By Jennifer Sellers
In November 2014, David Holder of Flat Rock underwent gastric sleeve surgery. A month later, his wife, Sandy, had the same procedure. Now, nearly 300 pounds later, they are happier and healthier than ever.
“We’re both very pleased with the results,” said David. “And, speaking for myself, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
David emphasized that going through the process—the surgeries as well as the lifestyle changes—together made the process easier. “I think it’s a big advantage having a spouse or a partner—or anybody—that you can go through it together with and just be each other’s rock. It worked very well for us,” said David.
The Holders weren’t relying just on one another, however. They had another partner—Mission Weight Management. In fact, partnership is the key approach to every service the center offers, said Sonia Humphrey, MD, medical director for Mission Weight Management.
“We team with our patients,” said Dr. Humphrey, who is an obesity specialist and an internal medicine physician. “From the very beginning, when the patient is still investigating his or her options and deciding whether surgery is right for them … we make that decision together with them.”
Weight Management Offerings
While the Holders elected to undergo surgery—and are happy with their decision—it’s not the only option available to patients of Mission Weight Management. “We have surgical options and nonsurgical options,” said Dr. Humphrey.
The surgical program offers gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery. The gastric sleeve procedure involves having a portion of the stomach cut away. With the gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is made smaller by bypassing part of the intestine. This causes a malabsorptive effect. “Basically, it bypasses intestines that, after surgery, will no longer be involved in absorbing food,” explained Dr. Humphrey.
Those who undergo the gastric bypass procedure typically lose more excess body weight. However, it does require a little more dietary adaptation than the sleeve surgery.
“Overall, though, the behavioral changes afterward are similar for both procedures,” said Dr. Humphrey. “Of course, there are nuances to each person and how he or she will react to the surgical change.”
Most patients adapt well to the surgeries, although there is a lot involved in the process. From counseling and preparations beforehand to lifestyle adaptations afterward.
“It has to be looked at as a medical treatment,” said Dr. Humphrey. “If you had heart disease, you would need heart surgery. If you had arthritis in the knee, you might need a knee replacement. This is a surgical intervention for a medical problem—obesity.”
Because Mission Weight Management offers a comprehensive approach to weight loss and weight management, nonsurgical options are available as well. Known as intensive lifestyle interventions, these options include behavioral modifications, nutritional modifications and activity modifications.
The Holders were pleased with all of the services offered by Mission Weight Management, as well as the providers they worked with there. “Everybody in the program, from the physicians to the counselors to the insurance specialists, did an absolutely wonderful job,” said David. “I feel like we had an even better experience than we anticipated—and we had a pretty good feeling about the program going in. Everybody took care of us. It was smooth and seamless.”
In addition to their surgeries, the Holders took advantage of the gym, nutritional counseling and support group at Mission Weight Management, said Sandy. Through both the surgical and nonsurgical interventions, Sandy has lost 100 pounds and has met her weight-loss goal. David has lost 150 pounds, and is about 10-20 pounds shy of his goal. They both have come off of medications due to the improved health they’ve experienced as a result of the weight loss.
“It was really encouraging to have all of that available,” said Sandy. “We feel that following this program has made it easy for us to get and keep the weight off. They just made it so easy for us—and it’s because of the people that are there. I would recommend it to anybody.”