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Patient Loses Weight, Finds Better Health

Patient Loses Weight, Finds Better Health


Kendel feels better than she has in years. Since her sleeve gastrectomy weight-loss surgery 11 months ago, she has lost 71 pounds. She has more zip in her step and more fun on the zip line. More importantly, Kendel no longer suffers from heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. She has even reduced the amount of diabetes medication she takes.  

Kendel is living proof that patients who commit to weight loss can achieve their goals with more experienced doctors at the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Bariatric and Metabolic Institute. Better health and renewed energy brings a fresh perspective on life.

From heart disease to ideal weight

In 2015, Kendel was dealing with many extra pounds and many serious cardiac conditions, all of which put her in the high-risk category for the most common type of gastric bypass surgery. But Dr. George Eid suggested that another option, sleeve gastrectomy surgery at West Penn Hospital, might work for her.

Surgery boosts health, vitality

The surgeons at AHN offer several options for minimally invasive bariatric surgery for weight loss. These procedures benefit patients through:

  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Quicker recovery time and less pain

Many patients achieve weight loss after a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. With this type of gastric bypass:

  • Surgeons create a smaller stomach pouch
  • Patients eat smaller meals, absorbing fewer calories and nutrients
  • Gut hormone changes make patients feel full and suppress hunger
  • Blood sugar is better controlled for those with type 2 diabetes

Sleeve gastrectomy offers another option

Another option is laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy that can help patients who can’t tolerate a gastric bypass. Sleeve gastrectomy surgery:

  • Removes about 80% of the stomach, leaving a long, banana-shaped pouch. 
  • Requires no foreign objects and no re-routing of the food stream (as other surgical options do)
  • Usually involves a two-day hospital stay
  • Is a non-reversible procedure

Results show that patients lose more than 50% of their excess weight over three to five years, and maintain the weight loss, because:

  • The new stomach pouch can hold less food  
  • Hormonal changes help control hunger and blood sugar   
  • Patients are less hungry and feel full longer

Americans are getting heavier

According to a study from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, men and women weighed 15 to 16 pounds more in 2014 than they did between 1988 and 1994.   

In 2013, obesity was classified as a disease because it lowers life expectancy and affects normal functions. Today, the United States spends about $147 billion on obesity-related medical costs. Obesity increases your health risk for:

  • High cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Arthritis
  • Reflux disease
  • Some cancers

Medical experts explain

After her sleeve gastrectomy, Kendel was able to cut her diabetes medication dosage by more than half.

“She has turned around. She is healthier, enjoying life,” said Dr. Eid. “I think she’ll make it to her ideal body weight. We counsel our patients on diet prior to surgery, and she did very well.

“Our program does a good job before surgery, during surgery and afterward. Patients have monthly visits, and we’ve built an online community for support,” said Dr. Eid.

Learn More

Doctors Involved


West Penn Hospital

Supporting Story

George Eid, MD, bariatric surgeon, stresses that surgery is a tool his patients can use to achieve weight loss success.