year. There are dieticians, psychiatric pre-op specialists, radiologists, emergency room doctors, and nurses who specialize in caring for bariatric patients involved in the Program. Patients also have access to support group meetings on a routine basis.
“When you visit the facility you meet people who are experts in bariatrics,” Dr. Ayoola said. “Texas Health Flower Mound has well-equipped operating rooms including three DaVinci Robots and other cutting-edge technologies which help drive our excellent outcomes.
“It’s been pretty exciting to have this small, young hospital be a powerhouse of successful bariatric surgery. It’s important to note that surgery is not the only treatment option provided by the Program, we have a really good group of providers and staff who have expertise in a wide range of weight loss options.
“Part of our strength is that we are all collegial. If one of our doctors sees a patient requiring a procedure they don’t offer, they will refer to another physician in the Program. This matters because it allows the patients to get the personalized care that they need rather than being shoehorned into a particular therapy. It reflects a team effort with the patient at the center.”
The Weight Loss Center takes a comprehensive approach to weight loss. With accountability and support groups, customized weight loss programs, and toning up after weight loss with aesthetic offerings to help patients look as great as they feel, it has you covered. At the Center, you have access to every option available including bariatric surgery (Duodenal Switch, Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeves and Lap Bands), weight loss medications, nutrition counseling, medical aesthetics, personal weight/cardio training, vitamins and supplements.
All these offerings are important because obesity kills– whether from high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke or increased risk of cancer among others. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly magnified these conditions and the associated risks.
“Obesity can rob you of your quality of life,” Dr. Ayoola said. “From joint pain that hinders everyday activities to lacking the energy to keep up with your children, there are so many great reasons to fight for good health.”
The doctors at the Weight Loss Center at Texas Health Flower Mound have many patients who have seen their diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol improve and in some cases resolve after reaching a healthy weight.
Bariatric surgery is a big decision and one that should not be taken lightly. Pointing to a National Institute of Health Study, Dr. Ayoola noted that when comparing those struggling with obesity who undergo bariatric surgery with those who went untreated, it found that those who underwent surgery most likely lived longer as a result of having the surgery.
What so many patients appreciate most about the Weight Loss Center at Texas Health Flower Mound is the judgment-free environment they create, where individuals can feel safe to get the help they have long sought. So many people who come to the Center for help are frustrated, embarrassed or feel hopeless to change their situation.
“For people dealing with obesity, constant and stern reminders to diet and exercise don’t help and, in fact, can make things worse,” Dr. Ayoola said. “If what society has been prescribing for people isn’t working, maybe we need to find and encourage other things that do work. We’re not telling people something they don’t already know and are probably beating themselves up about.
“They don’t need judgment or indignation. What they need is help; non-judgmental help. They need someone to get in the trenches with them to figure out what’s holding them back.”
This is where the Weight Loss Center at Texas Health Flower Mound truly shines. Start the journey that can change your life forever today. Schedule a consultation with the bariatric professionals at the Weight Loss Center at Texas Health Flower Mound. To make an appointment, call 469-565-0414.
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound is a joint venture owned by Texas Health Resources and physicians dedicated to the community. Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.