For those of you who are morbidly obese meaning you are 100 pounds overweight and you are at your wits end because you've tried every diet twice and nothing seems to work, bariatric surgery may be your saving grace. We went to Avera Queen of Peace in Mitchell to meet a 47 year old man who extended his life by banding his stomach.
Scott DeSchepper of Huron is half the man he used to be, almost, and that's his goal. In December of 2008, weighing almost 400 pounds, he made the life changing decision to get his life back.
Scott says, "All my life I've been heavy. Really, ever since I can remember. I was so heavy it was terrible. It had gotten to the point something had to be done especially with all the med I was taking it was ridiculous. I had to do something.
That something, meant coming to Mitchell and the Avera Queen of Peace Bariatrics Center to have LAP-BAND surgery.
Scott says, "I did Atkins, I did Diet Center, I did Weight Watchers. I did Weight Watchers a hundred times. Diets just didn't work for me and this LAP-BAND did. It's a tool and if you use it right it works and for what I've done it has works and continues to work. I've lost a lot of weight and continue to lose weight everyday."
Scott's lost 160 pounds in 13 months. He's gone from a size 54 pant to a 36 and a 5 XL to just XL. Scott's doctor says he is doing everything right.
Dr. Michael Haley with Avera Mitchell Surgical opened the Avera Bariatrics Center 5 years old. He says, "This LAP-BAND is not magic, it's a tool that people use to not be hungry, to diet and exercise to lose weight. This gives them the extra help to not be hungry and control how much they eat. It really works."
This adjustable gastric banding surgery is done laparoscopically at Avera Queen of Peace. It works by limiting the amount a food a person can eat to a cup of food at a time. As the patient drops pounds, their stomach also shrinks so the band is adjusted monthly in the office to keep it tight.
Registered Nurse Kristi Riggs is the coordinator at the Avera Bariatrics Center. She says, "We see patients that come in initially very quiet, have a hard time making eye contact with in 6-7 months of surgery they are vibrant person who is smiling and a completely different person."
Scott smiles from ear to ear and says, "I feel 100% better."
Scott weighs 230 pounds, but hopes to drop to 200. He's also gone from being on 13 medications for a number of obesity related complications to only needing one medication. Scott may be half the size he once was, but he has double the confidence and has tripled his energy.
Avera Queen of Peace is hosting a Bariatric Seminar on Wednesday, March 31, at 7:00 p.m. at the Ramkota Inn in Aberdeen.
Wednesday, May 26, at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Room at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell.