SOURCE: Live Life Again Center for Bariatric Surgery

July 10, 2012 06:05 ET

Bariathlete Case Study With Dallas Weight Loss Surgeon Dr. David Kim

DALLAS, TX--(Marketwire - Jul 10, 2012) - In 2011, Dan Benintendi completed his first 100 mile run in 28 hours. But his journey to completing the ultimate endurance run began three years earlier, when having reached 400 lbs, he decided to undergo a gastric bypass procedure. With dozens of triathlons under his belt, including three full Ironman Triathlons and multiple Ultra Marathons, Benintendi shows no signs of slowing down despite the additional risks many bariathletes must overcome.

At 36, a typical day for Benintendi includes a 2,500 yard swim, two one hour spin classes, and a full day's work, before he settles in for dinner with his wife and three children. While this would be a demanding schedule for anyone, Dr. David Kim, Benintendi's weight loss surgeon in Dallas, says gastric bypass patients must contend with additional concerns regarding their diet, such as reduced calorie consumption, nutritional malabsorption including iron depletion, and the inability to process sugar as before. However, he is quick to add that despite these hurdles, bariathletes are more than capable of strenuous physical activity, pointing to Benintendi's success as a guiding point for others with similar goals.

At his Dallas weight loss surgery practice, the Live Life Again Center for Bariatric Surgery, Dr. David Kim has performed more than 4,000 weight loss procedures. He admits that extra concerns exist for bariathletes, which are related to the smaller stomach size and subsequent inability to absorb the proper nutrients needed to meet heightened physical demands. However, he stresses that these concerns, if properly addressed and monitored, will not interfere with a patient's weight loss success or endanger their overall health in any way.

To date, Benintendi has lost more than 200 lbs. As he prepares for the next step in this life-long journey, he says he feels good about his progress and is confident he'll continue to experience life, instead of letting it pass him by: "One of the positive things about having bariatric surgery is having the ability to do the things I've always wanted to do, and no longer feeling like a spectator... Bariatric surgery was a turning point in my life that allowed me to reevaluate where I was at, the goals I wanted to accomplish as a father, as a husband, as a friend and as an athlete, and be able to achieve those dreams."

Whether he is performing a gastric bypass or gastric sleeve procedure, Dr. Kim says each patient requires an individual treatment plan that accounts for their past habits, current situation, and future goals. By considering the complete picture, and working with a team of experienced surgeons and medical professionals, he says patients are often surprised to learn that their goals are attainable: "I usually start by telling patients to start walking immediately, the day of the surgery. Though everyone has a different level of fitness before surgery, most like Dan have a hard time walking more than 2 blocks. So a goal for someone with aspirations similar to Dan's would be walk two miles straight without stopping at two months after surgery. Then, it really is about building from that point."

For more on Dan Benintendi's story, visit his website, and a recent article on The Bariathlete featuring both Benintendi and Dr. Kim.

About David Kim, MD

After receiving his medical degree from Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine, Dr. David Kim completed his general surgery residency at Case Western Reserve University, and a peripheral vascular surgery fellowship at Ohio State University. He has also completed fellowships in advanced laparoscopic bariatric surgery at the Medical College of Virginia and Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Kim has been designated as a "Bariatric Surgeon of Excellence," and is certified by the American Board of Surgery. He is a member of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

The Live Life Again Center for Bariatric Surgery is located at 35 Verdana Lane, Ste. 100, Colleyville, TX 76034 and can be reached at (817) 717-7447 for Fort Worth patients, and (214) 614-7036 for Dallas patients. Dr. Kim and his team can also be reached via their website, and their Dallas Weight Loss Surgery Facebook page.

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