Frustrated by diets, woman opts for gastric bypass - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Frustrated by diets, woman opts for gastric bypass

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Around this time three years ago Necole Woodruff bent the scales at about 200 pounds.

"My health was deteriorating at such an early age I knew that I needed to make a change," said Necole.

She did everything she could to lose weight, working with personal trainers and dieting.

"I kept thinking I can do this for myself, I'm smart enough," said Necole. 

"And that necessarily wasn't successful for me."

Finally, at the age of 40 and with her weight pushing 240 pounds, 4 foot 11 inch Necole underwent bariatric surgery to reduce the size of her stomach.

"The average American adult has an obesity rate of 35% however black women have a much higher rate, almost double that it's about 60 percent," said Dr. Carl Lowe of Carolina Surgical of Charlotte.

Necole said she "had lived in kind of a shame mode."

"I had pushed away from my friends."

Necole lost nearly 100 pounds since her surgery.

Now more vibrant than ever, she says the surgery changed her life.

"I feel like I've been given a new chance at life."

Surgery is a last resort, but medical experts believe that for selected people, the rewards outweigh the risks.

"Weight loss surgery is a good option for people have excessive amounts of weight, severe obesity where it's just very difficult for them to get the weight off," Dr. Lowe added.

Before being accepted for the weight loss procedure patients have to go through a lengthy evaluation process.

"The surgery is only one part of an overall lifestyle change which includes eating healthy and exercising," said D. Lowe. 

"Everyone has to see a psychologist just to make sure they understand the changes that come with looking different."

Once a size, Necole is working out and enjoying her life in ways she never could before.

"Every day is a challenge and I tell people this isn't an easy fix at all," said Necole.

Gastric bypass offers dramatic rapid weight loss.

Most patients lose 60 percent of their excess weight.

And it can reverse health problems like Type 2 Diabetes.

But it is a major surgery reversible only in emergencies.

And there are short term risks, like bleeding, infection and leaks

In certain cases certain insurance providers and even Medicaid will cover this operation but the patient has to be able to document that he or she has a serious health problem related to the excess weight.

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