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Health Team

Sleeve gastrectomy is option for bariatric patients

Posted August 14, 2013

— Dawn-Marie Ennis is learning all she can from Deb Creech about life after weight-loss surgery.

Creech, 57, weighed 349 pounds last summer. But since surgery last November, she's lost 115 pounds.

“Because of my family history, I knew it was only a matter of time before diabetes and high blood pressure,” Creech said.

At first, she expected gastric bypass surgery, in which the stomach is reduced to the size of an egg and bypasses the upper intestine so less food is absorbed into the body.

However, Creech takes a blood-thinning drug that requires the upper intestine. Dr. Lindsey Sharp, a surgeon with Rex Bariatric Specialists, recommended a sleeve gastrectomy.

“The challenge for us is trying to match the right procedure to the patient,” Sharp said. “The sleeve gastrectomy is a procedure where we remove about 80 to 85 percent of the stomach.”

At-risk weight-loss patients can opt for sleeve gastrectomy Weight-loss patients can opt for sleeve gastrectomy

Ennis, 42, has lupus, an autoimmune disease that can affect the skin, joints or organs. Her condition also makes gastric bypass more risky, so she's getting the sleeve gastrectomy.

“I'm looking forward to this,” Ennis said. “I know it's going to be a big change in my life, and it's something that I really need for myself.”

With a sleeve gastrectomy, the stomach can hold a bit more than with gastric bypass. But it still helps the patient feel satisfied after small meals.

“They alter the hormones in the small intestine that control hunger,” Sharp said. That helps patients lose excess weight and achieve their goals.

“My goal is to be able to get up and down off the ground and to dance again,” Ennis said.

5 Comments

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  • karenmarie716 Aug 20, 9:19 a.m.

    I had the gastric bypass 14 months ago and have lost 127lbs(and that is even with me currently being 8 months pregnant!). I would do it all over again in a heartbeat if I needed to. I can't even imagaine how I was functioning at 368 lbs! I haven't had one issue and I would recommend anyone to have either the bypass or the sleeve.

  • anonemoose Aug 19, 7:58 p.m.

    OOOOPS, I haven't had a single issue....

  • anonemoose Aug 19, 6:34 p.m.

    I had gastric bypass 4 years ago and have not had a sinle issue except for the first week. Beyond that, I lost 130# in 10 months and hit my goal of 170 and have been +/- 5 lbs.

  • dontstopnow Aug 19, 10:14 a.m.

    All this surgery is scary to me. I have a zapped thyroid and because of that I have gained a lot of weight over the past 10 years since diagnoses but these surgeries are not my cup of tea. I would rather be big than dead or sick the rest of my life. There does come a point where you have to decide what quality of life do you want and medical science is not always the answer. But, each to their own choices.

  • jaks712 Aug 15, 2:19 p.m.

    As a patient who had the gastric sleeve, I can honestly say I would do it again. It is a much more safe and less invasive procedure then the bypass. My weight started at 370 and today I am 225.. and still loosing