SPECIAL REPORT: Surgical Weight Loss program

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- The CDC says more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese. The traditional weight loss method might not work for everyone.

In this special report, 13 News Reporter Kelly Dean breaks down the Medical Center's Surgical Weight Loss program.

"I mean it's gonna transform your life if someone's willing to do it," said Jennifer Heath who completed the program. "It will transform your life for the absolute better."

Obesity can lead to a lot of the serious health problems.

"I was a real bad diabetic and I wanted off that medication," said Teresa Stidham, Nurse Practitioner of the Surgical Weight Loss program who also completed the program.

"I was supposed to have knee replacement," said Heath.

Through this weight loss program, patients undergo appointments, evaluations and informative classes. After all that, it's determined whether they receive a gastric sleeve or a gastric bypass.

"It's not really what we do, it's why we do what we do," said Dr. Raphael Nwanguma. "We realize that we can make a difference in patient's lives, and in return these patients make an enormous in our lives."

Over the past five years, Dr. Nwanguyma has performed over one thousand surgeries.

38-year-old Heath who completed the program, says she's always been big.

"I was hurting, I was depressed, I was lonely-- food was my go to, food is so convenient, it's everywhere," said Heath.

Working at the Med Center, the resources and tolls were right in front of her.

"You can get the procedure, but if you don't do what you need to do, you will relapse and you won't see the results," explained Heath. "The tool works, but you have to work the tool."

Heath says it was a lifestyle change for the better.

"It kinda started my life. It started my life all over again and gave me a second chance to actually live again."

Many people who go through the program, rave about the staff.

"This team here is so supportive. I literally feel like I like I was a football player."

Heath was also able to successfully complete the program because of her five kids, she says.

"She's seen me go through a lot of my ups and downs especially with my weight, and she has been my strength when I didn't have any either. That's my rock," said Heath about her daughter.

At the gym six days a week, food prepping, all this giving her energy and in turn a new zest for life.

Heath almost surprised by the 180 she's done in her life.

"I was just sitting there revving, but once I got this tool, and realized, I'm just in overdrive. I'm just over mountains right now."

Now 135 pounds lighter, Heath switched roles with her once unmotivated self.

"You have a bunch of what if what if what if what if, but what if you don't? What if you continue to just sit there and gain weight. What if you just sit there and say okay, well I won't do that. What if I go to the gym tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes?"

Now this isn't just a one-and-done surgery. The program offers informational classes and support groups, even after the fact.

To find out how to get involved in the Medical Center's Surgical Weight Loss program, click here.

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