The Weight Is Over [2011 Pt. 2 of 3] -- Penn State Hershey Surgical Weight Loss

Uploaded by PennStateHershey on 13.12.2011

>> [Background music] You're watching The Weight is Over, exploring surgical weight
loss on ABC 27 brought to you by Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
>> Welcome back. Since childhood weight was always an issue for a Franklin County woman.
It consumed and controlled her life.
>> It's been about 20 years since Erin Smith stepped foot on a bike. It's not that she
didn't want to, she couldn't.
>> I just avoided it because honestly I thought that bikes couldn't handle my weight.
>> Erin's right. A few years ago this bike would not have handled her weight. She weighed
330 pounds -- Erin's highest weight. But the extra pounds started when she was young.
>> I remember probably my first diet was in the sixth grade. I liked a boy in sixth grade
and so I thought if I lost five pounds that it would get him to be interested in me. And
in fact, I even got on a little note to him.
>> Neither worked -- no interest and no weight loss. There was weight gain instead.
>> It concerned us. We knew that she was -- as she went into middle school and high school
that we could see that she was gaining more weight and we tried to keep reminding her
and trying to be careful with what she was eating. But she would do little things like
sneak food.
>> I remember freshman year of high school we had to go and get weighed by the nurse.
And I was over 200 pounds. And I remember that that really stuck with me. I thought,
"Oh, this is not good for a 14 or 15 year old." It just wasn't healthy.
>> I can remember she was in All-State chorus and I remember we had to buy plus skirt, plus
size blouse.
>> Erin admits ice cream was the culprit. It didn't help she worked in an ice cream
>> It would not be out of the question for me to pull a pint out and eat that or even
take a half gallon and consume a good chunk of that. Through college it just kept going
up to the 260's, 280's until finally the highest weight as an adult was about 330.
>> As the pounds added up so did Erin's health problems.
>> In my younger 30's I started to develop high blood pressure. I also had developed
acid reflux, started to go on medication for that as well as blood pressure. I developed
diabetes, severe lower back problems. I was in a chiropractor's office for about three
times a week.
>> This worried Erin along with knowing she was about to become an aunt.
>> I learned that my sister-in-law and brother were going to have a child. And that started
a little more of a serious thought process in my head about losing weight.
>> Erin's gynecologist pushed those thoughts into motion.
>> I remember getting in my car and calling my parents and saying, "Hey, just want to
let you know that she recommended weight loss surgery." And I said, "And I'm going to do
>> We really were very reluctant to give our stamp of approval to it. We hesitated. We
kept saying, "Oh, Erin, why don't you try this? Why don't you try that?" And try to
go back to those alternatives which obviously didn't work for her.
>> I had heard some of the horror stories. And then I knew there were good stories out
there. As her parents, we were really concerned.
>> She said, "Well, this is what I'm going to do." And my wife and I looked at each other
and said, "Well, we're going to be there."
>> My first choice for weight loss surgery was gastric banding which is commonly called
LAP-BAND. I thought it was less invasive, less problems with surgery itself.
>> Before surgery Erin had to go through a six month program, first meeting with a dietician.
>> When a patient first starts in our surgical weight loss program I talk to them about starting
a new lifestyle. It's one of the things that they need to start to ingrain in their brains
from the very beginning -- that this is not going to be a diet and a quick fix, it's going
to be something that they have to do for the rest of their lives.
>> They want you to start paying attention to your food labels, to start monitoring your
portions, to pay attention to your proteins and your fiber and lower fat and lower sugar.
>> Erin was diligent and lost weight prior to surgery.
>> The day of surgery was really emotional because you know that life as you know it
is changed.
>> Erin was actually a patient of one of my partners. She had her surgery in 2008 and
she had opted to have a band placed -- an adjustable gastric band. The band basically
is an inner tube. It's like a little belt with an inner tube and that inner tube can
be filled with saline to make it a little bit tighter or you can take the saline out
to make it a little bit looser. So patients use this to slow down the passage of food
so that they just aren't eating very much at one given time.
>> She came through the surgery quite well and then came home. Instead of coming to her
own home she came home to stay with us for awhile.
>> Support Erin needed while she adjusted to a new way of eating.
>> I went through the different phases of food starting with your liquids, your purees,
your softs.
>> She started to lose weight and you could see it nicely.
>> Life was great for awhile but there were some complications.
>> We noticed when she was eating or we would be someplace at a restaurant she would disappear
or she was at our house -- she would get up from the table and disappear. And I would
look at my wife and she would look at me. But we thought something's not right.
>> Once I started to add in like the real solid food I noticed that things were getting
stuck. Things were not going down and there was no other way to deal with it other than,
unfortunately, regurgitation.
>> She started having problems with the band because it got too tight. We did a number
of adjustments to try to get it to a good point of restriction for her but every time
we got her to a good point of restriction it went overboard and got too tight.
>> Erin started making wrong food choices again.
>> I decided to go for ice cream, milk shakes, peanut butter and milk shakes. I mean, anything
you could put in it would slide through I did it.
>> She actually felt like she was a failure because she couldn't get the band to work.
And that's tough for patients because they feel like, "Okay, I failed at diet and exercise.
Now I've failed at bariatric surgery." And I did try to reassure her this wasn't a failure.
It's a problem we've seen before. It just wasn't the right choice for her. But luckily,
we had other options.
>> She said, "Well, you have two options. You can get this removed. It needs to come
out. It needs to be removed. So you can have it removed and you can convert to gastric
bypass or you can have it removed and just have your regular stomach back again and just
try to watch your weight on your own."
>> It didn't take long for Erin to decide. A date was set for the surgery.
>> That morning I was ready to do. At that point I was so tired of the complications
I just wanted it out and I wanted to move on.
>> It's not that easy to remove a gastric band because there's usually a lot of scar
tissue. But we were able to get it out safely and she had her bypass. And her recovery went
very smoothly.
>> The pounds dropped quickly. The proof was in the size.
>> I used to be anywhere from a 28, 30 women's and I'm now somewhere in between 14, 16 missy's
depending on the brand and make. This is an example of something that I wore at one of
my highest weights. But this was not able to be buttoned. And I can fold it over and
button it now. These pants were easy to put on because they would stretch with me.
>> Old clothes and pictures are the only reminders of where she's been.
>> I look back and I see -- I see a girl smiling but she's not happy. And now when I smile
I can see a difference in my smile. I really am -- I'm happy now. It's just a great feeling
to pedal down the street and just feel the wind and the breeze and just to be active.
>> This is a constant reminder of where she is now.
>> We're so happy that it has worked out the way it has.
>> I think she's doing very well.
>> It just changes your life. It changes your health. It changes your personality and it
just helps you to live instead of exist.
>> Now Erin is living and enjoying life. As far as her health problems, she doesn't have
problems anymore. Chuck, back to you in the studio.
>> That's amazing. I was talking to her in the lobby just before the show. I wouldn't
have known that was she sitting there. And she said, "I'm happy." You can see it. We
were joking in the lobby and her attitude is terrific. You talked about the problems
with the gastric band. How common is that?
>> They're fairly common. We've had a number of patients who have that problem with food
getting stuck. Unfortunately, there is a high reoperation rate for band patients. So getting
a band in means 30 percent of the time you'll have another operation. That's significant
as surgical operations go.
>> And I thought it was interesting that she resorted to ice cream and everything -- whatever
would go down easy. That was the patient exasperating the problem.
>> We call them slider foods. And patients are hungry so they'll eat what will go down
>> So now you got her back on a good diet?
>> Now she's eating the good stuff.
>> What's recovery like in this kind of surgery?
>> Well, band patients go home the same day. That's outpatient surgery. Our bypass patients
now are mostly going home the day after surgery, so it's a short hospitalization.
>> All right, let's talk about where this is done. What are the benefits of having this
kind of surgery at Penn State Hershey?
>> We pride ourselves on being the only completely self-contained multidisciplinary program in
our area. We have all the possible facilities to take care of such patients before and after
the surgery.
>> So you see, when you walk them you send them down the hall as opposed to having to
go somewhere else in another building?
>> Correct, everything's contained in one roof -- dieticians, psychologists, surgeons,
exercise physiologists.
>> And I see -- and we also noticed when the program was on, I said, "Look at the pride
in mom and dad watching that and what that means to them." It's not one person getting
better and feeling better, the whole family has to be --
>> The whole family is affected. And the whole family tends to lose weight.
>> That's interesting.
>> It's an extra byproduct.
>> There you go. That's kind of a very important note there you just made. Well, Dr., thank
you for joining us again. You were here with us last year. I appreciate that. And we'll
be right back with some viewer questions. Hang in there.
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