Tonawanda News

Features

September 16, 2013

Year-old bariatric surgery program at Falls medical center is changing lives

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — The new surgical laser systems aids the process because it cuts hospital stays in half, to about 1 1/2 days, and speeds recovery time, he said.  

The program, which holds monthly informational sessions for potential patients, along with support for those who have had the surgery, sends patients back out into the community

Campbell-Lewis, a 35 year old mother of two, is not morbidly obese like many of the patients in the program. But, at 266 pounds, her weight has caused a hiatal hernia which is making her life unbearable. She will have a gastric sleeve surgery, where her stomach is trimmed to a shape similar to a banana, a little less severe a procede than a gastric bypass, which converts the stomach into a small pouch that holds about an ounce of food. 

As a nurse, employed at a health center operated by the hospital, she’s very comfortable with the safety of the procedure. Her initial apprehension was that “I feel like I’m taking the easy way out,” but she’s on five pills a day for the reflux cause by the hernia, and anxious to feel well again. She’s had the pre-tests, including psychiatric consults, nutrition and physical therapy consults, and she is simply waiting to be put on the surgical schedule. “I can’t wait,” she said.

Lisa Mueller, 51, of the Town of Niagara, who had the surgery in October when she was 400 pounds, also had a hernia repaired during her weight-loss surgery. Because the surgery also impacts messages sent to the brain, she not only eats far less, but she doesn’t crave the breads and sweets as she used to. 

“It’s helped me out a lot. I honestly think I probably would have eaten myself to death,” she said. “All I did was eat.” 

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