November 12, 2002
Albany-- Gastric Bypass Surgery helps people make permanent changes in eating habits by reducing the size of their stomach. It works for people whose wieght has become a threat to their health.
I sat down with one Albany woman who says the surgery has given her a new lease on life. Darlene Pino was noticeably heavier three months ago. "The local surgeon here kindly recommended I consider gastric bypass surgery because not only would it cure reflux, but I would loose the wieght," Pino said.
"I thought hmmm-- killing two birds with one stone sounds like a good idea to me.'"
And the result? "I feel so energetic, I'm limber like I was at 20," Pino said.
There are lots of benefits. "I'm flexible again, no joint pain, reflux stopped instantly, I'd do it again in a heartbeat."
But, there are some adjustments. "About two bites of each, my stomach holds about six ounces."
Gastric bypass surgery shrinks the stomach, creating a small pouch the size of a thumb. So at lunch, Darlene has to watch what she eats, and how much she eats, or she will get nauseous. "So when you are commiting to this, you are committing to a lifestyle change. But a good thing is that getting sick is a great deterent."
It's just been three months, and already Darlene has lost 40 pounds, and is expected to lose at least that much more. So, for Darlene, the surgery has been a success, and the side effects small for as much as she has gained.
While surgery has been a solution for many, it's not foolproof. About 10 to 15 percent of patients gain wieght back. Recently, "Today" Show weatherman Al Roker underwent stomach shrinking surgery.
You can hear about his experience with it tonight, on "Dateline", on NBC, and WALB.
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