Weight Loss Specialists of North Texas
Growing up the son of a physician, Folahan Ayoola always assumed he’d be a doctor as well. “My siblings and I all talked about becoming physicians just like our dad,” he said. “Then we grew up and the rest of them went other ways. But I always felt like I possessed the empathy to be a good doctor.”
Surgery was of particular interest to him, so when he’d ﬁnished medical school he attended a general surgery residency at Virginia Commonwealth University. He continued there with a minimally-invasive/bariatric surgery fellowship. “I was very interested in laparoscopic and minimally-invasive surgeries, and weight loss surgeries were part of that.”
Although weight loss really wasn’t on his radar at the time, he began learning about the different surgical and laparoscopic options. “Like a lot of people, I believed—wrongly—that someone who was obese just needed to exercise more and eat less,” Dr. Ayoola said. “I thought they just needed to make better choices. Then I got up close and personal with patients and realized it had very little to do with their willpower or personality, or even bad choices. It’s like thinking someone has diabetes simply because they can’t stop eating sugar. It’s more complex than that.”
“I met people who were struggling with obesity who ate less than their spouses who didn’t have a weight problem,” he said. “I learned that there are many variables that go into obesity. I also learned it’s not solely a cosmetic issue. Obesity can lead to diabetes, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, cardiac disease, hypertension, cholesterol problems, and fatty liver disease. These are life-altering, life-threatening conditions. During my fellowship, I fell in love with my patients and the outcomes we were able to achieve together.”
This natural-born caregiver had found his niche. Now through his Weight Loss Specialists of North Texas locations in Denton, Flower Mound, and Frisco, he has helped thousands of patients live free from obesity and obesity-related conditions. “Weight loss surgery is not a one-size-ﬁts-all procedure,” he said. “No two patients are the same, so nothing we do is cookie-cutter. It’s my duty to educate my patients on the many weight loss surgery options available. Once I do, they can make informed decisions about which option is best for them.”
Bariatric surgery for weight loss has proved to be a perfect ﬁt for Dr. Ayoola. “I enjoy the long-term relationships I’m able to forge with my patients and their families,” he said. “And after thousands of surgeries, it’s just as fascinating to me as it was the ﬁrst time. I love the technical/science end of my job and I love the people/relationship end; love seeing a patient six months out from surgery and the progress they have made.”
Weight loss surgery is not an end-all-be-all. “I can’t perform the surgery then say, ‘Have a good life’,” Dr. Ayoola said. “Obesity is a chronic condition and my patients, my staff, and I treat it as such—together. It’s all-hands-on-deck all the time. My patients see an in-office dietician. They visit our monthly support group and see my nurse practitioner. And they continue to follow up with us. Every patient will have a different journey. I tell them ‘I’m your tour guide on your journey. You may get lost in the wilderness.
When you do, blow your whistle and I’m there to get you back on track. But if you’re willing to follow me the whole time, there’s no need for you to ever get off track’.”
“Obesity is a serious, life-threatening problem that needs to be taken seriously,” Dr. Ayoola said. “It’s an illness and it needs to be treated as such. We want to use all the means we can that are reproducible and safe. And we want to do so with love and compassion, the same way we’d want someone to treat us.”
Dr. Ayoola admits to being a somewhat old-fashioned doctor. “I believe in respecting my patients,” he said. “I need to earn their trust and keep their trust. We need to build a relationship of mutual respect and understanding. I need to have respect for their health goals and what they hope to accomplish. I can’t just download what I want to do and make them go along. It’s important that I understand what they’re going through. I never want one of my patients to feel rushed but to feel like their time is as valuable as mine is.”
Meet Folahan Ayoola
Dr. Ayoola is fellowship trained in bariatric surgery as well as advanced minimally invasive (laparoscopic) surgery. He advocates a minimally-invasive approach whenever possible to ensure faster, less painful recovery after surgery. He is the Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at the prestigious Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound and recipient of the I.A. Bigger award, the highest award bestowed to any surgical resident at his program.
When not on the job, he enjoys every second he can with his wife, a nurse, and their two small boys. “They are my heart,” he said. “They rule my life. When I’m not working, my wife and I do whatever the boys want to do.” He’s now accepting new patients at Weight Loss Specialists of North Texas.
Dr. Ayoola is the first to realize the success his patients achieve is due in large part to his highly-skilled and experienced staff. “We’re a team, in every sense of the word,” he said. “Many of them have been with me for years and are as dedicated to our patients as I am. They make our office a pleasant place to work and are dedicated to providing our patients with whatever they need to achieve their weight-loss goals.”
3321 Colorado Boulevard
Denton, Texas 76210
Flower Mound Office
4400 Long Prairie Rd, Suite 255
Flower Mound, Texas 75028
5680 Frisco Square Blvd, Suite 2500
Frisco, Texas 75034
By Meredith Knight
Photography by Guy T