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What are the early signs of colon cancer?

Colon cancer is one of those conditions you may never know you have until its symptoms are full blown. Most people just choose to ignore the risk of colon cancer because, apparently, they are too young to develop it. Well, according to a recent study, people in their 20s and 30s are almost as likely to develop colorectal cancer as their counterparts 40 years and older – a trend that has been attributed to the general rise in the obesity epidemic.

Fortunately, cancer in your intestines can be successfully removed and your health restored if you are diagnosed in time. Consider seeing a cancer doctor for testing if you have any of the following symptoms:

Blood in stool

Blood in stool is among the earliest signs of colon cancer. Inform your doctor if you see blood in your stool or on the toilet paper. It can be a frequent or intermittent sight, so don’t assume you are okay if you don’t see it again for several days to a few weeks.


You are likely to lose blood gradually as the tumor in your colon or rectum bleeds. Patients may not realize they are losing blood and iron, but blood tests may reveal a lack of enough red blood cells.

Abdominal pain

Tumors could cause blockages and injuries in the colon, leading to unusual pain in the abdominal area. Your doctor will examine the type of pain you are experiencing to determine if colon cancer is behind it.

Change in stool caliber

Narrow stool could be a sign of a tumor in the colon or rectum. Other changes in a bowel movement to watch out for include constipation and recurrent diarrhea.

Get screened today

Screening for colon cancer should begin at 50. However, if you experience any of the above signs or have risk factors such as a family history of cancer, consider getting checked regardless of your age. Contact El Paso Bariatric Surgery today for a comprehensive assessment of your symptoms and treatment.

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When should you consider weight loss surgery?

Patients with a body mass index of over 35 are considered eligible for weight loss surgery. You must also have tried traditional weight loss methods before settling for bariatric surgery. If you have a high risk for an obesity-induced disease or have a life-threatening disease, you may be considered a good candidate.

Other guidelines may include obesity that has not receded for more than five years with the patient having no history of drug or alcohol abuse or an untreated psychiatric disorder. As regards age, everyone is eligible, though common candidates are between the ages of 18 and 65 years old.

What to expect from a weight loss surgery

You’re only considered a good weight loss surgery candidate if your chances of positive results are realistic. Also, the surgery should not pose a significant threat to your health. It should, instead, improve your appearance and health, and change your quality of life in the long run.

Of course, the surgery may not solely guarantee to turn your life around. The surgeon may require that you make certain behavior and lifestyle modifications to complement the results and ensure they last. You may even be recommended to consider additional clinical procedures and medications.

Common complementary procedures include breast lift, breast augmentation, liposuction, and abdominoplasty, all of which are dedicated to treating fat, improve loose muscles, lift sagging areas and remove excess skin.

Does weight loss surgery have substitutes?

Since surgeons won’t consider bariatric surgery unless other treatments have failed, it is important to know all your other alternatives. The most common weight loss techniques are exercise and diet modification. These should be considered with the guidance of a weight loss doctor before resorting to surgery. Other procedures include liposuction and a tummy tuck.

Call us today to schedule an appointment with our weight loss surgeon, who will help assess your candidature for weight loss surgery.

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How much weight can you lose with bariatric surgery?

bariatric surgery

Bariatric or weight loss surgery is usually recommended to help individuals lose weight when diet and exercise fail to provide the results they want, or when they begin to experience health complications such as heart disease, high blood pressure, infertility, depression, joint problems, and others due to being overweight.

Surgery is almost always a last resort when other non-invasive remedies fail to deliver the results you want. Before taking the step to get rid of your weight surgically, it is expected that have done as much research as possible about bariatric surgery. Generally, not every overweight individual is a good candidate for bariatric surgery. And managing obesity is not simply a matter of changing your appearance and getting rid of the extra weight.

It will also help to improve your overall health and quality of life, enhancing your well-being and possibly adding years to your life.

But how much weight can you expect to shed?

First, the amount of weight loss depends on the type of bariatric surgery you choose and your general health. That said, the weight loss typically ranges from 40 to 80% of your “excess” weight.

So, a 6 foot 2 patient weighing 400 lbs, and whose ideal weight is 195 pounds may wish to shed 205 lbs of excess weight. With the adjustable gastric band, this patient may lose 40-50% of the excess weight (80-102 lbs); 60 – 65% with a gastric sleeve (about 120 lbs); or 75-80%  with a gastric bypass (about 160 lbs).

Keep in mind that the results vary for different patients depending on motivation, how close they follow the doctor’s recommendations, and on-going support. Most of the weight loss occurs during the first few months after surgery and continues for 12-18 months post bariatric surgery.

Final note

Surgical weight loss programs are focused on delivering long-term health and include a number of activities before your surgery, as well as post-operative care, a customized workout routine, nutritional counseling, support groups, and more. All these components are necessary for great success and keeping the extra weight off for life.

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How much do you have to weigh to have weight loss surgery?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one out of every three Americans may be a good candidate for Weight loss surgery. Medically known as bariatric surgery, weight loss surgery is recommended for patients suffering from severe obesity, meaning that they have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 and above.

Most adults are good candidates for a weight loss procedure, though the first criteria that physicians look at are your BMI. There are three main categories of people who can benefit from bariatric surgery:

  • People with mild obesity and BMI of 30 to 35
  • People with moderate obesity and BMI of 35 to 40
  • People with severe obesity and BMI of over 40

Physicians recommend that patients consider bariatric surgery when dealing with moderate obesity, and a BMI between 35 and 40, rather than waiting until their BMI is over 40 or even 50 when the patient is less likely to enjoy the full benefits of the procedure.

Why choose surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a fast, safe, and effective way to reduce your weight while warding off the dangers of obesity, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, among others.

Weight loss surgery involves reducing the size of your stomach to directly reduce your food intake. The procedure also causes changes in your appetizing hormone levels, which helps to lower your appetite and boost insulin sensitivity, which often causes diabetes remission.  

There are many different approaches to bariatric surgery, though the most common ones are:

  • Sleeve gastrectomy – Used by around 60 – 70% of obese patients, the procedure requires the doctor to remove 80% of your stomach. This procedure is particularly suited for patients with a BMI of 35 to 40.
  • Gastric bypass – This procedure is recommended for severely obese patients. It involves bisecting the stomach and small intestines into two segments and then linking the smaller ones together to reduce both your food intake and absorption in the intestines.

Please keep in mind that surgery is usually considered as a last resort, when diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes fail.

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What is Colorectal Surgery In El Paso?

colorectal surgery in el paso

Colorectal surgery in El Paso is a field of medicine that focuses on repairing the damage caused by disorders in the rectum, colon, and anus. You may also require colorectal surgery when there is an obstruction or injury or ischemia or blockages that are preventing the normal elimination of feces from your body.

What do colorectal surgeons do?

A colorectal surgeon also called colon and rectal surgeon is a medical practitioner who specializes in the medical and surgical treatments of disorders that affect the lower digestive tract, namely colon, rectum, and anus.

You should see a colorectal specialist when you develop symptoms of the following disorders:

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Diverticulitis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohns’ disease
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Anal fissures
  • Bowel incontinence

Why Choose Dr. Benjamin Clapp Reflux Surgeon in El Paso?

Dr. Clapp is committed to providing individualized care for each patient, as he understands that each and every client requires different needs.

When you come for our colorectal surgery in El Paso expect the following:

  • You’ll be treated respectfully and with care
  • You’ll be seen at your scheduled time without unnecessary waiting lines
  • Dr. Benjamin Clapp and his dedicated staff will explain everything in detail to ensure you fully understand all the things that pertain to your treatment.
  • You’ll be comfortable throughout the duration of your appointment and treatment

Learn More about Colorectal Surgery in El Paso.

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Poster Presentations at the Society of American Gastrointestinal Surgeons

Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeon (SAGES) Meeting

Dr. Clapp presented three posters with his resident and students this past weekend in Seattle.

First Presentation

An unusual presentation of Coccidioidomycosis with peritoneal involvement in an immunocompetent individual

“An unusual presentation of Coccidioidomycosis with peritoneal involvement in an immunocompetent individual” Joe Krocker BS, Benjamin Clapp MD. Abstract submitted to the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, Seattle, WA, Apr 2018.

Second Presentation

Laparoscopic management of sigmoid intussusception.

“Laparoscopic management of sigmoid intussusception.” Yvette Faran BS, Jorge Miranda BS, Benjamin Clapp MD. Abstract submitted to the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, Seattle, WA, Apr 2018.

Third Presentation

Evaluation of the rate of anastomotic ulcer formation after gastric bypass using the MBSAQIP database.” Benjamin Clapp MD, Angela Guerra, Joshua Hahn , Colin Martyn, Jesus Gamez. Abstract accepted at the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, Seattle, WA, Apr 2018.

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4 Weight Loss Surgery Treatments

el paso bariatric surgery

When weight loss surgery was introduced a few decades ago, its sole purpose was to help people lose weight. Today, it does a lot more than just that. Weight loss surgery has been shown to improve symptoms of weight-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, acid reflux, sleep apnea and heart disease. What’s more, doctors can now tackle weight from multiple angles, making almost any case of overweightness or obesity remediable by surgery.

We have discussed below the main types of weight loss surgery offered at El Paso Bariatric. Read on to get an insight into the specific types of weight loss surgery before deciding on which one you think suits you best.

1) Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass is performed to limit the amount of food your stomach can hold. The surgeon creates a pouch at the top end of your stomach, to which the small intestine is cut and connected. Food thus flows into the intestines without getting into the main part of the stomach, effectively reducing the amount of food you can take per sitting and, consequently, the amount of calories your body absorbs.

This may be the best type of surgery if you have acid reflux as it reduces the upward pressure that pushes up stomach content into the esophagus.

2) Sleeve Gastrectomy

This procedure is pretty similar to gastric bypass, except for the fact that the cut portion of the stomach is removed entirely from the body. The objective is straightforward – to physically reduce the size of the stomach, so you get full without eating much. The surgery also reduces one’s urge to eat as the hormone that alerts the brain when one gets hungry is located in the section of the stomach that is cut off.

Sleeve gastrectomy heals more quickly than gastric bypass and is suitable for people who have had multiple other surgeries in the abdominal area.

3) Adjustable Gastric Band

In this, an inflatable balloon is placed inside a silicone ring, which is attached to the upper part of the stomach. A small tubing is attached to the balloon with one of its endings connected to a port placed under the skin in the abdomen.

Using the port, the surgeon can modulate the diameter of the opening at the top of the stomach and to create a pouch where food sits for a while after a meal so the individual feels full faster.

4) Biliopancreactic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS)

The BPD/DS involves two procedures: a sleeve gastrectomy – where part of the stomach is tied into a banana shaped pouch – followed by the surgical attachment of the small intestine to the pouch. It is known as a malabsorptive surgery as it is designed to regulate the amount of calories absorbed along the gut. It makes the food storage part of the stomach much smaller and makes the food reach the small intestine faster.

Bariatric Surgery in El Paso

Weight loss surgery is the way to go if you’re looking for a quick and effective way of shed the few extra pounds. Call (915) 351-6020 today to schedule a consultation with one of the best bariatric surgeons in El Paso.

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3 Main Symptoms of Gastro Reflux Disease

gastro reflux disease

Closeup of a beautiful pregnant brunette feeling unwell and suffering from heartburn

Gastro Reflux Disease or acid reflux is a condition in which acidic content from the stomach leaks backs up into the esophagus. The liquid may cause irritation on the lining of the esophagus, over time leading to a chronic condition called esophagitis.

Gastro Reflux Disease is a chronic condition itself. Even when an injured esophagus is treated and heals, the injury is bound to come back a few months later.

What are the symptoms of Gastro Reflux Disease?

The three primary symptoms of an uncomplicated case of Gastro Reflux Disease are regurgitation, nausea, and heartburn.


Heartburn is sometimes described as just chest pain. It occurs when the acid in the stomach content stimulates nerve fibers in the esophagus. Most people with Gastro Reflux Disease will feel burning sensations or mild pain in the region above the stomach and the neck. However, in some cases, the pain is sharper or feels like pressure in the chest that may extend to the back.

Since acid refluxes occur not long after meals, heartburns too come at around the same time. That is however not to say that every meal will be followed by a heartburn; heartburns come about intermittently and may go for several months before returning. Note that GERD-stimulated heartburn is chronic and will always come back.


Regurgitation occurs when the fluid from the stomach goes past the esophagus and up into the throat where it’s felt as a bitter taste at the back of the mouth. While in most cases just a little of the fluid reaches the mouth, there are instances when the backed up content is too much it breaches the upper esophageal sphincter (UEL) and results in mouthfuls of liquid or food.


As a symptom of GERD, nausea is not as common as regurgitation or heartburn. But even if it was, it would be hard to attribute to GERD as it is a symptom of many other common conditions.

Contact us now at (915) 351-6020 if you feel those symptoms. Our Reflux Surgery Specialist, Dr. Benjamin Clapp will examine your symptoms and offer you with the treatments available.

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Abstract Acceptance For A Seattle Presentation

Presentation about what?

Dr. Benjamin Clapp accepted the abstract presentation about: An unusual presentation of Coccidioidomycosis with peritoneal involvement in an immunocompetent individual.

What is Coccidioidomycosis?

Coccidioidomycosis is a fungal infection endemic to the southwestern United States, Central America, and South America.  Coccidioides is ubiquitous in many of these endemic regions, with near 100% seroconversion in some communities.

Two-thirds of these mycotic infections may be asymptomatic.

The most common presentation of coccidioidomycosis consists of “flu-like” symptoms or pneumonia.

Less than five percent of symptomatic cases progress to disseminated coccidioidomycosis which may involve any organ system.

Very rarely infection may include the peritoneum.

We report a case of coccidioidomycosis with peritoneal involvement in an immunocompetent individual.


Abstract ID: 84804
Abstract Title: An Unusual Presentation of Coccidioidomycosis with Peritoneal Involvement in an Immunocompetent Individual
Session Name: iPoster Session (Non CME)
Program Number: Program Number will be assigned in January 2018
Session Date: Thursday, April 12, 2018 and Friday, April 13, 2018
Session Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Learn More about this presentation.

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How are Abdominal Hernias Diagnosed?

A clinical evaluation is used to diagnose abdominal hernia. Read on to learn abdominal hernia diagnosis and why you should seek treatment for abdominal hernias.

Abdominal Hernia

Doctors often rely on a physical exam to diagnose abdominal hernias. In some case, a hernia swelling may be visible or can be felt when a hand is placed directly over it and then bear down. Because a hernia may be felt only when abdominal pressure is increased, you will be asked to stand upright during the diagnosis.

In the event the no hernia is palpable, you will be asked to cough or perform Valsalva maneuver as the doctor palpates the adnominal wall. The clinical examination focuses on the inguinal area, the umbilicus, the femoral area and any incisions that are visible.

For a femoral hernia, an ultrasound may be used to determine if it is apparent. Also, an abdominal X-ray may be conducted to check for the presence of a bowel construction.

World-Class Hernia Treatment in El Paso

If you’re diagnosed with a hernia, the doctor may recommend various treatments options to help you restore the quality of your life.

An umbilical hernia in a baby may heal itself within four years, making hernia repair surgery unnecessary.

Generally, hernias produce less troubling symptoms, allowing people to live with it and monitor it. However, you should seek immediate treatment if you experience serious abdominal complaints. The risk of living with a hernia is that the protruding organ may become strangulated, cutting off blood supply or causing the abdomen to swell. This can be life-threatening, especially if the strangulated intestinal hernia becomes infected or perforated.

A hernia repair surgery is the conventional treatment solution for hernias. This treatment is performed under local anesthesia with the purpose of repairing the damaged muscle wall.

Hernia repairs are usually carried out as an outpatient procedure, which means you get to go home on the same day. In fact, you can resume work and routine activities within one to two weeks following the surgery. But full recovery takes up to 4 weeks and you should not lift heavy objects for two months.

Making important life changes like keeping your body weight in healthy range and taking regular exercises can go a long way toward preventing hernias from reoccurring.

An untreated hernia will not go away. Come for comprehensive and effective hernia treatment performed by Dr. Benjamin Clapp in El Paso. Dr. Benjamin Clapp is committed to helping you overcome effects of hernia through effective hernia repair surgery at our state-of the art El Paso facility.

Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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Real Results

Patient Testimonials

  • Great guy! He's really nice and answers all your questions. Very encouraging. Glad to have him as my doctor. The surgery went awesome.

  • Weight loss surgery is the best choice I’ve ever made. I highly recommend working with Dr. Clapp.

  • I was concerned when I met him because he is very young but my PCP recommended him so highly I put those concerns aside.

For more patient testimonials and reviews, please click here.