‘It saved my life’: Procedures could help SWFL patients lose weight

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Two minimally invasive procedures are helping save the lives of Southwest Florida residents struggling to lose weight.

Florida is ranked fifth in the nation with the highest percentage of overweight adults, according to WalletHub. 

Melissa Evans said she’s lost 140 pounds in eight months after undergoing a bariatric surgery through Bayfront Health in Port Charlotte.

“It saved my life,” Evans said.

More than one-third of Americans are obese, according to the Center for Disease Control. The number of patients getting weight loss surgery has increased by 10,000 patients every year since 2011.

Kelly Murphy, the director of bariatric care at Bayfront Health, is responsible for walking patients through the necessary steps it takes to get the surgery.

“I do know we saved her life, and it thrills me,” Murphy said.

Dr. Geoffrey Roelant preforms a laparoscopic procedure.

“Which is the little plastic straws we stick in your belly when you’re asleep and fill up your belly full of CO2 and we use a robot to grasp the tissue and move things around,” Roelant said.

One of the procedures involves removing approximately 70 percent of the stomach. Medical professionals advised bleeding, leaking and infections are a risk of the procedure.

Both procedures limit the amount of food a person can eat.

Evans said she’s on a path and looking to live a healthy lifestyle in the future.

“I have a life again. I’m not in a wheel chair,” Evans said. “I’m not dependent on my kids pushing me around.”

There are a variety of requirements candidates have to meet for this surgery to see if insurance providers will cover the surgery.

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