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Bariatric surgery and lifestyle change helps local man shed over 300 pounds

Nicholas Miraglia, before and after bariatric surgery.

Nicholas Miraglia is half the man he used to be. 

And that’s fine with him.

When he tipped the scales at 543 pounds and found out his wife was pregnant with their first child, he made the decision to undergo life-changing bariatric surgery.

“I wanted to make sure that I’m at least going to be active and alive for the first few years of this child’s life,” he said.

That’s after trying fad diets and starvation.

“I lost over 100 pounds once on the Atkins, and I felt like a champion.  When I started eating, normal for me again, I put that hundred on plus some,” he said.

Five years after surgery, Miraglia says he’s down to 224 pounds. 

The 6’5” attorney says he’s been able to stay at that weight for the last six months now.

Dr. Alok Gandhi operated on Miraglia.

He says bariatric surgery is one of the most effective ways to treat obesity, a disease which affects one in three Americans.

Credit Alex Crichton
Dr. Alok Gandhi and his patient, Nicholas Miraglia

And obesity causes other diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes.

“Time and time again the results show the same outcomes.  The risk of staying overweight is far more dangerous than any bariatric intervention in this modern era of bariatric surgery,” he said.

New statistics from the Journal of the American Medical Association shows the mortality rate over about four and a half years among surgical patients was about 1.3 percent, while among non-surgical patients it was higher, at 2.3 percent.

And a new study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the Boston University School of Public Health suggests that the rising obesity rate in the U.S. may be responsible for as many as 186,000 deaths per year.

Gandhi says the vast majority of patients undergoing this surgery do very well.

Especially those who acknowledge the disease, know it’s a disease without a cure, and it’s one that requires follow up and change in lifestyle through nutrition and exercise.

Here's Dr. Gandhi talking about how bariatric surgery can change someone's life.\