Embarking on the path to bariatric surgery is a unique and deeply personal journey. Individuals like Mary Escobar choose this life-changing route for reasons ranging from improved cardiovascular health to managing diabetes or finding relief from various health complications. In Mary's case, her two-decade-long healthcare journey not only underscores the challenges she faced but also highlights the support and expertise that ultimately led to her successful transformation through bariatric surgery. Mary's Resilience: December 2002 through February 2003 More than two decades ago, Mary experienced unforeseen health complications just days after giving birth via c-section. Septic shock, hemolytic uremic syndrome, thrombocytopenia, renal failure and a blood clot in her lung plunged her into a critical state. Intensive care, plasma exchange and a long recovery followed. After being discharged with compromised kidney function, Mary faced complete renal failure two years later, leading to dialysis and a spot on the donor list. Mary's brother, a perfect match, selflessly donated his kidney on Dec. 14, 2007, marking a turning point in Mary's health. However, the post-transplant period brought new challenges, including diabetes, high blood pressure and a significant weight gain, reaching 230 pounds. Determined to regain control, Mary explored various diets without success until she consulted with a bariatric doctor. Journey to Bariatric Surgery: November 2009 - April 2021 In November 2009, Mary opted for a gastric band, shedding 40 pounds within a year. Despite initial success, issues with the gastric band arose, prompting a consultation with Dr. John Ganser at Renown Health in April 2021. Together, they decided to transition to a gastric sleeve, with comprehensive education provided to ensure long-term success.
Managing weight is a complicated and often difficult journey for many individuals, and obesity stands as a common and serious chronic health condition. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the prevalence of obesity in the US is greater than 40% in adults and 20% in children, and those numbers are continuing to climb. In Nevada, according to the 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 28.7% of adults reported being obese. By 2030, almost 80% of American adults may be overweight and half of them will be obese. But obesity isn't just about the numbers on the scale; it's a multifaceted, lifelong, neurobehavioral disease triggered by a combination of factors. These include abnormal eating patterns, reduced physical activity levels, environmental stressors, genetics and various other contributors. Obesity extends far beyond appearance, often leading to the development of numerous medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, elevated blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, liver disease, various cancers and infertility. Join us as we delve into the complexities of obesity and explore strategies for effective weight management available right here in northern Nevada. Why Can Losing Weight be so Difficult? The challenge behind weight loss finds its roots in the Set-Point Theory of Obesity, a concept that says our bodies have a predetermined weight, or fat mass, within a defined set-point range. In other words, when an individual's weight deviates from this set point, the body initiates mechanisms to bring it back to the established range. So, if someone loses weight below their set point, the body may respond by increasing hunger and reducing metabolism, making it challenging to sustain weight loss. There Isn’t One Right Answer, But Renown is Here to Help Various weight management strategies can be utilized by patients struggling with obesity, which may lead to substantial weight loss, resolution of associated medical conditions and improved psychosocial health. In fact, the most successful strategy involves a multidisciplinary approach under the guidance of trained specialists that includes a combination of tactics, including: Behavioral adaptations Dietary modifications Physical exercise Anti-obesity medications Weight loss surgery