Avera Medical Minute AMcK: regaining life through surgery - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute AMcK: regaining life through surgery

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A healthy diet and exercise regimen has always been the staple to shed unwanted pounds. However, in some cases surgery is the only option to lose the weight. For one patient, going under the knife has given her a second chance at life.  

This was Diane Forsyth a little over a year ago. That was before she had gastric sleeve surgery to help get her weight under control. The transformation is incredible.

"Even for me to see, it was like holy cow that is flipping amazing!" Said Forsyth.

Diane has currently lost over 140 pounds. In the process she's gained confidence and better control of her health.

"I went from like 12 medications for my arthritis down to two!" Said Forsyth.

"For most patients it really doesn't take that much 30 or 40 pounds and they'll see significant improvements in their diabetes, their sleep apnea and even their hypertension." Said Dr. David Strand, the surgeon who performed Diane's surgery.

For Diane surgery was necessary because her arthritis and medications prevented her from keeping the weight off. With those out of the picture, she's become the incredible shrinking woman.

"I told Dr. Strand, thank you for saving my life! And he said I didn't do it! You did it! So I said well you helped me!" Said Forsyth.

Gastric sleeve surgery is a laparoscopic procedure that bisects the stomach, transforming it from a sack into more of a sleeve. With a  smaller stomach patients don't eat as much and the weight comes off. Surgery alone is not a diet, it's a lifestyle change and success or failure still rests on the patient.

"They are the ones that are going to determine if this is a success or not this is a this is a tool and just like any tool if used correctly it's going to work just as in her case if it doesn't they can gain the weight back. People can learn how to eat through these procedures and gain all that weight back." Said Dr. Strand.

Diane is a prime example of using the surgery to jumpstart her weight loss. She stuck with the program and has never looked back.

"Nothing has ever worked and it is probably the best thing I've ever done in my life other then marrying my husband and having my kids and it's almost topped that because I got my life back for them!" Said Forsyth.

And it's a life that is now limitless, this past summer Diane and family took a trip to California.  

"There wasn't anything that I even thought of that oh I can't do that and we did a lot of walking!" Said Forsyth.

Not to mention, she spent over 5000 miles in the car. Something that would have been unbearable before. Diane says she's still about 40 pounds away from her goal weight and a reward trip to Australia and New Zealand. But all it takes is one look and it's clear, she's truly half the woman she used to be.

"It's fabulous... fabulous, make me want to cry actually." Said Forsyth.

Gastric sleeve surgery is not for everyone and requires plenty of disciple. But patients like Diane are proof that it is a successful tool. For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.
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