For Lindsey Birch, it was the need to lose not just the weight but also those blinding three-a-week migraines.
"I just couldn’t take another failed diet," said Lindsey Birch. "I tried all the ‘name brand’ programs and nothing worked. I was uncomfortable, unhappy and continuing to gain weight. Then about seven years ago the headaches started."
The headache condition – actually called pseudotumor cerebri – is rare among the general population, but not that uncommon among obese women of childbearing age. Lindsey, at 30 years old and 288 pounds, fit into that group. "The weight problem was bad enough, but the headaches were unbearable. I’d have at least two or three a week. I had to get some serious help."
"Lindsey came to see Bariatric Surgeon Luis Benavente, M.D., after attending one of the informational seminars. "She made a smart decision to come when she did, while her problems were limited to two – the weight and the headaches – because more issues were almost surely in her future, said Dr. Benavente. "In a sense, her surgery was preventive, meaning that she’ll likely avoid the diabetes, joint problems, sleep apnea and the myriad other conditions that were likely waiting around the corner."
"We have two young kids," said Lindsey, "and I wanted them to grow up seeing me healthy. When Dr. Benavente explained that surgery would not only help with the weight problem but very likely end the headaches as well, I was on board."
Today, Birch is down to 179 and she hasn’t had a headache since surgery. "I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m a lot happier," she said. "It’s a big lifestyle change and it takes some work to avoid old habits, but I’m absolutely convinced that surgery was the right choice for me and my family. And I love not having those headaches."