Weight-loss surgery is a life-saver - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Weight-loss surgery is a life-saver

CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- A lot of overweight people have tried and failed countless diets. That was the case for one eastern Iowa man, but surgical intervention helped him shed the excess pounds and save his life.

All his life, Marvin Piburn had been a yo-yo dieter. Lose a bunch then gain it back and do it all over again. But last year, the Hudson man did something that's changed his life and his waist size. He had weight loss surgery at Sartori Memorial Hospital in Cedar Falls and has lost more than 130 pounds.

"You take 135 pounds of bricks, put 'em in a knapsack and tie it around your belly and then try to go through your life with that tied on to you--see how you feel," said Piburn.

At 301 pounds last year, the now 59-year-old had a lot of health problems.

"The high blood pressure, diabetes, the sleep apnea, the early stages of heart failure, the high cholesterol, the high triglycerides," recalled Piburn. "I couldn't bend over and tie my shoes without getting short of breath."

But a year later gone with the weight is his diabetes.

"The success rate with the Type 2 diabetes is greater than 90% of patients are cured of their Type 2 diabetes after surgery," said Dr. Cameron Hodges, a bariatric surgeon at Sartori Memorial Hospital.

Hodges says Sartori does two types of weight loss surgery--gastric bypass and adjustable gastric band. Once you sign on, you're a patient for life.

"What we do in our surgical weight loss program is really try to provide treatment for all of the factors and blend those in with the operation so that we ultimately have the best success for our patients," said Dr. Hodges

That's important to patients like Martin.

"You've gotta be careful that you don't go completely hog wild and undo the benefit of the bypass 'cause it doesn't work through magic," said Martin Piburn. "The bypass just helps you succeed in your diet and exercise."

By the way, the Waterloo psychiatrist not only can easily tie his shoes, now he walks miles at a time.

Click here to sign up for a free weight loss surgery seminar.

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