Bariatric Nurse Practitioner Helps Others on Their Weight Loss Journey

SPOKANE, WA. — A local nurse at MultiCare Hospital wants to help patients struggling with weight loss by sharing her experience with bariatric surgery.

“The surgery completely changed my life,” said Kathy Hawley.

Hawley says losing weight has been difficult since she has been unable to do her favorite outdoor activities since she was a teenager because of her weight.

“I went through a lot of trial and error trying to lose weight without having to go through surgery, and then I met with the doctors here at MultiCare and really felt that surgery would be the best option,” she said.

Hawley made the decision to have bariatric surgery in 2020, and she says it changed her life forever.

She switched her medical specialty from cardiology to bariatrics to help more patients struggling with their weight.

“I just feel like my inside matches the outside. I can do everything I want to do. Really, the best thing about having this surgery is that I get to do what I love, I always thank patients for letting me be a part of their journey because it’s a very personal journey.” she said.

Side effects of surgery can include changes in hormones.

“There are patients who we would call non-responders, and that’s not necessarily a patient problem. “Maybe we didn’t choose the right surgery, or there are other mitigating factors, so it’s important for patients to see it as a lifetime commitment,” Hawley said.

Patients are also asked to first set up a consultation with a bariatric surgeon to see if you are healthy enough for the procedure.

They should also know that it is not possible to eat large amounts of food and smoke cigarettes after the operation.

Hawley says up to a year of insurance coverage is required.

“We do everything we can preoperatively and postoperatively to prevent complications, so I think people can trust the process,” she said.

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