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Former NFL star tackles health with bariatric surgery

Former NFL star Gaylon Gaynes would never have imagined undergoing five years of dialysis early into his football career after getting diagnosed with a rare kidney disease called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS).

He says undergoing dialysis gave him the wake-up call he needed. “I believe it kind of put me in a situation where I had to focus more on my health and my body and what I needed to do to improve." He underwent a kidney transplant but realized he had packed on the pounds.

"When you stop playing, and you still have the eating habit, you gain, and you gain, and it was kind of hard to control everything," he said. With his weight clocking in at 380 pounds, on top of sleep apnea and high blood pressure, Gaylon approached St. Luke’s Health to undergo gastric bypass surgery.

Gaylon’s bariatric surgeon, Dr. Juliet Holder-Haynes, explains the weight loss procedure and how it is performed at St. Luke’s Health, which involves less pain and faster recovery times.

“We do it minimally invasively, which means we use very small incisions, about a centimeter in size. And we can use a camera to see inside of the abdomen and do the surgery very safely and successfully without having to actually cut the patient open."

After his surgery, Gaynes enjoys being active with his family. He even gets to watch his son play college football.

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