Beyond Weight: Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

It’s not just the number on the scale. Weight-loss surgery can reverse some thorny health problems.

By Koren Wetmore |

Roger Paganelli needed help. The Bronx pharmacist weighed 400 pounds and, while his size certainly bothered him, it was his health that worried him most. He battled sleep apnea, and had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes — the disease that had claimed the lives of his father and younger brother. Plus, his joints were complaining. He’d already had his left knee and hip replaced, and it looked like his right side was up next. Efforts to lose weight on his own had failed, time and again.

So in December 2019, Paganelli underwent bariatric surgery at Northern Westchester Hospital. His surgeon, Mitchell Roslin, MD, director of bariatric surgery, performed a duodenal switch, a type of weight-loss surgery that involves removing a portion of the stomach and rerouting some of the small intestine.

Bariatric surgery isn’t an instant or guaranteed fix; in fact, Paganelli had previously undergone a different procedure, called Lap-band®, or adjustable gastric banding. But over the following months, pound after pound came off, and Pagnelli felt better and better.

Today, at 210 pounds, Paganelli has more strength and energy than he’d ever hoped for. “I can sleep, exercise, work, dance — live!” he says.

It’s no surprise that for someone like Paganelli who’s long struggled with obesity, bariatric surgery can open the door to a different reality — one that allows you to be a more active participant in your own life. What’s less well-known is the impact these weight-loss surgeries can have on overall health, including conditions that may not have an obvious connection to weight.

“So many diseases are related to our metabolism in ways that people may not realize,” says Dr. Roslin. “As a result, weight-loss surgery can dramatically reduce your risk of a number of serious illnesses…

Published in Northwell Connections