Dramatic weight loss allows couple freedom to enjoy life more fully From Spotlight on Health - Summer 2012
While being catapulted 140 feet in the air is more than most people can take, for Todd Driver of Foley, the ejection seat at the Minnesota State Fair was more than just a thrill. It was a milestone.
Cindy and Todd Driver, seen in 2007 (top) and
again in 2011 (bottom), together have shed nearly
300 pounds since they both had weight loss surgery.
After years of being too heavy for many of the rides at the State Fair, Todd had lost enough weight to fit.
The journey to losing weight started off a bit bumpy. His initial lap band surgery in 2005, while it enabled him to drop weight, wasn’t the long-term solution he had hoped for. He started having reflux and the weight crept back on. Some fine tuning of the band didn’t help.
When the reflux continued, Todd was referred to weight loss surgeon Sayeed Ikramuddin, MD, in 2009. A University of Minnesota physician, Dr. Ikramuddin recently joined CentraCare Clinic.
In January 2010 Todd had his gallbladder, and lapband removed. In June of that year, Dr. Ikramuddin performed gastric bypass surgery on Todd. This was the same surgery Todd’s wife, Cindy, had in 2008.
Traveling this road together has allowed the Drivers to support each other. They both can do things that many take for granted, such as fitting comfortably in a seat at a restaurant or on an airplane. Together they have lost almost 300 pounds.
“I can do things I never could before, like crawl around on the floor with my granddaughter,” Cindy said.
They both attend the St. Cloud Hospital weight loss support group to keep themselves accountable and be a support to others on their weight loss journey. They eat healthier and limit sugar. Cindy no longer needs cholesterol medication and her blood pressure is normal. The downside is the dog has gained weight.
“After my first surgery, I wasn’t good about going to follow up or support group. Now I am very faithful about going. It is so important,” Todd said. “Losing weight has been the best thing — I only wish I would have done it sooner.”
What is gastric bypass?
When gastric bypass surgery is performed, the surgeon creates a small stomach pouch divided from the rest of the stomach. The walnut-sized pouch holds about 1 ounce of food. The small intestine is then divided and the lower part (jejunum) is connected to the newly formed pouch. This allows food to bypass the first segment of the small intestine (duodenum) decreasing the amount of calories and nutrients absorbed.
Gastric bypass advantages
- Improves or eliminates high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea and many other medical issues.
- Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) is cured.
- Most patients lose 60 to 80 percent of excess body weight.
- Weight loss occurs during a 12- to 18-month period.
- Does not involve an implanted device.
You may be a candidate for surgery if you have:
- A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more;
- A BMI between 35-39.9 and a serious obesity-related health problem;
- A thorough understanding of the surgery;
- An ability to make a variety of lifestyle changes required for success after surgery;
- Documentation of prior weight loss attempts;
- Intensive psychological evaluation and counseling;
- Dietary counseling regarding the pre- and post-op diet; and
- Quit using tobacco or are a non-smoker.
If you are considering weight loss surgery and would like more information, call the CentraCare Weight Management Center at (320) 240-2828, e-mail email@example.com.
Learn more about the CentraCare Weight Management Center