I’m incredible shrinking woman
SHARON Post is literally half the woman she used to be but it’s not thanks to a miracle diet, rather a new surgical procedure.
Last May the 50-year-old Sydney accountant weighed 113kg and, on her 162cm frame, it was slowly killing her. Now she has lost 53kg.
Her doctor suggested bariatric surgery but instead she was part of an Australia-first trial in conjunction with two US clinics for endoscopic sleeve gastro-plasty or ESG. The procedure is performed through the mouth. “The surgery was easy, it was day surgery and they put a line of stitches in my stomach to create a sleeve,” she said.
Her stomach is now tiny and while she can eat a variety of normal foods, they are very small portions.
“I can drink lots of water but food, it’s no more than half a cup and I’ll be full,” she said. Smaller portions have also helped husband Garth lose 14kg.
The results, published this month in Obesity Surgery Journal, found the 115 patients in the trial lost an average of 12.9kg in the first six months and a total average of 16.4kg, or 14.9 per cent of their body weight.
Lead researcher and medical director of the Sydney-based BMI Clinic Dr Adrian Sartoretto said the results were as good as the more invasive bariatric procedures.
“The results are comparable to a gastric band or gastric sleeve procedure at the same time points, however the ESG is performed as a day-only surgery, allowing for lower risk,” he said.
“Patients have experienced health benefits such as remission of diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnoea — all the more impressive when considering these patients were discharged from hospital on the same day.”
While Medicare covers some bariatric surgery, including gastric bypass and lap band for approved patients, ESG is not covered.
Professor Wendy Brown from the Commonwealth’s Bariatric Surgery Register said she was surprised by the results because previous techniques that left the top half of the stomach intact had failed over the long term. She said ESG has been knocked back by Medicare due to a lack of evidence.
“They’ve been getting good results, which I find fascinating and confusing,” Prof Brown said. “It’s a procedure that needs watching, with 28 per cent of the population obese.”
As for Mrs Post, the ESG is the best thing she ever did.
“I feel really good, I feel healthy,” she said.
“I made a decision for the rest of my life and it’s given me a great boost. It’s a massive difference.”
Sharon and Garth Post. Sharon has lost almost half her weight.