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NEWS | July 31, 2008

Models of Success

Fashion show features UC Davis' weight-loss surgery patients

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.)
Carrie Davis isn't normally a fashion model. But this Friday night, the Colfax resident will own the walkway with her svelte and healthy figure as she strides around a supportive audience of friends and family at a UC Davis Medical Center event celebrating weight-loss surgery successes.

Davis will join nine other women and four men at the medical center's annual bariatric fashion show, which takes place August 1 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the auditorium of UC Davis Cancer Center, 4501 X Street, in Sacramento.

Every year, the event showcases former gastric bypass patients as they model fall fashions in business, leisure and formal wear. Each model is introduced with a personalized story and photos from their days of being significantly overweight. The weight losses are like a dream, allowing the models to show off clothing and styles never considered before.

Davis herself has lost about 120 pounds and proudly notes that she's dropped down 14 sizes since her gastric bypass surgery in July of 2007. The procedure involved reducing the size of Davis' upper stomach in order to limit the amount of food that can be eaten or absorbed.

Bariatrics is the branch of medicine specializing in the causes, prevention and treatment of obesity. It is usually reserved for people who have been unsuccessful in other weight-loss programs and are at least 100 pounds overweight. Studies have shown that bariatric surgery provides much more than cosmetic benefit. It can reduce major health risks such hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Since having the surgery, Davis says she is healthier and more active than she has been in years.

"I'm amazed at the things I can now do again," said Davis. "Before surgery, I was so heavy, I couldn't even cross my legs. Now, I easily go up and down stairs and I'm even planning to run and chase the kids during soccer practice this season. It's wonderful."

With obesity affecting an estimated 58 million people across the nation, the gastric bypass operation has become the most common form of weight reduction surgery in the United States.

UC Davis surgeons Mohamed Ali and William Fuller lead a team that has performed more than 2,300 bariatric procedures. Because of its high-quality care and successful patient outcomes, their program has been designated as a 'Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence' by The American Society for Bariatric Surgery. Blue Cross of California also has recognized the program by naming UC Davis Health System a Blue Cross 'Center of Expertise' for bariatric surgery.

This is the sixth annual fashion show featuring bariatric patients. Proceeds support the UC Davis Bariatric Surgery Program, which hosts special obesity education and weight management classes, in addition to offering surgical procedures.