Committed to Change

Making Devoted husband, father of two boys and successful businessman Ray Arocho of Lake Forest was 51 years of age when he committed to making dramatic lifestyle changes. With the help of a gastric LAP-BAND, Ray has shed 115 pounds and transformed his weight, health and outlook on life.

“I’d been heavy for 30 years,” says Ray, “but three years ago my youngest son said to me, ‘Daddy, you’re fat.’ That’s when I knew it was time to do something.”

Hearing that hard truth hit home for Ray. His own father, a baker, hadn’t survived to see his grandsons. Ray’s family had a tendency to be heavy. He was accustomed to living what he called “the good life,” with all the savory food and drinks that came with it. Along the way, he’d also developed high cholesterol and sleep apnea.

“I told my wife I was considering weight-loss surgery so I would be there for our kids,” recalls Ray. “She told me, ‘Do it for yourself,’ and I did.”


Since 1996, the LAP-BAND System has provided effective, safe and minimally invasive care for patients, with gradual weight loss. The LAP-BAND is placed with a thin, lighted tube, or laparoscope, around the upper portion of the stomach, without stapling or cutting the stomach or intestines. The surgeon can later tighten or loosen the band to adjust the size of the opening for food passing through the stomach. Limiting the stomach’s capacity increases the feeling of fullness so that food intake decreases.

Bariatric, or weight-loss, surgeries, including the LAP-BAND procedure, are among the world’s most studied and fastest growing surgeries. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) reports that bariatric surgery is the most effective and durable treatment for people who are morbidly obese – 75 pounds or more overweight.

The ASMBS has designated the MemorialCare Center for Obesity at Orange Coast Medical Center as a Center of Excellence for bariatric surgeries. The center performs more weight-loss surgeries – gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and laparoscopic band procedures – than most other centers throughout the United States.

“Bariatric surgeries increase lifespan and quality of life. We’ve seen the benefits in so many ways, including reversal of type 2 diabetes,” says Peter LePort, M.D., medical director of the MemorialCare Center for Obesity at Orange Coast Medical Center. “Men and women coming to our center for treatment, who are motivated to change their diet and exercise behaviors, are supported by a committed team of health professionals before, during and after their procedure. As a result, they have a very high likelihood of success.”


More than one-third of our nation’s adults and 17 percent of children are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Obesity is linked to more than 40 diseases, including coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and cancer

Ray insisted upon having the very best surgeon and medical team for his procedure. He found Orange Coast Medical Center and Dr. LePort, who has performed more than 4,000 weight loss surgeries over the past 25 years. Collectively, the experts at the MemorialCare Center for Obesity at Orange Coast Medical Center have performed more than 13,000 surgeries.

Within a few hours of his procedure, Ray was back at home. In just over a week, he was at the gym, working towards his fitness goals.


Today, Ray continues his journey to wellness. Every day, he attends boot camp at 5:30 am. He’s training for a half-marathon, with the goal to one day compete in a triathlon. Ray is also thrilled to no longer be a statistic – his high cholesterol and sleep apnea are behind him.

“I don’t need to take medications anymore. I have the energy to play with my kids. I even gained enough confidence to start a new career,” says Ray. “Weight-loss surgery is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. The world is my oyster!”

He adds, “My 11-year-old son weighs 111 pounds. I’ve lost as much as he weighs! I’m proof that change can happen if you really want it.”

If you struggle with weight loss, and are 75 pounds or more over your ideal weight, weight-loss surgery may be the right solution for you. Read more success weight-loss surgery success stories or schedule your consultation with one of our experts, call (714) 378-7622 or 1-877-HEALTHY.