Diane Suriano was desperate.
Frustrated by failed diets, barely able to walk, and struggling with numerous health issues — including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, sleep apnea, pulmonary hypertension, and an enlarged heart — she felt bariatric surgery was her only option.
“I couldn’t walk to the mailbox without stopping to catch my breath. I knew I was going to end up an invalid, or worse."
Taking Control of Her Life
Diane underwent gastric bypass surgery at UPMC Horizon in 2011. She entered the hospital weighing nearly 300 pounds and taking 18 pills a day.
Since having bariatric surgery, she has:
- Lost 135 pounds
- Reduced her body mass index (BMI) from 51 to 32
- Eliminated all but two pills from her daily regimen
“It was like a miracle. My diabetes was gone within a week. And, as my weight came down, all my other problems went out the window.”
Christopher Myers, MD, the surgeon at UPMC Horizon who performed Diane’s procedure, says bariatric surgery can help reverse serious obesity-related health conditions.
“It’s not just about weight loss. Diabetes can be normalized within 48 hours. In six months, we can see dramatic changes in a patient’s cholesterol levels, movement, and quality of life,” Dr. Myers says.
Taking Control of His Life
Inspired by his wife’s dramatic turnaround — which included taking a job and walking so fast he couldn’t keep up — Diane’s husband Richard, 68, decided to have the same gastric bypass procedure.
Although facing fewer health issues, Richard was morbidly obese at 305 pounds and had high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and a chronic staph infection in his leg he had battled for 20 years with a low-dose antibiotic.
Since his February 2012 surgery, Richard:
- Has dropped more than 100 pounds
- Reduced his BMI from 45 to 29
- No longer takes medication
- Now fits into his favorite size 38 jeans, which hung in his closet for 20 years
Winning Their Battle
“Never in a million years did I think I could get back to this weight. I have more energy, I can work in the yard and I can bend at the waist,” says Richard.
Diane adds, “We can put our arms around each other and dance again.”
Note: This patient's treatment and results may not be representative of all similar cases.Read more gastric bypass patient stories.