Health Plus: Weight loss surgery transforms Waterloo man - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Weight loss surgery transforms Waterloo man

Most severely overweight eastern Iowans will never get a chance to be on "The Biggest Loser", but if you have tried and failed to diet on your own, there is another option.

Last year,  Brian Heeren made a decision to do something about his obesity problem--and stick to it.

The Waterloo man went to a weight loss surgery seminar at Sartori Memorial Hospital in Cedar Falls and in January he had the operation.

"It was either I do something or I was gonna die," said Brian.

Today the 41-year-old is about half his original size.

Weighing in just twelve months ago at nearly 500 pounds, he's down to around 250 but still losing.

"It used to take me 20 minutes to put on my socks and now I just put 'em on in like 30 seconds. It feels good and I can lay and feel my bones in my body," he said.

Doctor Matthew Glascock says Brian proved to be a good candidate by losing nearly 100 pounds on his own before the surgery.

"We do encourage patients once they've made the commitment to have a weight loss operation to begin the process of assuming and embracing the lifestyle changes that they're going to have to make after the surgery to be successful," said the Covenant Clinic surgeon.

Dr. Glascock did what's called gastric sleeve surgery on Brian--which removes part of the stomach.

It's one of three minimally-invasive weight loss procedures done at Sartori.

"We absolutely love it here in the office when we see patients who come in almost imprisoned in this medical condition through their hard work turn that around," said the doctor.

Brian is now a vegetarian who walks up to six miles daily.

His goal weight is 230 pounds.

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