The Weight Is Over [1 of 3] -- Penn State Hershey Surgical Weight Loss

Uploaded by PennStateHershey on 01.07.2011

>> [music] Tonight -
>> Obesity is a disease, and people don't realize that.
>> An ABC 27 special presentation -
>> Dr. Ann Rogers: Bariatric surgery is the fastest-growing set of procedures in the world
right now.
>> This is not a quick fix. This is a way of life.
>> Penn State Hershey Surgical Weight Loss presents "The Weight is Over: Exploring Surgical
Weight Loss", brought to you by Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
>> Chuck Rhodes: Good evening. I'm Chuck Rhodes. In recent years, obesity has become a major
concern in the United States. One in three individuals is more than 20 percent over their
ideal body weight. It's estimated that approximately nine million adult Americans are morbidly
obese, and more than 400,000 deaths are attributed to obesity. Tonight.
>> Debra Pinkerton: Thanks, Chuck. A Mifflin County woman knew her health was in jeopardy.
She tried all kinds of diets [background noise] to lose weight, but knew surgical weight loss
was the only way. [music] Typical sounds come from Lower Tuskcarora Presbyterian Church
in Mifflin County. Fifty-nine-year-old Gayle Wheat was an organist there. Gayle's fingers
move so smoothly across the keys. Three years ago, it was very difficult for her to walk
up these steps to play the organ. She weighed 312 pounds.
>> Gayle Wheat: My knees were starting to hurt. So there were steps to get up there,
of course, and then you had to sit behind the organ on the organ bench, and I was too
far away because I was so heavy, it was hard to reach the top keyboard.
>> Debra Pinkerton: Gayle remembers the time when she was slim. That's when she met her
husband, Buddy.
>> Gayle Wheat: We met in high school band. We had our first date on May the 11th, 1967.
We went to a band banquet together, and we dated ever since then.
>> Buddy Wheat: She weighed 118 pounds, and we used to aggravate each other. I used to
be able to pick her up, and I haven't been able to do that in many, many years.
>> Debra Pinkerton: Gayle's weight gain started in college. She was at 160.
>> Gayle Wheat: I think my biggest problem, though, was probably portion size. Because
I always thought I had to have more. It's like being an alcoholic. It, I always say
I'm a foodaholic. I would, would go to Weight Watchers or something and lose some weight,
and then I would be back up the same place where. Then I would quit going to Weight Watchers
or whatever and gain the weight back plus some.
>> Buddy Wheat: She tried every way, every diet imaginable to, to lose weight. Even tried
fasting periodic and did not work. She would lose maybe 30 and then gain 40 back.
>> Debra Pinkerton: The pounds added up year after year. The added weight took its toll.
>> Gayle Wheat: I couldn't go shopping anymore. My husband and I like to ballroom dance, and
I had to stop doing that. I just couldn't even get out and, and walk with him or anything
because I couldn't go a half a block without having to stop and sit down, and I probably
for years weighed around 250, and then probably the last five years before my surgery I had
that hip replacement, and I gained a lot more, and that's when I knew I was up around 300.
The really upset me to know that I was that heavy, and I just knew I had to do something.
>> Debra Pinkerton: The weight not only affected her everyday life but her health.
>> Dr. Ann Rogers: Gayle weighed over 300 pounds and was five foot four when I met her,
and that gave her a body mass index of 52, and her obesity was complicated by a number
of associated medical conditions. I believe she had high blood pressure, she had elevated
cholesterol, she had obstructive sleep apnea so she had to wear a CPAP mask at night, reflux,
joint problems. A, a number of issues related to the weight. So it wasn't just the weight
she was worried about. She wanted to get healthier.
>> Debra Pinkerton: Gayle turned to Penn State Hershey's Surgical Weight Loss Program for
>> Dr. Ann Rogers: I think Gayle came in pretty determined that she wanted to have the gastric
>> Gayle Wheat: I was very excited about having that kind of a tool to help me lose the weight.
>> Buddy Wheat: I didn't want her to do it. I figured she could still possibly do it with
self control, and I said, alright, if you're that sincere about it, I'll go with you to
the counseling sessions, and we'll, we'll talk about it some more.
>> Debra Pinkerton: Their first appointment turned Gayle and Buddy's life around.
>> Buddy Wheat: I never knew what she weighed, and the first counseling session we went to,
I stepped back when she stepped on the scale, and she said, "No, you better come up here
and look at this." I stepped up and saw 312 pounds, and I didn't. [laughs] I never realized
she weighed that much, and it broke my heart. Because I think it finally came, impacted
on me, and, and how much she'd been hurting all those years.
>> Debra Pinkerton: An opponent who quickly became a proponent of weight loss surgery.
>> Buddy Wheat: I realized that was going to save her life. They convinced me that this,
this was the thing for her, and I became a supporter of it.
>> Susan Veldheer: We have here at Hershey Medical a six-month pre-operative program.
So the patients come to see the dietitian. We talk about lifestyle change, nutrition,
and physical activities. We ask them to eliminate sweetened beverages, any kind of liquid that
has calories in it, eat out less frequently, eliminate or minimize fried foods and high-fat
>> Gayle Wheat: They weigh you at every time, and they expect you to lose some weight while
you're going through the counseling.
>> Debra Pinkerton: Gayle lost about 16 pounds and was ready for surgery.
>> Gayle Wheat: I knew how much my life was going to change, but I was also really excited
to get to that point and to get it done and to get on my way and on the journey.
>> Debra Pinkerton: Buddy remembers the moment before Gayle was wheeled away.
>> Buddy Wheat: I saw it in her eyes when she went into the operating room how, how,
how serious she was about this and how dedicated she was. So she helped me. She brought me
along. That's, that's [laughs], she brought me along.
>> Dr. Ann Rogers: She had a laproscopic [inaudible] gastric bypass. This is actually the most
commonly performed operation for weight loss in the world. The first thing that's done
is we make a small pouch off of the top of the stomach, and that small pouch is separated
from the large part of the stomach. Then we work with the small bowel to bring a piece
of bowel up and connect it to the pouch so that the pouch, which is about the size of
a golf ball, doesn't hold much food. What little food you do eat then goes directly
into the small intestine, travels down a pipe where there's finally another connection where
the food mixes with digestive juices. That is why it's called a bypass. Food isn't traveling
through the usual route.
>> Gayle Wheat: It's great to have it done laproscopically. I had five tiny incisions.
So it, your recuperation time was, is really a lot less when you can do it that way.
>> Debra Pinkerton: After surgery, Gayle had protein drinks for two weeks, then slowly
moved into solid foods. Over time, her waist size decreased as her weight loss increased.
She lost about 180 pounds.
>> Gayle Wheat: I probably wore a 30 to 32 W then, and I'm in an 8 to a 10 now.
>> Debra Pinkerton: Can you believe it?
>> Gayle Wheat: No. I can't. I look at myself in the mirror, and sometimes I just don't
even realize it's me now.
>> Dr. Ann Rogers: Gayle had a remarkable result. It's, it's unusual, but she was probably
one of my more motivated patients.
>> Gayle Wheat: I've lost quite a bit of weight, and I can do all of those things that I couldn't
do. My husband even bought me a bicycle, and I was out riding bicycle this summer.
>> Buddy Wheat: She looks great. Just super. She's able to do things she hasn't done in
years, and I'm very, I'm very proud of what she's done and very grateful to God and all
the people He put in our life to do this to help her with this program.
>> Debra Pinkerton: [background talk] And Gayle said the main reason for this was because
of her health. After the gastric bypass, her cholesterol dropped, and she no longer has
sleep apnea. Now in the piece, Buddy mentioned that he was not able to pick up Gayle in a
number of years. Well, now he can. He also mentioned she looks like the woman he married
39 years ago. Back to you, Chuck.
>> Chuck Rhodes: Thank you, Debra, and every woman likes to hear that, and I tell you,
that's remarkable when you look at the before and after pictures, and joining us now on
the set is the director of the Surgical Weight Loss as you saw in the report there, Dr. Ann
Rogers. And doctor, obviously, the change is remarkable and very successful in that
particular operation. Is that typical? Is that successful?
>> Dr. Ann Rogers: Gayle had a magnificent result. I'll hand it to her. On average, patients
can expect to lose about a third of their weight. So I figured Gayle would probably
lose 100 or 110 pounds. She clearly went way beyond that. She's very motivated. She's been
sticking to the plan, made all the lifestyle changes, and it has paid off.
>> Chuck Rhodes: Now when, when I look at that, and you showed the graphic on how it's
done, what are the risks of a surgery like this?
>> Dr. Ann Rogers: There are risks to any surgical procedure. That's true. Now some
of the risks that we talk about specific to the gastric bypass include leaks, ulcers,
strictures. Some patients with rapid weight loss can form gallstones. Some patients can
have nutritional problems, and it's part of the reason we give them so much nutritional
education up front to avoid that.
>> Chuck Rhodes: Now it's, I assume that not everybody when you see a large person, you
say, well, he, he or she is eligible for this kind of surgery. Is that the case, or is that
not the case? Not every person is eligible for this kind of surgery?
>> Dr. Ann Rogers: Well, about five percent of humans qualify for bariatric surgery, but
they're all around us. Two-thirds of the world are either overweight or obese, and some of
them are clinically, severely obese and do qualify. In, in layman's terms, you should
be about 100 pounds overweight, or 100 percent above your ideal body weight to qualify.
>> Chuck Rhodes: That's remarkable. Now if a patient does qualify, what should they do
>> Dr. Ann Rogers: Call us. The phones are waiting. [laughter] It's easy to enter our
program. We have a website, which you can call in and get the information about. There's
an informational session on the website that tells patients all about what we offer. Patients
can come in person to enter our program as well.
>> Chuck Rhodes: Now what about insurance? When they talk about this, what happens for
insurance? Does that cover this particular -
>> Dr. Ann Rogers: Most conventional insurances do cover bariatric surgery. Most of them cover
gastric bypass and adjustable gastric band.
>> Chuck Rhodes: Alright. And, well, at this point, we're going to take, we're going to
take a little break from this and go back in a break, but thank you, doctor, and when
we come back, 11 years after [music] her heart transplant, bariatric surgery was her only
hope to lose weight, and Debra Pinkerton will share her story next.