Gastric bypass offers weight loss alternative

Tuesday, August 26th 2008, 4:29 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Despite a push to stem the high obesity trend, evidence keeps piling up that we're not moving fast enough to slow a growing epidemic.

That's why doctors in the metro conduct numerous weight loss surgeries each week.

Charlotte Nance used to be 354 pounds. Health complications began to set in; arthritis, high blood pressure. She dieted and failed more times than she could count. She was also dealing with her young son's cancer. Eventually, it was more than she could handle.

"Rock-bottom was a really dark place, I didn't feel good about myself," Nance said. "I hurt all the time, I was tired and I felt broken, old and broken down and I was only 44 at the time."

That's when she decided, she wanted to have gastric bypass surgery.

Dr. Gregory Walton was the one she chose to perform it; he's been doing it in Oklahoma for years.

With gastric bypass, the patient's "new stomach" turns out to be smaller than the size of the average mouth, allowing the consumption of only a small amount of food to be eaten each meal.

"The main reason people lose weight is that they just don't care to eat, or they get full rally fast and satisfied," Watson said.

That's what happened for Nance. She now weighs 185 pounds. She went from a size 26, to an 8 or 10. She says her doctor is her hero.

"He gave me a quality of life back and I think I was headed for a heart attack and an early death, and I want to be there to see grandchildren that I don't have yet," Nance said.

Walton said there are possible complications with gastric bypass as there are with any surgery. He said major complications happen 1 to 1.5 percent of the time. He also said, at his clinic in Edmond, there have been no deaths.

Learn more about fighting obesity.