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Bariatric surgery, lifestyle changes lead to weight loss success

December 18, 2015

As the rate of obesity continues to rise in the United States, so does the need for more satisfactory methods to assist with weight loss. With more than a third of the nation's population struggling to lose weight and keep it off, many people are turning to weight loss surgery as an option

For Jessica Upton of Kettering, making the choice to undergo bariatric surgery was several years in the making. But today, Upton is happy she finally decided to have the procedure nearly two and a half years ago.

"I started really gaining weight when my dad passed away years ago," Upton said. "I struggled with my weight for many years and would lose weight, only to gain it right back."

Like many, Upton tried dieting, exercising, and even weight loss pills. Nothing seemed to work for her long term. "I was a constant yoyo," she explained.

She spent several years researching bariatric surgery and discussing options with her family. "I didn't jump right into it," she said. "I was just finally so unhappy and depressed, and I wanted to make a positive change in my life."

She attended a seminar at Kettering Bariatrics to learn more about surgical options for weight loss. "I went in for the consultation and found out the differences in the types of surgeries," Upton said.

Surgeon David Schumacher, MD, and the team at Kettering Health Network Weight Loss Solutions decided that Jessica was an appropriate candidate for gastric bypass surgery.

The surgery involves creating a smaller stomach pouch and attaching it directly to the small intestine, allowing the food to bypass a portion of the intestine. The surgery changes the communication between the brain and the gut, and it allows the body to tolerate small portions of food while increasing metabolism.

Upton weighed 250 pounds when she underwent gastric bypass surgery. She remembers leaving the hospital 24 hours later, knew she'd made the right decision. Today, she has lost 95 pounds and said she no longer allows food to control her.

"In the beginning it's like retraining your brain," she said. "You are not hungry, and you have to eat all your food in ounces. You can tell pretty quickly when you are full."

The surgery has helped Upton learn about portion control, and she has cut out a lot of extra snacking. "You do have to work at it," she said. "It's not an easy fix, and if you start eating a lot of sugar again, the weight will come back on."

Now feeling extremely happy "in my own skin," Upton said she is more active and no longer feels embarrassed to be outside playing with her 11-year-old son. "Before I was the heavy mom," she said. "I tended to shy away from doing very much with my son, and I let food and my emotions run my life. I don't do that anymore."

Click here to watch Jessica Upton's full story.

For more information about bariatric surgical options at Kettering Health Network, sign up for a weight loss surgery seminar by visiting the Kettering HealthNetwork Weight Loss Solutions website or by calling (937) 433-5957.