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WEIGHT LOSS: Updated Procedure

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A new take on an old weight-loss surgery is making news as an effective way to lose weight and keep it off.

The surgery not only reduces the patient’s stomach size, but reduces the hormone responsible for causing hunger.

Gina Henderson says she's always struggled with her weight.   Her doctors told her, her   health would continue to decline if she didn't do something.

“My life would be shortened, my quality of life would diminish my risk of complications would  gradually increase with my age, and that scared me, “ says Henderson six months ago.

Henderson turned to Iowa health and had a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy surgery.

The procedure removes three-fourths of your stomach, taking it from the size of a football to the width of an index finger and the length of a banana.

Dr. Teresa LaMasters performed the surgery and says it not only provides a permanent solution to portion control but reduces the hormone found in the stomach that causes hunger.

“Our goal is not to make people skinny, our goal is to make people healthy, we want to improve our health, and help them live longer, and then improve their quality of life too,” says Dr. LaMasters.

And that's exactly what's happened to Henderson, six months after the surgery, she's lost nearly 100 pounds.

“It's unbelievable, and  I feel I took the right steps towards my health,” says Henderson.

Henderson says the surgery helped her become more active, more confident and have more energy to do the things she couldn't before, including spending more time with her granddaughter Harmony.

“It's given me a new lease on everything, not only my physical well-being, but my emotional well-being, and how I view things, my attitude, and my overall happiness,” says Henderson.

Henderson says since the surgery got rid of her cravings it's helped her become healthier overall.

And because the new procedure helps control hunger, Henderson isn't slipping back into her old routine.

“You just don't want the quantity that you did before, you’re fully satisfied with small quantities, and you're so happy that you're health and the way you feel is so much better that is motivates you not to go back to those old habits,” says Henderson.

For Henderson it’s a new lease on life, and a new opportunity to enjoy the moments she might have otherwise missed.

“It's just been a life-changing experience,” says Henderson.

The surgery also helped Henderson improve her blood pressure and cholesterol and now she's off all her previous medications.

Iowa health says patients that would qualify for the surgery are at least 100 pounds over-weight, have failed at several diet and exercise plans and are starting to see their health decline.