Losing weight changes lives of patients


More than 16,000 pounds lost

SPARTANBURG — Duncan Dawkins had the same sore on the sole of his foot for nine years.

Even with six insulin shots and four types of medications per day, Duncan couldn’t lace his own shoes due to neuropathy, or damage to the nerves in his hands that caused weakness and numbness.

Dawkins’ health problems were tied to his weight of 358 pounds. His health turned around after he lost 126 pounds after bariatric surgery in September 2012 through the Medical Group of the Carolinas (MGC) Weight Loss Services.

“As a result of my bariatric surgery and weight loss, I was able to stop taking all of my medication, and the sore healed,” Dawkins said. “Now I can run, play basketball with my 10-year-old son and take a decent vacation.”

Dawkins was one of more than 100 weight loss patients who attended the 12th Annual Bariatric Surgery Patient Reunion on November 12. The attendees gathered to celebrate their weight loss and improved health, which included a loss of 16,428 pounds and 415 medications that are no longer used.

Although diet and exercise are appropriate means of weight control among those who are mildly to moderately overweight, these methods are generally ineffective for the morbidly obese. For those who are morbidly obese, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that surgery is often the best choice.

Shanna Harrelson said that she was having health issues and felt like she was “slowly dying” before she lost 218 pounds.

“I was 378 pounds at age 19 and now I’m 160 after having the surgery in October 2012,” Harrelson said. “At the time of my surgery, I had a toddler and I was depressed because I couldn’t run and play with my baby.”

MGC’s Weight Loss Surgery Program recently received reaccreditation as a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) Comprehensive Center.

Medical Group of the Carolinas’ Weight Loss Services practice currently performs comprehensive metabolic and weight loss procedures such as:

• Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

• Lap-Band®

• Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

• Revisional Weight Loss Surgery

• Medical Procedures

• Medical Weight Loss

“I can run now and talk without being short of breath,” Harrelson said. “You have to stay motivated and driven after surgery, but it’s worth it when you work for it.”

For more information on weight loss surgery with Medical Group of the Carolinas, call 864-560-7070.

About Medical Group of the Carolinas

Medical Group of the Carolinas, part of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System is a group of over 300 physicians in over 22 specialties and primary care, serving 11 counties. The medical network of practices includes family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, immediate care, emergency medicine, inpatient medicine, allergy, medical weight loss, cardiology, cardiothoracic and vascular surgery, dermatology, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology, surgery, gynecologic oncology, infectious disease, maternal fetal medicine, occupational health, oncology, hematology, orthopaedic surgery, palliative care, pediatric critical care, physical medicine and rehabilitation, plastic surgery, psychiatry, radiation oncology, rheumatology, vascular access, and wound care.

About Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) offers a full spectrum of services through four hospitals: Spartanburg Medical Center, Pelham Medical Center, Spartanburg Hospital for Restorative Care and Union Medical Center. SRHS also includes Ellen Sagar Nursing Center, 113-bed long-term care, skilled nursing facility that offers nursing care and rehabilitation services. SRHS provides unparalleled oncological care through the Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute. The multidisciplinary Medical Group of the Carolinas has more than 300 physicians across seven counties in two states. SRHS employs nearly 6,000 associates and offers outpatient surgery centers, a vibrant post-acute division, a Level I Trauma Center, and Advicare, a licensed Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Advicare provides Medicaid services to residents throughout the state of South Carolina. U.S. News and World Report ranked Spartanburg Medical Center the No. 1 regional hospital in South Carolina in 2014-15. The Commission on Cancer gave Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute its Outstanding Achievement Award.

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More than 16,000 pounds lost

This story was submitted by the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.

This story was submitted by the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.

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