Feeling Better With Weight Loss Surgery

By age 54, Jeris Underwood had seen her weight double after puberty despite years of diets. The four-time Weight Watchers dropout says, "I dieted my way all the way up to 354 pounds."

Asthma and high blood pressure plagued her, and sore knees kept her in flat shoes. She longed to travel but couldn't fit into an airline seat. She wanted to exercise but she needed to rest every 10 minutes.

Jeris finally met the bariatric surgery team at St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way, who recommended a gastric sleeve operation. In this permanent weight loss surgery, the size of the stomach pouch is reduced by 80 to 85 percent. Hunger decreases, too, because the surgery removes most of the stomach, where the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin is produced.

Jeris, who has already lost 132 pounds, says, "I'm closer to my weight loss goal than I've been for over 20 years. This spring I'll graduate from college as a paralegal. I plan to wear high heels and rock them!"

St. Francis Hospital is accredited as a bariatric surgery center by the American College of Surgeons. It is also designated as a Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

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Jeris Underwood
Jeris Underwood