Several years ago Nat Villaire was just getting started on the road to Duodenal Switch, a weight loss surgery process. When he was first discussing this process, he was filled with questions and uncertainty. Thankfully, he found his way to a Yahoo! Group that had DS patients and survivors. The group’s members provided him with mounds of information and support about the surgery and coached him through the whole ordeal.
When he first got through the surgery he vowed to get back the group everyday and help new comers with their ordeals much like the group had done for him. As his real life got busier, it became harder to keep up with his promise of updating the boards. Not too long ago he realized that is had been some time since he posted to the group and decided to post a full bio of himself and his experiences with DS. This is his story.
Life before the Duodenal Switch Surgery
Before the DS surgery, Nat weighed a staggering four hundred forty one pounds and his height was compressed from six foot two inches down to six foot due to his weight. He was sixty three years old with serious sleep apnea at a level of 18-20. His typical blood pressure was running 180/120 with maximum doses of blood pressure pills onboard. He had to undergo total knee replacement on both of his knees. His abilities to function in day-to-day life were nearly impossible. He could not stand to use a urinal under any circumstances, could not bend over to touch his toes, nor reach to tie his shoes.
Nat was unable to lift anything from the floor without bracing himself against the wall; if he fell to the floor he could not get back up without help. Life for this man was nearly nonexistent.
The Surgery Process
He had his surgery in May of 2003 in Dayton, Ohio with Dr. Maguire performing the operation. Despite a minor complication found during surgery, everything went fine and Nat was in recovery the next day as his wife went through her DS surgery. They spent a few nights in a nearby hotel and finally drove back home to Central Florida. He reported that at first it was difficult for him and his wife to really eat much of anything, which was a concern for the doctor. In time everything came together and they were eating much better.
Life after DS Surgery
After the surgery being back home and fully recovered, Nat reported his situation has greatly improved. His target weight was originally 195; he had gotten down to 211 pounds but has managed to hold his weight in that area. His normal blood pressure has come down to 114/70 without the use of any blood pressure meds. He has gone out and bought all new clothes (especially after his old pants fell to his ankles trying to carry groceries into the house earlier). He and his wife are very active now they even got their SCUBA certifications. Their years are now filled with travelling the world and spending countless hours playing with their loving grandchildren. His only regret to this DS procedure was that he did not do it sooner!
“The DS is the greatest thing I have ever done for myself except marry my wife”, says Nat who now runs a Weight Loss Support Group in Orlando, Florida, with his wife. “I can play with the grandkids and roll on the floor with the dog. I can eat anything! We travel a lot! In short, life is what most people would call normal – I would call it a wonderful miracle, and I now appreciate life, colleagues and family more than ever.”