News from Parkwest Health & Lifestyles
Christy Brown has struggled with feeling overweight her entire life. In 2017 Brown says she stepped on the scale at 325 pounds, her heaviest weight, and knew she needed help.
She intensified her efforts to eat nutritious foods and increase exercise. She tried various diets and monitored her caloric intake She didn’t miss a workout at the gym. After a year and a half of vigorous effort, she had lost only 12 pounds.
“I felt I did everything I should be doing, and I hit a point where I couldn’t do it on my own,” Brown recalls. “It’s hard to admit that it took me until that point.”
Weighing Her Options
Brown learned from her primary care physician that she would be a good candidate
for weight-loss surgery, so she did her research. She attended several weight-loss surgery seminars, including the informational session led by K. Robert Williams, MD, bariatric surgeon at Parkwest Medical Center and New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery in Knoxville.
“When I heard him speak, he was direct and compassionate,” Brown says. “He was calm and thorough in his explanations. I was considering major surgery, so I wanted
someone who was in control. I saw him interact with his nurse and how they worked together to help their patients. The way he interacted with his staff really impressed me, and I thought that was really important.” Brown made an appointment with Dr. Williams in June 2019 to discuss her options.
“I’m Doing This for Me”
Although her procedure was scheduled for March 2020, it was postponed because
of COVID-19, which delayed some elective hospital procedures. “I had lost some weight. Dr. Williams was very supportive I weighed 307 at my first appointment with him and on surgery day, I weighed 286 pounds.”
Dr. Williams performed a laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in June 2020 at Parkwest Medical Center, where Brown spent two nights.
“We selected this operation because of her history of reflux and esophagitis,” reports Dr. Williams. “Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is often a good treatment for reflux as well as obesity.”
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the most common method of gastric bypass surgery. Done laparoscopically, small incisions are made in the abdomen to reduce the size of the upper stomach to a small pouch Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery helps reduce the amount of food consumed by decreasing hunger and overall calorie absorption from fat.
“Christy had great success because she was motivated and followed the rules
after surgery,” Dr. Williams says. “She has been compliant with diet, exercise and vitamins, which has allowed her to reap the benefits that this operation has to offer.”
For patients like Brown, Dr. Williams indicated the risks of not having surgery can exacerbate weight-related medical conditions like diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, hypertension and fatty liver disease. Overweight men and women in their 30s are also at higher risk of developing sleep apnea, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers as they age.
Brown recalls, “The morning of my surgery, I was nervous, but I didn’t have any doubts. I had no problems with surgery. The nurses on the floor were all so compassionate. Dr. Williams came to see me and gave me the report of how everything went. I thought, ‘I have picked the right doctor; thank you, Jesus.’”
She continues, “I have had to be strong about doing this surgery for me, and
it has been one of the best decisions I ever made.”
Brown encourages anyone considering the procedure to consider what issues caused their weight gain to begin with and their reasons for losing weight.
“Do research and talk to others who have had the surgery, as that helped me. Look at the types of food you eat, how foods affect your body.”
Fast Forward to Today
Seven months after surgery, Brown has lost 111 pounds and weighs less than 200 pounds. “I still have to get up every day and decide to eat correctly and move my body,” she says. “If I described it in one word, it would be ‘freedom.’ That is the one thing that comes to mind. Freedom in my body, my thoughts. And I just feel…lighter.”
“This process has given me an opportunity to have the life I always wanted,” Brown says. “Being able to have this tool, and to have this support, made me feel like I could accomplish this. There’s freedom in that. Knowing there is a team behind me made me feel like I could do it.”
New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery has a dedicated team who will help you and answer questions throughout the process. To get started, call us at (865) 694-9676 or visit https://www.newlifebariatricsurgery.com/get-started/.
New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery is part of Premier Surgical Bariatrics in Knoxville, Tennessee. New LIfe is affiliated with the Parkwest Center for Bariatric Surgery, an Accredited Metabolic, and Bariatric Surgical Center.