Betty Haskins could feel her body “breaking down.”
Haskins weighed 494 pounds. Her extra weight put immense strain on her joints, hips, back, spine and legs. Her internal medicine physician urged her to consider a more drastic surgical solution to her weight problems.
She had reached her highest weight, and had been recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes—a condition commonly associated with obesity. Faced with those difficult truths, she committed to weight loss surgery at University of Minnesota Medical Center.
“I had many, many opportunities when I was younger to take the weight off and keep the weight off and I didn’t follow through with it,” said Betty. “For some of us, little things we've done or that have happened to us throughout the course of our lives have caused us to put the weight on and keep the weight on.”
Betty lost 100 pounds through weight management on her own, but she gained it back over time. She knew she needed a long-term solution for weight management and diabetes prevention. She worked closely with a team of psychologists, dietitians, registered nurses and surgeons at University of Minnesota Medical Center to decide if weight-loss surgery was right for her. Because Betty needed to lose more than 200 pounds (among other factors), Bariatric Surgeon Daniel Leslie, MD, recommended a weight-loss surgery called the duodenal switch.
As part of the duodenal switch, surgeons performed a stomach reduction and bypassed part of Betty’s small intestine, decreasing both the amount of food that could be accommodated in her stomach and reducing the number of calories her body could absorb.
Weight loss surgery was the beginning of Betty’s ongoing journey to better health. After her duodenal switch surgery, she adhered to a healthy eating plan. Taking this approach, Betty lost 334 pounds and has kept it off for more than two years. She currently weighs roughly 160 pounds. Her sleep apnea has improved, and she has found increased motivation, among other health benefits.
“I have the utmost respect for the doctors and the nursing staff and the dietitians here at the U,” Betty said. “My outlook on life is so different. I want to get up and I want to get going. It’s been a life changing transformation.”