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Jamie's Story Gastric Sleeve Surgery Gave Me a Second Chance on Life

For Jamie Smith, bariatric surgery changed more than the number on the scale — it put him on the path to a healthy, active life. After Jamie finished his service in the United States military, he packed
on a few pounds. That, coupled with back pain made staying active difficult and led to significant weight gain that wouldn’t budge, despite multiple dieting attempts. “I’d be successful for a little while, but the weight would come right back,” the Jefferson County district clerk says. “I was approaching 400 pounds when I realized I had to do something.”

At his highest weight, Jamie struggled with knee pain. He also had high blood pressure and sleep apnea. One day, the 47-year-old had a conversation with a coworker who had weight-loss surgery at
the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Bariatric Center. The conversation empowered Jamie to schedule an appointment with the center’s medical director, Jerome Schrapps, M.D.“When I visited the office, I was impressed by everyone’s kindness and professionalism,” Jamie says. “Dr. Schrapps took time to answer all of my questions. I decided I was ready to move forward.”

Remarkable Results

At the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Bariatric Center, Dr. Schrapps offers three weight-loss procedures: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and LAP-BAND®. Factors that influence Dr. Schrapps’procedure recommendation include a person’s body mass index (BMI),eating habits and health history. Those with severe gastroesophageal reflux or Type 2 diabetes, for example, may benefit most from Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. After consulting with Jamie, Dr. Schrapps believed he would be a good candidate for sleeve gastrectomy. This procedure, which is performed through several small abdominal incisions, involves removing one-half to two-thirds of the stomach.

“The surgery helps people feel full quickly because the stomach is smaller,” Dr. Schrapps says. “Removing part of the stomach also helps regulate the hormones that control appetite, decreasing hunger.” Jamie had his surgery and success soon followed. “I hoped and prayed I would lose 100 pounds,” Jamie says. “Within four months, I lost 100 pounds. I lost 180 pounds in nine months.” Just as exciting as exceeding his original goal? Jamie no longer takes blood pressure medications or has sleep apnea, and he’s been able to delay knee replacement surgery and take up running again. “I feel fantastic and full of energy — like a young man again,” Jamie says. “I believe weight-loss surgery has truly extended my life expectancy.”

“Bariatric surgery isn’t a cosmetic procedure. The goal is always to increase people’s quality of life, improve their energy levels, and help them no longer need medications.” — Jerome Schrapps, M.D., medical director of the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Bariatric Center