Kerby Mellott, gastric bypass patient
December 01, 2012
Mellott enjoyed being physically active all his life. When he
was younger, Kerby loved to play sports. Tall, lean and athletic
in his youth, Kerby was a high school state basketball team
champion and played for his college’s championship football
college, he began steadily gaining weight. A Kansas native and
self-proclaimed “meat-and-potatoes guy,” Mellott was comfortable
with his larger physique.
mind being barrel-chested and thick-calved,” he said. “In
fact, I was very comfortable being a bigger guy.”
Mellott’s attitude about his weight began to change when, at age 49, he began experiencing chest pains
after working out at the gym. Because his father had passed away at
age 48 from a massive heart attack, he feared that he would
share the same fate.
suspected, he did have a serious heart condition. His
physicians told him he had suffered a mild heart attack. They also informed him that three of his arteries were 60 percent to 90 percent clogged and required immediate angioplasty. A few months after the
angioplasty procedure, one of his arteries collapsed. His doctors said he needed heart
undergoing triple bypass surgery, Mellott lost nearly 70 lbs.
through dieting. Unfortunately, seven years later he had gained
all the weight back and more. His weight had ballooned to 315
lbs. and again he began experiencing chest pains during any physical exertion — even walking up a flight of stairs. A new angiogram showed that one of his bypasses was occluded, requiring another angioplasty to widen his artery.
His cardiologist warned him that if he wanted
to be around in five years, he needed to lose 100 lbs.
Mellott talked to a
friend who had undergone a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and was doing well. He decided to make an appointment
with Dr. Ninh Nguyen, director of the UC Irvine Health
bariatric surgery program.
was extremely professional and knowledgeable,” Mellott said. “His
confidence in the success of the surgery put my mind at ease.”
On Oct. 10, 2003, Mellott underwent
the Roux-en-Y procedure. Sixty days after surgery, he had
lost 60 lbs. After one year, his weight dropped another 125 lbs. — which was
almost too thin for his body frame. Since then, he has maintained a healthy weight of 225 lbs.
Now in his 60s, Mellott feels great. He works out three to four times a
week at the gym. His surgery was such a success that other
friends and family members have either had bariatric surgery or
are seriously considering it.