Patients undergo new weight loss surgery - WKRN News 2

Patients undergo new weight loss surgery

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Sally Batson, of Kentucky, underwent the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy at Vanderbilt Medical Center. Sally Batson, of Kentucky, underwent the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy at Vanderbilt Medical Center.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Thanksgiving is the kick off to what some call the "eating holidays," but for many, food will not be the center of attention due to a new weight loss surgery.

The new weight loss surgery, called Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, curbs most patients' appetites and cuts out part of the patients' stomach.

Sally Batson, of Kentucky, underwent the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure about a year and a half ago at Vanderbilt Medical Center.

She said before the procedure she was wearing a size 24.

Baston now wears a size two and said she lost about 130 pounds. 

"I lost half myself," Batson said.

In order for Baston to achieve her dramatic weight loss, she had to lose more than half of her stomach.

The surgery is minimally invasive, with little blood loss and just a few incisions.

Baston said she was able to return to work a week after surgery. 

The new procedure may be a way for patients to lose weight, but it is an extreme procedure.

"You are taking out part of the stomach, so in that sense the operation is irreversible," said Dr. Ronald Clements Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Surgical Weight Loss.

He also added that Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy is fairly new and there's no long term data as with surgeries like Gastric Bypass or Lap Band.

"You take out the lateral 3/4 or 80% or so of the stomach, and it's actually physically removed from the patient," Clements told News 2.

Baston said since the procedure, her appetite has changed dramatically.

The appetite change is due to doctors removing the bulk of a patients' stomach, the stomach then slows down the production of a hormone called Ghrelin which tells us when we are hungry.

Baston said the payoff to her extreme surgery is worth it.

"No cholesterol medicine, no blood pressure medicine. I was begging for knee replacement surgery and now my knees are fine," Baston told News 2, adding, "I'm going to live a long healthy life because now I have a healthy body."

The costs of the surgery can run anywhere from $12,000 to more than $20,000.

Doctors said the procedure is not only cheaper than other weight loss procedures, but it has fewer side effects than other weight loss surgeries.

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