Weight loss surgery center opens at CHRISTUS Lake Area Hospital

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) — CHRISTUS Health says it is raising the bar for weight-loss surgeries in the area.

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

Lake Charles’ Mallory Dykes suffered from several health issues that prevented her from losing weight. Then, at just 19 years old, she underwent bariatric surgery.

“It was the best decision I’ve made for myself and my health,” Mallory said.

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

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

“Certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, which is similar to heavy snoring, and several others may improve with dramatic weight loss,” said bariatric surgeon Dr. Matias Nauts.

Shrapps and Nauts will work in the new bariatric center.

They say it will be a huge benefit for patients like Mallory, who have had to drive out of state for the surgery and follow-up care.

“But it’s absolutely wonderful to have something right 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 physical recovery.

“I think the two things that are a lot harder are the dietary changes, which are really meaningful, and the kind of psychology that comes with that, you have to change your relationship with food, and it’s a daily struggle and stuff like that takes Time to undo these things that are kind of built into us,” Shrapps said.

Mallory is now 21 and has no regrets.

“I’m much more active. I don’t get tired. I’m not out of breath when I go upstairs. I’m more alive in a way, I’m a lot happier,” she said.

Mallory said she is grateful for the speedy recovery from her surgery and she is glad that others living in Southwest Louisiana will have access to a bariatric center in the area.

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