Weight Loss Helps Fight Heart Disease

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A new weight loss center at the Arkansas Heart Hospital is helping in the fight against heart disease. The program gets credit for helping one woman avoid a heart transplant.

“I come from a family of really big people,” says Laynie Williams. At 52-years-old, she’s working to shed the weight her family has carried through generations.
Laynie knew she needed to act fast…or it could cost her…her heart. Laynie was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure.

Doctors wanted to put her on a heart transplant list in 2011. Laynie searched for a second option at the Arkansas Heart Hospital. Doctors there suggested Laynie lose weight first through the hospital’s new Bariatric and Metabolic Institute. They believed weight loss would help with other health issues she was dealing with. Laynie can’t say enough good things about the surgery because she can already tell she’s feeling a lot better. She’s lost 35 pounds so far.

Dr. Samuel Bledsoe, BMI Medical Director explained that even now she doesn’t have normal heart function. Her heart function is probably half where it should be.
Dr. Bledsoe’s goal is for Laynie to reach a healthy weight, so they can see positive effects on the heart over time. It is important to be aggressive about the weight loss because it will bring along other medical problems in and of itself. Not even a month after surgery, small differences are translating into big progress for Laynie’s health. “I feel lighter, better and I can breathe and sleep better,” she says.

The Arkansas Heart Hospital is one of only 12 organizations nationwide selected to participate in “National Obesity Care Week–Bariatric Surgery Day.” It allowed the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute to provide and cover the costs of weight loss surgery for one patient, Laynie.

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