Every once in a while Howard Rosten winds up on the business end of a television camera. He heads up the electronics recycling program for SMILES in Mankato, and their annual collection drives have occasionally been considered “news.”
But, prior to 2010, the arrival of a camera crew didn’t exactly make Rosten’s day.
“I used to hate doing TV because I looked like Godzilla,” Rosten jokes.
To see a photo of him from before August 2010 is to see a photo of a plump man. To see his before-and-after picks side by side is to see a dramatic transformation. And he says he owes his weight loss to the gastric bypass surgery he underwent at Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis.
Rosten went from 300 pounds to about 170 in roughly nine months. And he’s kept it off.
“There are things I want to do now that I never would have thought of before,” he said.
Gastric bypass and other bariatric surgeries are becoming more common as the nation deals with what some doctors are calling epidemic rates of obesity.
Until recently, most people had to travel to the Twin Cities to have weight-loss surgery. But now there are several options to have the procedures done closer to home for south-central Minnesota residents.
Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato recently added a physician, Megan Gilmore, who will specialize in bariatric surgery. And a new clinic in lower North Mankato, run by James Lee, is offering the treatments as well while performing surgeries in St. Peter.
Gilmore said Mayo’s process for people wanting the surgery will always begin with a consultation. Rosten said that was the case for him at Abbott Northwestern. Mayo just had their initial one with Gilmore at the helm and 12 prospective patients showed up.
At the informational session, Gilmore collects insurance information. This is a major part of the process. If a patient’s insurance doesn’t cover it, it can be cost-prohibitive.