HIDALGO COUNTY, TEXAS (KVEO NEWS CENTER 23) — Arnold La Count loves being active with his six year old son. Why? Because a year ago he was over 500 pounds. Playing and being active was not possible. Today La Count is hovering just over 200 pounds.
"There was a lot of things I couldn't do. I got to a point where I couldn't participate in family ordeals, I couldn't go places. I was embarrassed by the way I looked," said Arnold La Count.
To help drop the weight, La Count received gastric plication , a new weight loss surgery. The surgery reduces the size of a persons stomach.
"It is one of those procedures because it is so new, we still call investigational, we have to do many studies and keep track of these patients in a different way," said Dr. Luis Reyes, Bariatric Surgeon.
In the Rio Grande Valley, 13 people have chosen gastric plication. It was a choice that added 20 years to most patients lives.
"I love going up to people who haven't seen me in a year and they are like who are you? Even some of my own family is like... Really?" said La Count.
He jokes, but knows the surgery was only a tool to his weight loss. It wasn't a solution.
"There is nothing we can offer to the patient right now, I'm talking about medications, surgeries, exercise plans or anything that will be successful without a change in the life style," said Dr. Reyes.
"It has to be in your heart. You got to want it. If you're not ready, you're not ready," said La Count.
If you have any questions, visit www.valleyobesitysurgery.com