People who are morbidly obese, which in general terms means at least a hundred pounds overweight, gastric bypass surgery or gastric banding may be an option you need to consider. People who are that heavy tend to have a number of other health issues, not to mention back and joint pain. We met up with a man from Crooks who is a fourth the man he used to be thanks to the lap band.
Steve Martens is a big guy. At 6'4" he's always been a big guy, but he used to be a lot bigger. In March of 2007, he weighed 435 pounds. Morbidly obese he knew his days were numbered if he didn't do something to drop the weight.
Dr. Brad Thaemert with the Surgical Institute of SD on the Avera McKennan Campus says, "Once patients are morbidly obese less than 5% of them can diet away their weight and be successful. It's just too difficult.
Steve says, "My eating problem was not a stomach problem. It was a head problem."
Steve made the decision to have Dr. Brad Thaemert put an adjustable lap band around the top of his stomach restricting the amount of food and calories you take in. It's less invasive than gastric bypass and recovery time is faster. It's a same day surgery done laproscopically and you're home in a couple of hours.
Dr. Thaemert says, "It's one of the few elective surgeries that are life saving because of all the diseases it can cure like diabetes, high blood pressure."
Steve says, "It's not just what I eat but how I eat it."
Steve has lost 115 pounds in almost 2 years. His lifestyle has changed for the better just like it was supposed to.
Dr. Thaemert says, "There is no weight loss procedure you can't out eat. There is no perfect surgery.
Steve eats about a cup to a cup and 1/2 of food which includes 3 ounces of protein 3 times a day and eats much slower. One adjustment, he can't drink anything when he eats. In the first year, the lap band is usually tightened 3 to 5 times.
Steve says, "There is no magic bullet, but this is a big big help. I just got the call to be a minister at a church in Pipestone. This is the biggest congregation I've had and if it not for the surgery I honestly don't think I'd be up for the task. I just wouldn't have the energy it requires to do it justice."
His energy level is up, his weight is down and life is good. He thinks he has another 70 pounds in him to come off, and a whole lot more living ahead.
Before surgery all patients are required to meet with psychologists and nutritionists to make sure they are committed to making the necessary changes that accompany a major weight loss plan.