Thursday, June 11, 2009
Medical Reports: Shrinking Stomachs
Gastric bypass surgery has helped thousands of Americans to lose weight and improve their health, but a growing number of those patients are gaining the weight back and don't know where to turn. Seven's Diana Diaz shows us how a new procedure is Shrinking Stomachs.
WSVN -- As the co-owner of Big Al's Gun and Pawn Shop in Hallandale Beach, Denise Donofrio is an intimidating figure but says her own figure has been a concern her whole life.
Denise Donofrio: "Kids could be cruel. They weren't always the nicest in school."
When she hit 350 pounds back in 2000, Denise decided she needed a change.
Denise Donofrio: "I was 33 years old, high blood pressure, diabetes out of control."
She underwent gastric bypass surgery and lost 90 pounds in the first four months, but then something strange happened. She started gaining the weight back.
Denise Donofrio: "I gained the 90 pounds back and 18 more pounds, so I was back up to 368."
Bariatric surgeon Dr. Brett Cohen says he is seeing a disturbing trend with a number of his patients.
Dr. Brett Cohen: "The problem we see is over time, some patients, as they eat a little bit more, they tend to stretch out that pouch that holds a larger quantity, allowing them to eat more than they should."
Up until now, another surgery was the only answer, but doctors at Memorial Healthcare System are now offering what's called the Rose Procedure. In a video provided to us by the company, doctors reach the stomach through the mouth using a lighted scope, then use special stitches to make the stomach smaller from within.
Dr. Brett Cohen: "Because there's no incisions on the belly, there's really no physical recovery period afterwards, and patients are waking up the next day feeling pretty good."
Denise had the procedure about two months ago. Now she follows a very strict diet eating only a small amount of chicken or fish for lunch and a protein shake for dinner. So far, she's dropped over 30 pounds and has cut her insulin dosage in half and feels this procedure has given her the second chance she needed.
Denise Donofrio: "Because I'm not hungry, and I don't want to overfill my pouch because I have a new lease, and I want to make sure it works this time."
Diana Diaz: "Denise's ultimate goal is to weigh 165 pounds, and she is halfway there. The Rose Procedure is not covered by insurance yet, but the hope is that will change sometime this year."
Dr Brett Cohen
1150 North 35th Ave., Suite 540
Hollywood, FL 33021
Memorial Healthcare Systems: