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Prince William County resident Becky Turner had been living in pain for years.
“I had been to surgeons all over the area trying to get some relief. It was to the point where I had to use a wheelchair a lot of the time. At the very least, I had to use a walker,” explains the 62 year old.
As her crippling back pain increased, so did her weight.
“Everyone said, there was nothing they could do for me,” she remembers.
Until her primary care physician suggested gastric bypass surgery, sharing how another patient received relief after undergoing the procedure. From there, an idea was born.
“I thought about it for a while and I thought, let’s see what’s involved,” says Turner.
That’s when she met Dr. Masoud Rezvani and the team at the Sentara Weight Loss Surgery Center, a designated Accredited Center by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP.) Her insurance said it would pay for the procedure, but Turner would have to undergo testing and complete a six-month dietary weight loss class.
After the class was completed, the insurance company gave the okay. Because Becky was a diabetic with an insulin pump, the decision was made to perform a Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch, also known as BPD-DS, using minimally invasive robotic surgery. Dr. Rezvani is one of the only gastric bypass surgeons in Northern Virginia, who performs this complicated procedure.
“It’s very important to have the right procedure for the right patient,” explains Dr. Rezvani, “Every individual is a different package. Based on the patients’ age, gender, body mass index, past medical history, past surgical history and goal of the operation is going to determine what works best.”
In a BDP-DS operation, doctors reroute the intestines, which cuts back on how many calories a patient can absorb. As a result, patients feel less hungry, lose most of their excess weight within one year and keep the weight off, all while having significant health improvements.
“This surgery isn’t for everyone,” Dr. Rezvani says, “It requires a lot of maintenance. Not only is there a weight loss effect, there’s a metabolic effect which helps patients with conditions such as severe diabetes, sleep apnea and high blood pressure.”
For Becky, who was having issues managing her diabetes, it was a good fit. Her main concern going into her September surgery was the procedure, but the pain that could accompany it. It was something doctors worked with her to manage. “I never had the first bit of pain,” she says, “I don’t know if I’m the exception to the rule, but it was a good experience for me all the way around. Everyone was wonderful to me. All the nurses just went out of their way to be nice. I just adore Dr. Rezvani.”
In just three months since her surgery, Becky has already lost 92 pounds and dropped more than three sizes. “I’m shocked it’s coming off as quickly as it has,” and her back which had been in constant pain is already feeling better, “Though it’s not 100 percent yet, it’s about 70 percent. I can go and do stuff again. I can help with yard work,” she says smiling.
Becky is off her insulin pump and now taking insulin shots just twice a day. Her hope is, when she loses a little more weight, her diabetes will go into remission. She’s also is looking forward to becoming more active with her rescue pups, “Penny” and “Peanut.”
“Before my back really started hurting, I used to walk five miles each day. And I felt great. So, it has been about six or seven years since I felt this good. I’m looking forward to getting back out there,” says Turner.
As she prepares to lace up her tennis shoes for those walks, she says she would recommend this procedure to anyone looking to change their life, “I would tell them to go for it, especially if you’re in pain. What do you have to lose? I was at a point where I was in so much pain, I was so unhappy, I didn’t have a life. And I thought –I’ve got to give this a try.”
Surgery isn’t for everyone. To learn if you qualify, head over to sentaranova.com, there you can watch our informational videos to discover if weight loss surgery is right for you. Or you can call 1-800-SENTARA to learn more.