Donald's Story - Gastric Bypass: A Tool for Managing Weight and Diabetes

Donald's story

Donald has just one regret about his weight loss surgery—that he didn’t do it sooner. Gastric bypass surgery more than five years ago helped him lose 138 pounds. 


Donald has always been involved with sports, but his diet was causing weight-related health issues. “It had been a lifetime struggle. I had always been active, I just couldn’t drop the weight,” he says.

Donald chose to have a weight-loss surgery at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, in 2008.

Since having the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, Donald’s health has improved. He no longer needs insulin for his diabetes or treatment for sleep apnea; his cholesterol and blood pressure have lowered. By being dedicated to a healthier lifestyle, Donald has kept the weight off.

“People have to go in realizing that weight-loss surgery is a tool to help you manage your weight. You can’t go back to eating whatever you want to. It’s very important that you maintain or start an exercise program,” Donald advises. “As long as you follow those rules, you’ll do fine. When you stop doing it, you can gain the weight back.”

Weight loss surgery—also referred to as bariatric surgery—is about more than just dropping pounds. New studies show that it also can be used to help reverse medical complications brought on by obesity, such as Type 2 diabetes. Slimming down is one of the most effective ways to manage Type 2 diabetes. Depending on the person’s health, medical history and diabetic status, Roux-en Y gastric bypass can be an option.

“We’ve found that patients with Type 2 diabetes who undergo Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery can greatly reduce their need for medication. Diabetes can damage the heart, kidneys, nerves and eyes, so to reduce the impact the disease has on their health can be life-changing,” says Sayeed Ikramuddin, MD. “Surgery is just one tool in reaching weight-loss goals. Donald’s commitment to lifestyle change is what I credit for his success.”
While the surgery helped Donald start his journey to better health, diabetes and extra weight had taken their toll on his organs. Donald went on dialysis in 2009 and had a kidney transplant in 2013. The gastric bypass surgery helped Donald reach a weight that made him a candidate for the kidney transplant. Just a few weeks after the transplant, he was feeling much better.

“After the weight loss surgery, I have a generally healthier outlook on life. I have more energy and I’m able to move around a lot easier. It’s made a huge impact on my life,” Donald says.

To learn more about weight-loss management and surgery or to make an appointment, call 612-626-6666. You also can watch our online weight loss surgery seminar.

Weight Loss Management and Surgery Center
University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview
Phillips-Wangensteen Building, Clinic 1E
516 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55454
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