NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Going under the knife is starting to become routine for some obese teenagers. A new study shows that the lifesaving surgery actually is worth the risks, and makes the teens healthier.
"It's a life changing experience," Raeni Rodriguez, weight loss patient said.
Like a typical teenager Rodriguez's body went through changes.
"In high school I was average, but as time went on I seem to just rapidly start to change and turn into this different person," Rodriguez said.
As her weight went up her parents became concerned about her health. So shortly before her birthday they made a life changing decision.
"As a family we got together and were like hey lets fix this, we can do it," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez went over to Dr. Clifton Thomas M.D. in Nacogdoches to make an appointment.
"I did the sleeve gastrectomy, that's where we take out about two thirds of the stomach and that leaves the other upper two thirds in a tube shape," Thomas said.
A new study shows that teen obesity surgery is very beneficial. Some doctors believe that having surgery as a teen can help prevent long term health problems.
"I think that's the group, the population, the people we can help the most," Thomas said. "Because year after year of carrying all that extra weight causes so many problems. If we get that weight off early it dramatically changes a life."
Health concerns is the main reason Rodriguez agreed to have the surgery.
"I was always beautiful, that is not why I got this surgery," Rodriguez said. "It was for health purposes. Anybody that is struggling out there should definitely think about this, it's a life changing surgery."
Rodriguez has loss nearly 130 pounds since the surgery and said she's looking ahead.
"I'm 131 and I don't plan on losing any more weight, I just want to tone up and get ready for next summer," Rodriguez said.
Thomas said exercise is one of the best ways to improve your quality of life, along with better eating habits.
If you know of someone struggling with their weight they can call his office at 936-569-1889.