Norton couple loses more than 300 pounds after bariatric surgeries

NORTON, Mass. — Elizabeth Korsun and her husband, Matt, have fought weight issues their entire lives.

“I was probably close to 300 pounds and being only 5-1 ¾ is a lot, you know, on a small frame,” Elizabeth said.

Elizabeth tried getting pregnant shortly after the couple married in 2015, but with no luck.

“I work at an OB/GYN office, so it was a little painful at times going to work seeing all these people pregnant. We were trying, and it just wasn’t working,” she said.

Doctors recommended the 37-year-old Norton woman undergo bariatric surgery. In 2017, Elizabeth had a sleeve gastrectomy. She had 80 percent of her stomach cut out. It’s now the size of half of a small banana. Shortly after, Elizabeth said was able to get pregnant. In April 2019, she and Matt had a baby boy. Charlie is now almost two years old.

The Korsun’s surgeon, Dr. Ali Tavakkoli, is the co-director for the Center for Weight Management and Wellness at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He said patients have an abnormal biological drive to eat are often hungry all the time. But, that’s reset and corrected following surgery.

“So the hunger drive is gone. It’s not just because the patients have a small stomach and they can’t accommodate more food, they actually don’t feel hungry and don’t necessarily want to eat anymore,” Dr. Tavakkoli said.

In 2018, Matt Korsun, who is a bilateral amputee, also had weight-loss surgery. He was on all types of insulin and blood pressure medicine. His stomach is now the size of a large egg.

“I was at the point that if I did not have the surgery, we probably would not be having this conversation now because I was on such heavy doses, and they were giving me 2-4 years left to live if I didn’t have the surgery,” he said.

Matt has lost 175 pounds since his surgery and no longer takes insulin or any pills. He said he’s only on a minimum dose of blood pressure medicine. Combined, he and Elizabeth have dropped more than 300 pounds.

There are other benefits to bariatric surgery. Recent research suggests people who’ve had weight loss surgery are less likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19. A team at the Cleveland Clinic studied more than 300 obese patients and found a 24 percent reduction in hospitalizations in those who had previously undergone bariatric surgery.

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