Jordan Casey has always struggled with his weight. Two years ago, Casey weighed in at 556
pounds. Nearing the age of 30 and realizing he was approaching the 600-pound mark and
obesity-related diseases, he knew something had to change.
In October 2019, Casey underwent bariatric surgery at Parkwest Medical Center. His physician,
bariatric surgeon K. Robert Williams, MD, performed a biliary pancreatic diversion with duodenal
switch, which involves a sleeve gastrectomy (removal of part of the stomach) paired with an
Leading up to the decision to have bariatric surgery, Casey says, “Mentally, I felt it was life
or death. It was this or continue to live on the couch, and it would not be long before I was bed-
ridden. They saved my life.” Dr. Williams says this operation is for those who start out with a
much high- er-than-average BMI (e.g., 200 pounds or more over their ideal body weight) and who are unlikely to reach their goal with other methods. Chances of regaining the weight after the surgery are as low as five percent.
In the five months leading up to his procedure, Casey lost 100 pounds by his own efforts. “Dr.
Williams told me any weight I could lose beforehand would be easier on me after surgery,” reports Casey. “It was at my discretion, so I pushed myself.”
What’s at Risk?
Before surgery, Casey was on medication for high blood pressure and suffered from sleep apnea.
Both conditions have resolved themselves with losing weight. He also feared developing diabetes because of family history.
Dr. Williams considers diabetes to be one disease that wreaks havoc on almost all areas of our
bodies. “Diabetes can lead to kidney disease, peripheral vascular disease and coronary artery
disease,” he says. “It affects vision, nerves, bones and joints. Weight-loss surgery can lower the risk of developing diabetes and other co-morbidities.”
Casey now weighs 230 pounds and went from a size 60 pant to a size 34. “I can walk, even run,
without having trouble breathing,” he says. “I feel better now than when I was a kid.”
About his patient’s success, Dr. Williams shares, “He is a good example of a patient who went
into this procedure with the right mindset. He did everything that was asked of him and then
some. He’s doing great.”
Follow the Guidelines
Steadfastly following his post-operative diet and guidelines, Casey continues to have success in keeping the weight off. “The past year has been a blur,” shares Casey. “I feel that I have lived in a way I haven’t lived for 30 years. I have done things I would never have done before, or even dreamed of.”
He says he has been surprised by how normal he now feels, including not feeling like he is
missing out. “If I want a bite of something, I take that bite, and I’m good. I am not deprived.”
“I’d say the biggest challenge has been filling the spot mentally that food once filled,” reflects Casey. “When I’m bored, sad, or mad, going to food is still my first instinct. I don’t go
through with it, but I think it.”
Casey is working with a therapist on practicing coping mechanisms like meditation, even
drawing his feelings on the iPad. He also substitutes comfort food with hot tea or an activity in-
stead of acting on a craving.
The Joy of Cooking
“Cooking is one of my greatest joys,” says Casey. “I am picky about what goes in my body now.”
Casey has long had an interest in gardening, yard work and tending plants. Earlier this year, he
acquired three plots in a community garden. “I planted tomatoes, peppers and onions. I can salsa and pickled beets. The garden is about a mile from my house. The walk gives me exercise, and I go take care of everything myself.” He advises others who are considering weight-loss surgery, “Make sure you’re ready. It’s not just an easy way out. It’s a lifelong journey, and you
have to maintain habits to keep it up.”
For more information about bariatric services at Parkwest Medical Center, visit TreatedWell.com/bariatrics.
Is Weight-Loss Surgery Right for Me?
If you’re on the fence about weight-loss surgery or have tried shedding pounds with diet and exercise alone to no avail, consider a weight-loss seminar to learn about the options available at Parkwest Center for Bariatric Surgery.
Deciding to have bariatric surgery is a commitment to better health. For many patients, bariatric surgery is also a life-saving procedure. Not everyone, however, is a candidate for weight-loss surgery.
You are a candidate for bariatric surgery if you:
- Are an adult (age 18 or more)
- Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more
- Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or more with an obesity-related condition such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pres- sure, high cholesterol, etc.
- Have been overweight for more than five years
- Have multiple failed at- tempts at non-surgical weight loss
- Are ready to make a lifelong commitment to change your lifestyle, diet and exercise habits
- Understand and are committed to following the nutritional diet required after bariatric surgery to avoid malnutrition
- Exhibit emotional stability
- Are physically able to undergo abdominal surgery
K. Robert Williams, Jr., MD, has been performing bariatric procedures for more than a decade and has helped thousands of people rid themselves of the burden of the weight they’ve been carrying.
Dr. Williams urges people who are considering weight-loss surgery to take advantage of free
educational tools at Parkwest Center for Bariatric Surgery.
The bariatric seminars are designed to help people make their own decisions through information about weight-loss surgery benefits, options and risks. There are bariatric support groups for those who have had surgery, and these groups welcome those who are thinking about it. “The more knowledge people have, the more they get out of an initial appointment, because they have had time to process the information,” says Dr. Williams.
Types of Bariatric Surgical Options
Parkwest Medical Center offers several types of bariatric surgeries.
- Gastric bypass (laparoscopic Roux-en-Y)
A smaller stomach pouch is created (about the size of a golf ball), and the intestine is rearranged to change digestion. This also has the benefit of creating hormonal changes that help increase metabolism and increase weight loss.
- Gastric sleeve (laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy
Part of the stomach is removed, limiting food intake. This procedure also prompts hormonal changes that help the process.
- Biliary Pancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch
A sleeve gastrectomy paired with an intestinal bypass. Food in- take is limited and food that is
consumed isn’t digested completely. It results in dramatic weight loss, but is a major surgery
reserved for patients who are 200 pounds or more over their ideal body weight.
- Revision and Conversion Surgery
For a variety of reasons some patients may experience the need for a revision, correction or
conversion of their original bariatric operation, such the removal of gastric bands. Some- times individuals may benefit from an additional procedure to help them lose weight again or treat specific symptoms.