New Haven, Conn (WTNH) - It appears age is not a factor when it comes to weight loss surgery.
There's a new program at the Hospital of St. Raphael aimed at older adults considering weight loss surgery.
Evelyn Kotton is feeling good. "I was 70 when I had the surgery," she said.
She has lost 86 pounds since undergoing surgery to shed the weight.
"I never lost any more than 40 pounds, and this is the most I've ever lost, and I've been able to keep it off," Kotton said.
Evelyn is among a growing number of older adults, now the focus of a new senior weight loss surgery care program at the Hospital of St. Raphael.
"What we're seeing in the elderly population is the surgery can be done as safely as it can be in a younger population," said Dr. Murali Naidu from the Hospital of St. Raphael.
Dr. Naidu chose the adjustable gastric band approach for Evelyn, where a band is wrapped around the top of the stomach creating a small pouch that fills up with food, quickly.
"The biggest difference we see in the elderly population is they have an improvement in their comorbidity that is almost what you would see in a younger person, but their weight loss is not necessarily quite as good," Naidu said.
The overall health picture for the older population is a big concern for Dr. Gerard Kerins --who heads up Geriatrics.
"So as the baby boomers age, we are seeing more health issues that were maybe present in middle age, now carrying into older age," Dr. Gerard Kerins from St. Raphael's said.
Dr. Kerins says most will likely benefit if they qualify for the surgery.
"Maybe it's difficult for them to change the way they eat and how they exercise. Those of us who do geriatrics don't believe that, we feel its never too late to feel better, and be more proactive about your health," he said.
"My blood pressure is good. I think my heart is good. I have no problems," Kotton said.
As in any weight loss surgery, there is no guarantee that it will be successful. You still need to watch what you eat and exercise.
A seminar is scheduled for next Wednesday on the weight loss surgery care for older adults. The seminar will be held in Branford from 4:00pm to 5:30pm. You can register online at www.srhs.org or by calling Denise Arscott at 203-789-6237.
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