Lisa Humble isn't normally a fashion model. But this Friday night, the Sacramento resident will showcase her renewed health and improved figure as she glides past a supportive audience of friends and family at a UC Davis Medical Center event celebrating weight-loss surgery success stories.
Humble will join 13 other men and women at the medical center's annual bariatric fashion show, which takes place Friday, Jan. 29, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the auditorium of UC Davis Cancer Center, 4501 X Street, in Sacramento.
Every year, the UC Davis Bariatric Surgery Program shines a spotlight on its gastric bypass patients as they model fashions for business, leisure and formal wear. Each model is introduced with a personal story and “before-and-after” photos. The weight losses allow the models to show off clothing and styles they never before dreamed they could wear.
This year’s group of bariatric models has lost a combined 2,006 pounds. Humble has lost about 105 pounds since her surgery in the fall of 2008. She proudly notes that a lot of people at first didn’t recognize her after she lost the weight, which had peaked at 262 pounds.
Bariatrics is the branch of medicine specializing in the causes, prevention and treatment of obesity. The surgical procedure used at UC Davis involves reducing the size of the upper stomach to limit the amount of food that can be eaten or absorbed. This means that the stomach is made into a small pouch that can hold approximately two tablespoonfuls of food. The small intestine is then divided and sewn to the pouch so that food goes directly from the stomach pouch into the small intestine.
Bariatric surgery 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 the procedure provides much more than a cosmetic benefit. It can reduce major health risks such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Since having the surgery, Humble says she is healthier and more active than she has been in years.
"Every day is a new day for me," says Humble, a 49-year-old grandmother who works in county government. "I’m more outgoing than I used to be, and much more comfortable and confident. I used to hide or put something in front of me when pictures were being taken. Now I don’t mind getting in front of a camera at all.”
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 Jonathan Pierce lead a team that has performed more than 1,800 bariatric procedures. The comprehensive, high-quality care and successful patient outcomes have earned the UC Davis program designation as a 'Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence' by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery. Blue Cross of California also has recognized the program, naming UC Davis Health System a Blue Cross 'Center of Expertise' for bariatric surgery.
This is the seventh 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.