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Published on July 08, 2014

Type 2 Diabetes: A Thing of the Past for Mother of Two

Patient loses 90 pounds and Type 2 diabetes following gastric bypass surgery

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Posha Monnig of Columbia was managing her Type 2 diabetes with medication and lifestyle changes, but her condition wasn’t improving. Her blood sugar levels were too high, and she was facing a life of insulin dependency.

At 210 pounds and concerned for her health, the mother of two made a decision to undergo a gastric bypass procedure at University of Missouri Health Care. Since undergoing the procedure in 2008 at Missouri Bariatric Services, Monnig now weighs 120 pounds and no longer has Type 2 diabetes.
“Diabetes is a very frightening disease,” Monnig said. “I was getting ready to be put on insulin, and that scared me. Being healthy for my kids is ultra-important, and I knew I needed to make a change.”

Monnig was a candidate for Roux-en Y gastric bypass surgery, in which the stomach pouch is separated into two sections. After the surgery, people feel fuller faster, resulting in a decreased appetite and a reduction in food intake that lead to weight loss. Monnig’s surgery was performed by Roger de la Torre, M.D., director of Missouri Bariatric Services, chief of the Division of General Surgery and the John A. Growden Distinguished Professor in Surgery at the MU School of Medicine.

“Through this type of procedure, patients generally will lose about 100 pounds or up to two-thirds of their excess weight in one year,” de la Torre said. “In Posha’s case, the procedure offered an added bonus as it also eliminated her Type 2 diabetes.”

Weight-loss surgery can eliminate or lessen the severity of Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and chronic back pain in up to 85 percent of patients, and reduce the chance of death caused by these conditions by 40 percent.

In addition to gastric bypass surgery, the specialists at Missouri Bariatric Services also offer adjustable gastric band and vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedures. The program also accepts candidates for revision of a previous bariatric surgery on a case-by-case basis. Non-surgical weight-loss options offered include medications, supplements and meal-replacement programs. To qualify as a weight-loss surgery candidate, a patient must have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater, or have a BMI of 35 or greater with high-risk health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

Monnig enjoys playing outside with her 10- and 12-year-old boys, and she frequently bikes and hikes local trails and does hot yoga to stay in shape. She knows that her weight-loss journey is a continual process, not just a one-time decision.

“This isn’t just a surgical procedure; it’s a life-altering decision,” Monnig said. “You have to believe in what the surgeon is able to do, as well as what you can do. As you lose weight, you gain confidence. You have to believe in yourself that you can continue to eat right, exercise and do the necessary things to live a healthier lifestyle.”

“We’re here to guide patients on their weight-loss journey, both before and after a procedure,” de la Torre said. “Through educational seminars, patients are supported by a multidisciplinary team of weight-loss specialists.”
Missouri Bariatric Services is accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program for comprehensive, high-quality patient care. In addition to de la Torre, the Missouri Bariatric Services surgical team includes Mark Perna, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, and Kevin Suttmoeller, D.O., assistant professor of medicine and surgery.