SAN ANTONIO — When considering having bariatric surgery to lose weight, there are two options: the gastric bypass, or the most popular one in the US, the gastric sleeve. 

"I struggled with my weight since I was about 30, so that's been about 15 years now," said Sandra Diaz who had the gastric sleeve surgery in December of 2018. She told us, "The actual breaking point — I was watching my great-nephew and he was two at the time. He got up and went towards the fireplace, and I couldn't get up fast enough to get him. Luckily, he didn't get hurt."

Her doctor is Dr. Kent VanSickle. He's the Division Chief for general and minimally invasive surgery at UT Health San Antonio, and the Medical Director for the University Health System weight loss program. 

He said, "It's a procedure where the stomach is stapled with a stapling device into a much thinner narrower stomach which restricts the amount of food and volume of food that a patient can eat."

Besides weight loss, other bariatric surgery benefits include long-term remission for type-2 diabetes, improved cardiovascular health. It can eliminate obstructive sleep apnea, joint pain relief and relief of depression. 

Diaz told us, "I had high blood pressure and I was prediabetic. As soon as I got out of the hospital, my blood pressure was stabilized. Within my three month check-up, my A-1 C was lower. By my five month check-up, I was no longer prediabetic."

Diaz says having the surgery is not taking the easy way out like many think. You still have to work hard to lose the weight afterward, and it doesn't work for everyone. 

She added, "It's a tool, it's not an easy fix. It's not, you have the surgery, you are going to lose the weight. You still have to work at it. It just helps you."

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