Botched bariatric surgery

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Life is good for 32-year-old Isabel Torres and her family, but complications from bariatric surgery in Mexico nearly killed her.

Life is good for 32-year-old Isabel Torres and her family, but complications from bariatric surgery in Mexico nearly killed her.

"Had this not worked, I don't know where I'd be," said Bariatric Surgery Patient Isabel Torres.

She is there because of the innovative work of Dr. Steven Leeds.

Three and a half years ago, Isabel weighed 365 pounds. She got bariatric surgery to remove part of her stomach in Mexico to save money, but there were complications, infections, and a leak that couldn't be fixed.

Several surgeries failed, she could not eat, and she was depressed.

"Reading the chart, I knew we only had one option to go, we had to go to surgery. And this stomach that had been tortured now for over a couple of years needed to come out," said MD Gastrointestinal Surgeon Steven Leads.

In a procedure he had done many times before for cancer patients, Dr. Leeds removed the entire stomach and attached the small bowel directly to the esophagus.

Soundbite covered "We take the stomach out and we leave this bowel, and this is where the small bowel comes up to attach it to the esophagus," said Leeds.

Since most of the digestion actually takes place in the small intestine, a person can live without a stomach.

"Following surgery and after everything I did to her, she is living probably the most normal life she could possibly have," said Leeds.

Isabel is down to about 190 pounds and she plans to start working out. She says she regrets her decision to go to Mexico for surgery but is thankful Dr. Leeds was able to get her system back on track.
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