February 21, 2019

Meet Dr. Doyon

Laura Doyon, MD, looks deeply at the factors involved in obesity

Laura Doyon, MD, a versatile and popular bariatric surgeon, joined the Emerson Center for Weight Loss in 2015. Since then, Dr. Doyon has helped a growing list of individuals successfully and finally lose weight with surgery. When dieting has just not worked, and one’s health is suffering, surgery may be the answer. 

“Bariatric surgery has been clinically proven to be the most effective means for achieving substantial and long-term weight loss,” says Dr. Doyon. “As I explain to my patients, during the past two decades, there has been a revolution in the safety profile of these procedures.”   

Bariatric surgery also is proven to be an effective way to cure or reduce a long list of health problems associated with excess weight: type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Dr. Doyon is quick to note that, perhaps even more importantly, bariatric surgery also has a substantial impact on quality of life. 

“From the patient’s perspective, everything positive they experience after surgery relates to quality of life,” she says. “They want to enjoy their families, participate in various activities and perhaps get a better job. Also, they don’t want the inconvenience, expense and side effects of taking multiple medications or the chronic medical consequences of high blood pressure and diabetes.” 

One study found that an individual’s quality of life often increases as soon as surgery is performed—even before significant weight is lost and before their health problems have improved. “I believe hope plays a role, along with patients simply knowing they are finally taking control of something that has caused them to suffer for years,” says Dr. Doyon.  

Board-certified in obesity medicine 

In addition to bariatric surgery, Dr. Doyon also performs surgery to treat reflux disease, swallowing disorders, hiatal hernias and Barrett’s esophagus. “These procedures require the same skills as bariatric surgery, including laparoscopic suturing and fine technical work,” she explains.  

In order to offer more comprehensive care for obesity as a chronic disease, Dr. Doyon recently became board-certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine. She is the only bariatric surgeon in Massachusetts to have done so. “This certification allows me to provide a focused approach on the multiple factors that affect body weight,” she notes. “It’s not just about calories in and calories out. We now know that a person’s physiology and metabolism, sleep, stress level, and medications all have an impact on weight ‘set-point’. I want to be able to help them achieve the best possible results after their surgery.” 

Dr. Doyon is pleased to see her patients’ impressive weight loss after bariatric surgery, and she is optimistic about the new treatment options that are being developed. “Today we have additional opportunities to use certain medications and avoid others, manipulate the diet if there is insulin resistance, and identify other sources of weight gain, such as sleep deprivation due to sleep apnea,” she says.  

Timing is important, Dr. Doyon adds. “Our patients typically have struggled with their weight for years, if not decades,” she says. “Then certain factors come together in their life that prepares them to tackle their weight loss. It requires a degree of courage, support from family and friends, and feeling like you’re with the right team to get you through it. It is an honor for me to help patients with something that is so important and has plagued them for so long.  I love helping people move beyond their weight to what they want to do with their lives.”

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