Bariatric Surgery- What You Need to Know

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Many people become frustrated because they feel like they've tried everything, but just can't get rid of the weight.

Nationally recognized menopause and women's health specialist Dr. Diana Bitner says that in some cases, bariatric surgery may be the answer.

She brought in one of her patients, Michelle, to talk about her experience with bariatric surgery, her weight loss journey and how it changed her life.

Like many women who have a more difficult time with weight loss, Michelle's genetics were against her. She had a family history of heart disease and diabetes and the condition PCOS, or irregular periods associated with obesity, pre-diabetes, cystic acne, high cholesterol, and early heart disease.

She tried every kind of diet, to all forms of exercise. While she could slow down the weight gain, the weight would come back with just one weekend of less careful eating or several days without exercise.

After a serious conversation with Dr. Bitner, and with the risk for heart disease and diabetes climbing, she decided to start the process of bariatric surgery.

At first she was worried about the cost of surgery, but besides co-pays and deductibles, her insurance covered almost 100 percent of the surgery cost.

The surgery took two to four hours, and after about a week she was up and moving. She was back to doing most of her daily activities and got to work.

Bariatric surgery is a tool to help lose weight, not an instant solution to weight loss. Michelle's previous efforts of exercise and dieting were starting to work with the help from the surgery.

Month after month, she found herself becoming faster, stronger, and thinner. After four months, she was down 50 pounds, and after a year she'd lost 100 pounds.

Michelle has no regrets, and how she feels today is worth every bit of work and effort. She encourages anyone thinking about bariatric surgery to make an appointment, and be brave enough to start their own journey.

Bariatric surgery is not for everyone. Make sure you schedule an appointment with your doctor to make sure surgery is the right choice for your weight loss journey.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Bitner, call (616) 267-8225.

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