Weight loss surgery center opens at CHRISTUS Lake Area Hospital

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 9:15 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - CHRISTUS Health says it’s raising the bar for weight loss surgery in the region.

A bariatric center officially opened on the Lake Area campus on Nelson Road today.

Mallory Dykes of Lake Charles suffered from multiple health issues preventing her from losing weight. Then, at just 19 years old, she had bariatric surgery.

”It was the best decision I have made for me and my health,” Mallory said.

Her surgeon, Dr. Jerome Shrapps, says this type of surgery can help with a variety of health problems.

“Too often, bariatric surgery is looked at as strictly obesity surgery. Surgery to help people lose weight. Really, it would be better if we kind of thought of it as an operation that is meant to improve people’s overall quality of life,” Shrapps said.

“So certain medical problems such as hypertension, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, which is kind of like severe snoring, and several others can get better with the dramatic weight loss,” said bariatric surgeon Dr. Matias Nauts.

Shrapps and Nauts will be working at the new bariatric center.

They say it will be a huge benefit for patients, like Mallory, who were having to drive out of state for the surgery and follow ups.

“But it is absolutely wonderful to have something here at home and not have to drive out of state to get there,” Mallory said.

Dr. Shrapps says this surgery can be life-changing, but requires more than just a physical recovery.

“I think the two things that are much more difficult are the dietary changes, which are really significant, and the the sort of the psychology that that goes along with that you have to change your relationship with food, and it’s an everyday battle and it takes time to undo these these things that are sort of built into us,” Shrapps said.

Now 21 years old, Mallory has no regrets.

“I’m way more active. I do not get tired. I’m not out of breath when i’m walking upstairs. I’m more alive in a way, I’m way happier,” she said.

Mallory said she is thankful for the quick recovery following her surgery, and she is glad others living in Southwest Louisiana will have access to a bariatric center in the area.

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