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For those who struggle with obesity, losing weight can be a daily battle.
For Gina Henderson, that struggle became too much to handle, and her doctors were worried her health would continue to worsen if something wasn’t done.
“My life would be shortened, my quality of life would diminish, my risk of complications would gradually increase with my age, and it scared me.”
Gina turned to Iowa Health and discovered the Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery.
The procedure removes 3/4 of your stomach-taking it from the size of a football to the size of an index finger and as long as a banana.
On top of providing a permanent solution to portion control, the surgery also removes a hormone found in the stomach that causes hunger.
“This is a tool that takes away their hunger and really gives them the ability to do the right thing, and keep doing it lifelong,” says Dr. Lamasters.
Dr. Lamasters says patients who qualify for the surgery are at least 100 pounds overweight, have failed at a number of diet and exercise plans, and are starting to see the signs their health is in jeopardy.
“Our goal is not to make people skinny,” He says. “Our goal is to make people healthy, we want to improve their health, and help them live longer, and then improve their quality of life too.”
For Gina, having the surgery came down to her health, she had high blood pressure and high cholesterol and the beginning stages of diabetes.
“I had to be realistic with myself and realize that I could not manage taking off the kind of pounds I wanted to take off for long term, and I wanted to make a decision now that would impact my health now before it continued to get worse.”
Doctor Lamasters says the surgery has a high success rate.
Some patients are able to leave the hospital without the weight-related medications they came in on.
He says, “We take the highest risk people and give them really the best outcomes, it`s an amazing thing we’re able to do now.”
Gina, will end up losing 60 to 70 percent of her excess body weight, improving her overall health.
“I’m looking forward to the feeling, that i won’t have to be controlled by my weight anymore.”
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