Morning Medical Update Monday 4-4-22

Media Resources

Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974


The University of Kansas Health System is treating a total of 60 COVID patients today, up from 58 Friday. Other significant numbers:

  • 13 with the active virus today, up from 12 Friday
  • 2 in ICU, 1 on Friday
  • 0 on ventilator, 0 yesterday
  • 47 hospitalized but out of acute infection phase, 46 Friday

Obesity-related conditions like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancers are among the leading causes of preventable, premature death. The good news is that there is life-changing surgery that can not only reduce weight but improve overall health.

Key points from today’s guests:

Melissa Rivera (wife), Bariatric Surgery Patient

  • She said she has struggled with weight since she was 20. She gained about 80 pounds in six months due to a medical condition. The weight gain happened very suddenly.
  • The light bulb moment was when co-workers asked her to walk two blocks for lunch and she felt that she could not make the walk. She decided to make a change and investigate bariatric surgery.
  • Three years later, her biggest challenge is the maintenance portion. She has been focusing on eating vegetables and protein.
  • As a family, they can do activities they couldn’t do before due to their size --helicopter rides, horseback riding, traveling in a car, amusement park rides, and sporting events as they were worried about fitting into seats.

Antonio Rivera (husband), Bariatric Surgery Patient

  • Family members dying due to poor health was difficult to see.
  • In a Hispanic family, food was a major part of gatherings, and it led to bad eating habits. He was nearly 450 pounds at one point.
  • His wife led the way in making changes. She was his coach and inspiration for getting bariatric surgery.
  • One year after his wife’s surgery, he decided to get it.
  • One great outcome was getting his energy back – he loves walking and riding a bike. And he said he is no longer afraid of breaking the bike.
  • You can still enjoy food -- just at different portions.

Adriana Rivera (daughter), Bariatric Surgery Patient

  • Was overweight as a kid. Family history and bad food habits did not help.
  • She thought about a healthy future for her and her future children to make important changes now. She had bariatric surgery a year after her dad did.
  • Her advice is to listen to your body. If you need help, there are resources. It’s been life-changing for all three of us
  • She has had a challenging relationship with food and a year after the surgery, she is adjusting well.

Dr. Jennifer McAllaster, Vascular and Bariatric Surgery

  • Reach out to your primary care physician to talk about weight loss and what that means for you as an individual.
  • Surgery is not a magic cure. It is a tool to help patients achieve weight loss.
  • Food is much more than just nutrition, so evaluating any potential bariatric surgery mean a multi-disciplinary approach – meeting with the surgeon, dietician, and ongoing counseling. We also meet with the psychology group to make sure patients are emotionally ready.
  • Obesity is a chronic and difficult to treat disease. We need to determine what are root causes of behaviors and how can we manage those?
  • Most insurance companies cover bariatric surgery, but not all. So, patients would need to check with their insurance company first.
  • There are two types of surgeries: endoscopic and laparoscopic. Laparoscopic can be an option for those who have co-morbidities.
  • The key to success is the overall approach to weight loss – it’s not a medical vs. surgical decision. Before and after surgery, medication may be necessary. It requires multiple avenues.
  • Everyone’s personal weight loss journey can be very personal. This family is a great advocate for what is possible.

Dr. Marc Parish, Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine

  • Higher weight can lead to increased resistance to insulin, issues becoming pregnant, and increased risks for miscarriages and congenital anomalies.

Dr. Dana Hawkinson, Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control

  • Prevention is key.
  • Meet with your medical teams about the best options for YOU.
  • Make smart lifestyle choices.

Tuesday, April 5 at 8:00 a.m. on the next Morning Medical Update, we ask how well a half-billion-dollar federal grant designed to help combat COVID in communities most in need performed. The grant ends soon, so what happens next? Dr. Ed Ellerbeck, chair of Population Health, at KU Medical Center. Dr. Catherine Satterwhite, Region 7 health administrator for Health and Human Services, Dr. Ed Ellerbeck, chair of Population Health, at KU Medical Center, and Marian Ramirez- Mantilia, Director of Juntos Center for Advancing Latino Health at KU Medical Center join the discussion.

ATTENTION: media procedure for joining:

Zoom link:

Telephone Zoom link: 1-312-626-6799, meeting ID: 782 897 8628

TVU Grid link: UoK_Health_SDI

Restream links:

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