Rene, a patient at Bumrungrad International Hospital, first visited at his wife’s insistence after a bout of diarrhea and some general discomfort. After meeting Dr. Tossapol, the doctor developed a diagnosis, but also started an investigation which led to a procedure that changed Rene’s life, and formed a strong bond between the two of them.
Dr. Tossapol presumed Rene had acute infectious gastroenteritis...nothing too serious, just some discomfort due to swelling and an infection either in the intestines or stomach. We all have experienced this at one point or another.
However, after reviewing the blood tests, Dr. Tossapol noticed some abnormalities which led him to diagnose Rene with a rare blood condition- hemochromatosis. Had this been undiagnosed, this could have led to a heart and liver transplant, and the likelihood of qualifying for both transplant lists is next to nothing. Rene was offered a painless and incisionless endoscopic procedure to acquire liver tissues that led to the conclusion that not only hemochromatosis already affected his liver, but active inflammation from fatty liver disease played a role in expediting liver damage in him. Dr. Tossapol likes to say that “you see what you look for.” Some doctors may have only seen acute diarrhea, but Dr. Tossapol saw much more and his curiosity and careful examination led to a positive outcome for everyone involved.
Coming to Terms with the Underlying Issues
Rene and Dr. Tossapol had frank and candid conversations about options for his care. The two worked together to decide on a solution that would stick. Every patient is different and their care must be tailored to their needs and abilities. Rene needed to lose weight, and after trying a number of fad diets and not getting the long term results needed, it was determined that the safest and most effective way to solve the root of the problem would be to undergo the Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG) procedure.
Dr. Tossapol advocated on Rene’s behalf, when speaking with the insurance company and developed a clear case that the procedure would improve Rene’s quality of life, the condition of his liver, other metabolic syndromes, and help prevent diabetes. Rene said that Dr. Tossapol’s efforts are really what made the procedure possible.
The Bumrungrad Difference
studied and completed residency and fellowships at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, the University of Michigan Ann Arbor and John Hopkins University in Baltimore. Unfortunate family circumstances brought Dr. Tossapol back to Thailand, but his arrival came at just the right time for Rene.
Luckily for Rene, Johns Hopkins University is one of only three programs in the United States that trains gastroenterologists in advanced endoscopy procedures as a part of a 2-year program. Also, Dr. Tossapol’s mentor was at the forefront of developing new and exciting technology which allows doctors to perform various procedures less invasively, and thus more safely and with better results for patients. The techniques which Dr. Tossapol brought to Bumrungrad hospital have a much lower rate of complications, infection, and acid reflux compared to more traditional bariatric surgeries.
Deciding that the ESG procedure was the best solution was the first step in Rene’s quest for better health. After the procedure, Rene was quickly back on his feet and went home the next day...the first day of the rest of his life. He had the support of Dr. Tossapol, an endocrinologist, and a nutritionist who he was in contact with regularly over the phone, online messaging, as well as in-person appointments.
Rene lost 24 kilograms in 8 weeks and continues to improve his healthy lifestyle. With some doctors, several days of diarrhea might warrant a few pills and a suggestion to drink more fluids, but for Dr. Tossapol, it was a clue, and the two worked together to solve a complicated puzzle.
Patients in a similar position are able to receive a high level of care and a thorough consultation with Dr. Tossapol’s team. Meeting with cardiologists, endocrinologists, pulmonologists, bariatric surgeons, psychiatrists, and nutritionists, while having the support of this entire multi-disciplinary team, will help ensure that patients have a treatment plan that is best for them, and has the highest likelihood of sustainable long-term results. For some, this means procedures, and for others, there are different non-procedural therapies like medication, which can help patients based on their circumstances and motivation. Throughout the entire process, before, during, and after, the team is there to support the patient.
Bumrungrad is lucky to have Dr. Tossapol and his team to help patients in Thailand.
Digestive Disease (GI) Center
Rene mentioned that “there’s a big difference between care and genuine care. They do actually genuinely care about you…[Dr. Tossapol] treats his patients like his family and this is how he would treat his family.”
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