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      Benefits of bariatric surgery

      For Linda Peoples of Traverse City, exercise has become a new activity for her. She started belly-dancing fitness four hours a week after a major surgery that changed her life.

      "I started thinking about bariatric surgery about three years ago. It just got to a point with type two diabetes, my fibromyalgia is bad. I have hyper-tension. I couldn't do anything, all I wanted to do is sleep," says Peoples.

      It was a lifestyle that peoples needed to change in order to salvage her health. About ten years ago, she had become obese after having her children and never did much physical activity. She even need a cane to walk at one point because of her weight.

      "My physical activity was watching others do physical activity," says Peoples.

      She wanted a change so, she prepared for bariatric surgery including focusing on weight management and attending support groups.

      "I had the surgery 18 months ago, lost 120 pounds. I have no more type 2 diabetes, no hyper-tension," says Peoples.

      Dr. Steven Slikkers is a bariatric surgeon at Munson Medical Center. He says morbid obesity is associated with various health complications including, type-2 diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea. Besides the physical outcomes, he says it's getting rid of the health concerns that is the biggest success. "A lot of attention brought to weight loss, while that's a big part, more important is the health. So, if you could undergo one hour surgery, would you do it? That's where the focus needs to be," says Dr Slikkers.

      Dr. Slikkers says obesity takes years off a person's life and that's why bariatric can change that, just like it did for Peoples.

      "I'm happy right now, I do belly-dancing fitness and as a kid I wanted to dance but my parents couldn't afford it. I have three grand kids and two children. I did it for them and for myself," says Peoples.

      For more information about bariatric surgery, click here.