Hampton, Virginia - June 15, 2006 - Tipping the scales at more than 420 pounds nearly two years ago, 38-year-old Terry Anderson shed more than weight after gastric bypass surgery.
Now 220 pounds lighter, hes lost his fear of dying from a heart attack or obesity related cancers. He lost 28 inches from his waist, and he lost the embarrassment of having to get an extension to add to his airplane seat belt.
As a salesman, his job was to entertain clients all over Virginia.
"You can't image how embarrassing it was to squeeze into what seemed like tiny chairs at sports events, but this surgery has given me a new chance at life. Now, Im ready to live," says Anderson.
Hands down, Anderson would have gastric bypass surgery again. Today, hes still taking advantage of being involved in support groupsone with his peers who have had the surgery and one encouraging others on their journey.
"Surgery is not the first option for our patients. We work closely with individuals to determine the best treatment plan possible. Our patients long-term success is related to how complete the weight loss program is at Sentara CarePlex Hospital," says bariatric surgeon Thomas W. Clark, M.D, medical director of bariatric services at Sentara CarePlex Hospital.
Trading a job on the road for a career at Lowe's as a department manager, Anderson gets much of his exercise on the job and admittedly is doing a job he would not have been able to physically handle before.
"I have my health now, and that's my happiness," says Anderson.
At an upcoming celebration for weight loss surgery sponsored by Sentara CarePlex Hospital and Weight Loss Surgery Center of Hampton Roads, Anderson will walk the runway, showing off his new body and life.
Nearly 60 percent of Virginian adults are obese or overweight according to a study by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted in 2002. This represents a 50 percent increase from the previous study conducted in 1995. Serious health effects can occur as a result of being overweight including: elevated cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Sentara CarePlex Hospital, a not-for profit health care provider, launched a weight loss surgery program for morbidly obese patients in 2003. Since then, more than 750 patients have undergone the procedure. Sentara CarePlex Hospitals weight loss program recently received designation as a bariatric surgery Center of Excellence by American Society of Bariatric Surgery (ASBS), by undergoing rigorous review of its clinical quality and surgical outcomes. The program involves pre-surgery nutritional and exercise counseling, treatment options such as minimally invasive Adjustable LAP-BAND Surgery, gastric bypass surgery, as well as support groups.