Back in the Swing of Things
Bill Davis called balls and strikes as a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Major League Baseball (MLB) umpire for more than 30 years. If he wasn’t on the baseball field, he was in the gym working as a physical education teacher or painting houses as a small business owner. His active lifestyle always kept him in great shape – until a bad back rendered him unable to exercise. He began gaining weight and soon found himself considering bariatric surgery.
A bad experience at another hospital only two days prior to his scheduled surgery forced Bill to re-examine his options. After several recommendations, he found himself at a free seminar presented by Dr. Robin Blackstone, surgeon and medical director of bariatric programs at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center.
He originally thought a lap band was the way to go, until extensive research and meetings with Dr. Blackstone convinced him that a gastric sleeve was his best choice. A self-proclaimed meticulous person, Bill immersed himself in learning everything there is to know about the laparoscopic weight loss surgery he was about to undergo. After a successful procedure, Bill is now left with 20 percent of his stomach, roughly as big as his thumb. The 80 percent that was removed contained 90 percent of the hormone, grehlin, which is responsible for the feeling of hunger we all experience.
This, however, is not the end of his story. Dr. Blackstone is one of very few bariatric surgeons who require their patients to wear a twenty-four hour heart monitor following surgery. It was this extra measure which detected a condition unrelated to his existing heart problems, and triggered the doctor to refer Bill to a cardiologist. The seriousness of his problem required the immediate implantation of a pacemaker.
“I was asymptomatic,” Bill said. “Because Dr. Blackstone goes above and beyond, she saved my life. She truly cares about her patients. I’m a demanding person, but I can tell you that there’s no one who will back this doctor more than me. Without a doubt, she extended my life.”
Happily retired today at the age of 62, Bill has resumed his active lifestyle. With an extensive medical history, including an amazing 19 different surgical procedures now behind him, he swims, bikes, hikes and enjoys every minute of his new life. His sleep apnea is gone. Blood pressure pills are a thing of the past. And his cholesterol is finally under control.
With all the passion of a called third strike, he advises anyone considering bariatric surgery to do their homework before making any decisions. “Study this Web site and research potential doctors. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, get recommendations and schedule face-to-face meetings. It’s also imperative to speak with several former patients. This is your life you’re talking about. Take the time to do your research.”
If you’d like more information on the doctors and services available at
Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, please call Weight Management Services at 480-323-4300