UCSF’s bariatric surgery program offers care for obese patients.
Unless you weigh more than 400 pounds, it’s difficult to imagine walking a mile in James Dials’ shoes. In fact, for most of his life, he couldn’t do that either.
The gregarious 62-year-old limousine driver made friends easily, escorting musicians and athletes all over town. Sometimes they would shower him with choice tickets to concerts and sporting events.
But Dials always had to turn them down.
Not because of a company policy or because he didn’t enjoy public events. Not too long ago, Dials weighed 434 pounds, and he couldn’t walk 10 feet without having to stop and catch his breath. The walk from the parking lot to the venue would have been a Herculean task for him to accomplish.
“I could only take about 20 steps and stop and catch my breath,” Dials said. “Then, 20 more steps and then stop.”
He says low self-esteem and his love of his native Southern down home cooking contributed to his gradual weight gain. Before he knew it, Dials passed the 400-pound mark.
“My life was very uncomfortable,” Dials said. “I was a diabetic and I injected insulin. I had high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol. I was on all kinds of medications.”
That’s when he discovered the UCSF Bariatric Surgery Center, a Level 1 accredited center for weight-loss surgery by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network of the American College of Surgeons, which means they provide complete bariatric surgical care. It is a nationally certified “center of excellence,” which offers a multidisciplinary approach to weight loss.
“James had relatively advanced obesity,” says Stanley Rogers, M.D., chief of minimally invasive surgery and director of the Bariatric Surgery Center and Liver Tumor Ablation Program at UCSF Medical Center. “And we know that weight loss either with or without surgery can significantly impact those medical problems, and can make these medical problems called co-morbidities go away as weight loss occurs.”