The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

March 17, 2013

Team effort: Husband and wife undergo weight-loss surgery

WINDBER — Matt and Julie Horton of Roaring Spring knew they should trim down.

Like many overweight people, they had tried diet and exercise routines, but couldn’t keep the weight off.

“I have been overweight my whole life,” Matt Horton said. “We tried all the fad diets. Nothing seemed to work.”

Matthew, 33, and Julie, 30, wanted to be better examples for their two young children, 3-year-old Lucas and 1-year-old Aubrey.

“That was the reason,” Julie Horton said, looking back on the couple’s decision to undergo weight-loss surgery together.

A baseball umpire and stay-at-home dad, Matt Horton said his enthusiasm for sports helped start the conversation.

“I was watching ‘Sports Center’ and (New York) Jets Coach Rex Ryan came on,” Matt Horton recalled. “He had lost 100 pounds. He had Lap- Band surgery. I called her in. We couldn’t believe how much weight he had lost.”

Julie started some research and the two decided Lap-Band surgery was their preferred option. A friend’s recommendation brought them to Dr. Kim Marley at Windber Medical Center.

“It’s the least invasive,” Matt Horton said. “We wanted the minimal surgery we could get.”

Marley offers three weight-loss surgery options, nurse practitioner Nate Sann said.

• Lap-Band surgery introduces an inflatable band that squeezes the stomach into a small upper pouch and a larger lower section. Although still connected, the small opening between the two sections effectively restricts the amount of food that can be consumed at a meal. It also helps reduce the feeling of hunger, Sann said.

“They can eat a small portion of good quality food and feel satisfied,” Sann said. “The band provides stimulus to the nerve endings up there in the stomach. We don’t fully understand it, but we know there are nerves that help control the hunger.”

• Sleeve gastrectomy is growing in popularity, Sann said, explaining that the option removes a large section of the stomach, leaving a slender, banana-shaped tube.

• Gastric bypass may be the best-known option. The surgery involves dividing the stomach and routing food past part of the small intestine.

“It is a combination of restriction and malabsorption,” Sann said. “We get a weight loss with two components with that.

Marley’s team counsels each patient about the pros and cons of each option.

“There are unique advantages and disadvantages to each one,” Sann said. “It depends on what the patient wants to get out of it.”

Regardless of which option is selected, Marley stressed, the surgery is just part of the program.

“They are all tools,” Marley said. “You have to work with them. They have to be willing and able to do the follow-up.”

Follow-up finds both Julie and Matt Horton at the gym nearly every day, as they work toward their personal weight-loss goals: 100 pounds each.

The results are encouraging in their first five months after surgery. Julie Horton is down 35 pounds and her husband has dropped 50 pounds.

“I had sleep apnea, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and I took a stomach pill every day,” Matt Horton said. “I am off all medication except a blood pressure pill. I think another 15 pounds and they will take another look at that.”

“Our energy level has changed,” Julie Horton said. “I think we are happier and healthier.”

A strong, medically based support system is vital to long-term success, Marley said, adding that his Windber program has been recognized as a center of excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

“We have people sent to us from all over to learn how to do follow up programs for Lap- Band surgery,” Marley said. “They come to us to see how to do it and learn how it’s done right.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Cause of West End fire still undetermined

    The cause of a five-alarm fire early Monday morning at a vacant structure on the 500 block of Dorothy Avenue in Johnstown’s West End has not yet been determined.

    July 22, 2014

  • Former worker, pal jailed in Logan Township thrift store robbery

    A former employee and another man have been jailed on charges they robbed a Blair County thrift store, a crime foiled when a current employee told police she recognized the first masked suspect’s voice.

    July 22, 2014

  • Rents change with new rules

    A change in federal housing regulations raises the rent for 28 public housing tenants and reduces the rent for 29 tenants in Johnstown Housing Authority communities.

    July 21, 2014

  • Memorial programs recognized

    A national hospital ranking report recognizes Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center as high performing in four categories.

    July 21, 2014

  • Residents seek Sonman memorial

    Relatives of workers involved in one of the biggest mine disasters in the region’s history are working to keep the victims’ memories from fading. Next year marks the 75th anniversary of the 1940 Sonman Mine explosion, which claimed 63 lives.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 22, 2014

  • Foul play ruled out in train fatality

    Foul play has been ruled out in the death of a Windber man found struck by a train near Seward early Sunday, investigators say.

    July 21, 2014

  • Correction 07/22/2014

    July 21, 2014

  • Concussion prevention project progressing

    A Johnstown-area hospital and school district are a step ahead of the president's call for more research into sports injuries, having developed a groundbreaking concussion-prevention program aimed at helping all athletes, particularly students, avoid brain injuries.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local briefs 7/22/2014

    July 21, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads