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What to Expect


As a leading provider for bariatric surgery in West Hills, CA, we want to make certain that our patients know what to expect starting with their very first appointment.  During your first appointment, we give you a detailed customized consultation where we determine your qualifying factors for Lap Band Surgery, Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy or Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass. At SurgiThin, we pride ourselves in providing you with the most appropriate and result oriented approach, so we analyze whether you conform to the requirement guidelines as described by the National Institute of Health (NIH).Through its research mission, the NIH seeks to identify genetic, behavioral, and environmental causes of obesity; to understand how obesity leads to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, gastric reflux, gallbladder disease, cancer and other serious health problems.. NIH has set minimum requirements for weight loss surgery. They include:

  • A Body Mass Index 35 and above with one or more obesity related medical problems mentioned above or
  • A Body Mass Index of 40 and above with or without any medical illnesses.

Weight loss surgery is now considered as one of the most effective methods to achieve sustained weight loss. Weight loss surgery is not for everyone, but for the patients who qualify, it can produce incredible and dramatic weight loss.**Please note that FDA has just lowered the BMI from 35 to 30 for those patients who are interested in the LAP BAND.**


Pre Operation

  • Mental Prep: Our multifaceted team will guide you through the surgical process; help arrange discussions with other weight loss surgery patients.
  • Physical Prep: With the help of our team, you will take some preoperative dietary steps which will aid in your post-operative recovery. 


Post Operation

After your surgery, Dr. Paya will guide you in choosing the right diet, as an adequate amount of nutrition is important. You will see significant changes in your diet quantity, as weight loss surgery reduces the functional portion of your stomach, making you feel full after a smaller meal. Dr. Paya understands specific needs of each of his patients and creates a custom nutritional plan which includes transition from liquid to semi solid and to normal diet. This will be a very exciting journey for you and we will guide you every step of the way.



Bariatric Surgeon located in West Hills, San Fernando Valley, CA

Dr. Mahbod Mark Paya, M.D. is the director and founder of SurgiThin (California Surgical Weight Loss Center) in West Hills, CA. A bariatric surgeon and obesity specialist, Dr. Paya has performed more than 5,000 laparoscopic procedures since 2004 to help morbidly obese patients from all parts of the United States.

Dr. Paya's dedication to the surgical treatment of obesity is reflected in his extensive education and continuing education certificates. He received his general medical degree at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City in 1997. He went on to his residency at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center, where he became Chief Resident of general surgery, and received his fellowship in laparoscopy and bariatric surgery in 2004. Dr. Paya went even further in his own education for related procedures, including LAP-BAND placement, Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y, Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy and revision surgery and regularly performs these procedures at his practice.

Dr. Paya believes that weight loss surgery is a great solution for morbidly obese patients who have struggled to lose weight throughout life. In order to increase each patient’s chance of complete and permanent weight loss, Dr. Paya has developed a multi-disciplinary approach to augment and compliment every obesity surgery he performs. As a bariatric surgeon, he collaborates with a team of psychologists, nutritionists, anesthesiologists, exercise facilities and fitness trainers for a balanced approach with the goal of helping the patient achieve permanent weight loss. This proactive approach helps the patient address the challenges of permanent weight loss from every aspect, assisting in his or her rehabilitation to maximize healthy weight loss and maintain the loss once it has been achieved for the rest of the patient’s life. Dr. Paya and his staff believe that knowledge and education are key components in the success of each patient’s weight loss journey.

Dr. Paya and the staff at SurgiThin understand that the patient’s decision to undergo bariatric surgery is not an easy one to make. It is a complex procedure with its own set of risks. In addition, the patient must be dedicated and involved in his or her own success. Dr. Paya’s knowledge, skill and compassionate guidance, along with the support of his staff, helps the patient along the path to health with tools designed for maximum success with the fewest complications. The American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) recognize Dr. Paya and SurgiThin as qualified for their Centers of Excellence program. This program recognizes and rewards bariatric centers who provide suitable and appropriate equipment and support for patients who often exceed ideal body weight by more than 75 pounds.

Dr. Paya has written obesity-related chapters in a number of general surgery books and has given lectures on bariatric surgery all over the United States, offering his insight and experience to other bariatric specialists. He has produced and published numerous videos on the subject of laparoscopic bariatric surgical procedures, including lap band, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and related procedures. He was also recently featured in a National Geographic special, "The Science of Obesity" and is regularly interviewed on national and local health reports on the subject of weight control, obesity and weight loss surgery.

Dr. Paya is board-certified in general surgery by the American Board of Surgery, a diplomat of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons, the American Society of Bariatric Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons. He is affiliated with other hospitals, including the Center for Bariatric Surgery at the West Hills Hospital and Medical Center, Northridge Medical Hospital, UCI Medical Center and Hills Surgery Center.

Accepted Insurance Plans

We are pleased to be able to accept all PPO insurance plans (e.g. Blue Cross, Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Aetna, Cigna, Healthnet, etc.) that cover weight loss surgery. Patients with PPO insurance can see us without needing a referral or prior authorization. We also accept some HMO insurance plans. Patients with HMO insurance will need to first consult with their primary care physician to obtain a referral to see us. To learn if your health insurance coverage will pay for your surgery, and what your insurance authorization requirements are, please call our office or send us an online contact form.

Blue Cross Blue Shield
Health Net
UnitedHealthcare (except United Community Care Plan)

Words from our patients

  • Vitals

    "I had the surgery, and had no complications, very little discomfort, and I was back to work in a week. I recommend Dr. Paya to anyone!!

  • Vitals

    "Dr. Paya is one of the most skilled surgeons in Los Angeles. I had a complicated abdominal problem that multiple surgeons missed.""

  • facebook

    "I have been his patient since 2008, very happy with my 2008 band and my 2015 new gastric bypass!!!"

    Efrat B.
  • "Dr. Paya and his staff are wonderful people! He's an excellent surgeon that knows his stuff. His bedside manner and professionalism is impeccable. Satisfied."

  • "He is a very skilled surgeon, he is Board Certified in General Surgery & a member of American College of Surgeons & a member of American Society of Bariatric Surgery."

    Martha R.
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7320 Woodlake Avenue
Suite 300
San Fernando Valley, CA 91307