How weight loss surgery changed a Michigan woman's diabetes

- Sandi Desano says her decision to have gastric bypass weight loss surgery was the best decision she's ever made. 

She's now 56 and celebrating her 110-pound weight loss. She had been trying to drop the weight for what seems like a lifetime. 

"I've really struggled with weight my whole life, but it got worse probably starting in my mid 20s after having my kids," she tells us. Then came the type two diabetes diagnosis about ten years ago, and eventually a heavy daily dose of insulin shots. 

"I was having neuropathy in my feet, my feet hurt all the time. You just worry about living a shorter life. I was becoming less and less active," she says. 

Sandi was eventually told by her Henry Ford doctor that she was a candidate for weight loss surgery.

Research shows gastric bypass surgery, which divides the stomach and forces food to bypass some of the small intestine, seems to change blood sugar levels almost immediately, even before any weight is lost. And that's what happened to Sandi -- and suddenly her dependence on insulin changed for the better. 

"Pretty much right away they kept lowering doses," she says. Now, more than three years later, she's almost off the insulin -- but now there's another problem, and it's one that requires another surgery. 

"The weight loss is awesome, but you also, there's things afterwards that you don't like about yourself still," she admits, referring to some extra skin. She says infections are frequent, too, from skin touching skin. 

It's not uncommon for weight loss surgery patients to be left with excess skin and Sandi is getting rid of it, having it surgically removed. She knows the procedure isn't easy and she's nervous, but has her eye on a beautiful finish line. She's taking a trip to Hawaii in March. 

We're going to check back with Sandi and see how she's doing once that trip gets closer.

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