UPDATE: Sisters See Incredible Results Following Weight Loss Surgery
By Terry Hood, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Imagine shedding almost half of your body weight. The News On 6 has been following two sisters willing to change their lives to lose weight and the results have been incredible.
We first met Marla Shepherd and her sister Kelly Butler two years ago when they were preparing for a major change in their lives.
Having fought a lifelong, losing battle against obesity, the Arkansas sisters decided to take a radical approach. Under the hand of Dr. Louis Garosby, they underwent gastric bypass surgery. Their stomachs were stapled to create a small pouch that connects directly to the small intestine since food "bypasses" the majority of the stomach, the body absorbs fewer calories.
Within three weeks of the surgery, Marla had lost 34 pounds. Kelly dropped 42. And that was just the beginning.
Two years later, Marla is down 131 pounds and Kelly shed 134.
"It's so weird to be able to go buy clothing in the regular section of the store," said Marla Shepherd.
They say the surgery changed every aspect of their lives, particularly when it comes to food because their stomachs are just a fraction of their former size -- overeating can bring dire consequences.
"If I've had too many carbs, I've gotten real shaky and just sweat profusely and you just get sick," said Marla.
Sugar is also off the menu. Kelly recalls taking one small bite of her friend's homemade apple dumplings with ice cream.
"I laid on her bathroom floor for two hours just hurting so bad. And I mean, it was good apple dumplings, but I will not try that again. I assure you," said Kelly Butler.
Still, both Marla and Kelly agree the sacrifices are more than worth it. They look great and they feel better than they have in years. So what brings them to the office of Tulsa plastic surgeon Angelo Cuzalina?
The problem now is something no diet can cure. After losing all that weight, the sisters were left with extra skin, a lot of extra skin.
"In this case it will be over one foot of skin from their pubic area to above their belly button. It's a large area," said Dr. Cuzalina.
Kelly and Marla are each having a tummy tuck and breast enhancement. Dr. Cuzalina says he performs this kind of surgery regularly and weight loss patients like Marla and Kelly are some of his favorite clients.
"They come in and they understand what they want, but they have realistic expectations. The other thing is, they're just simply very excited," said Dr. Cuzalina.
Last week, Marla and Kelly took the next step. Their operations went well and they're now back home in Arkansas recuperating.
The News On 6 will join them on their one month follow up visit.