In a recent Forbes Health survey, 34 percent of Americans said weight loss was one of their New Year’s
resolutions, making it one the most common goals for 2024. For some people with obesity, it can be
very difficult to achieve significant weight loss with diet and exercise alone. Bariatric surgery may be a
good option, especially if you have other health conditions made worse by obesity.
Carla Robles and Oscar Febo of Lake Nona struggled to lose weight for as long as they could remember,
and had been diagnosed with diabetes and pre-diabetes, respectively. Together, the couple were
looking to feel better and improve their health and knew something needed to change. Last year they
underwent gastric sleeve weight loss surgery at UCF Lake Nona Hospital, and today have lost a
combined total of more than 210 pounds.
According to Dr. Chetan Patel, a surgeon who performs bariatric surgeries at UCF Lake Nona Hospital
and Oviedo Medical Center, losing weight can play an important role in improving quality of life and can
even be lifesaving. “Bariatric surgery offers numerous benefits for individuals struggling with obesity including significant weight loss, improved obesity-related health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and sleep apnea, increased energy levels, and enhanced overall quality of life,” Dr. Patel said. “For patients who have a BMI over 35 with one or more of these conditions, weight loss surgery can be an effective tool to keep them on track and help them meet their health goals.”
Carla and Oscar have seen great gains in their overall health, dropping from 14 prescription medications
daily to four. The weight loss has put Carla’s diabetes into remission and reversed Oscar’s pre-diabetes.
Along with improved blood sugar, they have improved their blood pressure, seen significant
improvement in their sleep apnea and Carla no longer needs medication for asthma.
“We both are different people now, full of energy and we feel so much better,” Carla said. “It’s been a
life-changing experience, especially with our health. I used to sleep a lot and was tired all the time. It
was difficult for me to walk and if I did, I was gasping for air. The week after surgery, I started walking
around the neighborhood and then noticed I could actually talk without gasping for air.”
The couple now walks daily for 30-45 minutes and last fall participated at the Central Florida Walk from
Obesity, which was sponsored by HCA Florida Healthcare.
Carla and Oscar’s weight loss journey continues and they are confident they will reach their goal weights
together. “We have already lost so much weight, and if we continue with our nutrition and exercises, I
know we can do it,” Carla said.
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