For the better part of two decades, Scott R. struggled with his weight. By the time he entered his 60s, he felt the effects of unwanted pounds in his everyday life.
“I would walk by a store with a glass exterior, see myself in the window, and think, ‘Wow — is this how I look to other people?’” Scott remembers.
But Scott had deeper concerns than his appearance. He was worried about his health. Scott had developed several serious issues associated with excess weight.
Chronic conditions affected Scott’s daily life.
Excess pounds pressing on Scott’s respiratory system had affected his ability to breathe properly while sleeping, and he had been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). People with OSA can experience repeated episodes during which they stop breathing while asleep, causing a marked drop in blood pressure and upsetting the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. Scott also had prediabetes, meaning that he was well on his way to developing type 2 diabetes, and he was living with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Scott’s GERD was so severe that stomach acid backing up into his esophagus had caused severe damage, making it so difficult to swallow food that he needed three procedures to widen his esophagus enough to allow food to pass.
These mounting health problems convinced Scott that it was vital for him to reach and maintain a healthy weight. Like many people seeking to drop excess pounds, Scott tried to lose weight by dieting. He tried some of the diets popular at the time, but they didn’t work.
“I told myself that there had to be a better way,” he says.
Scott decided he needed to find another means of kick-starting his weight-loss journey. That’s when he decided to investigate bariatric surgery.
Scott wasn't going to let anything stop him
Scott knew people who’d had bariatric surgery with positive results. His insurance company gave him a list of weight-loss surgery centers, which included Temple Health’s Bariatric Program. Scott did his homework, reviewing the websites for each center.
“After reading everything and watching the videos, I decided Temple’s program probably would prepare me the best for what I had to do.”
Scott met with Temple bariatric surgeon Neil A. King, MD. “I felt very comfortable with him,” he says.
Temple offers two types of weight-loss surgery — Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. Dr. King explained that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery would be Scott’s best surgical option based on his health history and other factors. During gastric bypass surgery, the surgeon creates a small pouch from the stomach and connects it to the small intestine, reducing how much food a person can eat and how many calories they can absorb.
Dr. King stressed that having the surgery is just the first step in a journey involving permanent lifestyle changes. Scott was ready to take that step.
“Once I decided to go forward with the process, I wasn’t going to let anything stop me,” he says.
Temple’s support helped Scott prepare
Temple’s Bariatric Surgery Program is designed to increase the chance of a successful, long-term outcome. That means making sure patients are ready to thrive in the days, months, and years after their surgery.
Before his operation, Scott met weekly with a dietitian and received support from a psychologist and other members of Temple’s weight-loss surgery team. Together they helped Scott prepare for the surgery and the changes he would face afterward.
“All those people were essential parts of my journey,” he says. “They made me feel comfortable. They prepped me well before the operation.”
Scott lost 30 pounds before his surgery. This helped him adjust to the dietary changes he would need to make after the procedure. It also helped shrink the size of his liver, which increased the safety of the surgery and helped him recover faster.
Scott had his surgery on March 31, 2022. In addition to the gastric bypass, Dr. King repaired a hiatal hernia that Scott’s Temple doctors had discovered. Scott spent three nights in the hospital. Remarkably, he could return to his IT job the day after he returned home.
Scott is living beyond the scale
At his heaviest, Scott weighed 320 pounds. Several months after his surgery, he reached 190 pounds, a loss of 130 pounds. As significant as that is, Scott isn’t focused on the numbers on his scale. Instead, he’s concentrating on his health and how he feels now.