Page 110 - South Mississippi Living - October, 2021
P. 110

  HEALTH story by Kelsey Sunderman-Foster
SALENA KNIGHT’S two year transformation.
  B photos courtesy of Salena Knight
ariatric surgery has long been considered a safe and effective option for people with obesity to improve their health and increase longevity, but what about those whose
BMI falls below 35? While not considered morbidly obese, many still suffer from obesity-related illnesses but fall short of the standard qualifications to receive bariatric care. Salena Knight, a 36-year-old medical laboratory technician from Pascagoula, decided to be proactive and get her health on track with this “jump-start.”
Accredited by the American College of Surgeons and American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the South Mississippi Surgical Weight Loss Center has pioneered a program centered on patients with obesity with a BMI less than 35. Patients who meet the qualifications for the program, known as the Jump-Start Low BMI Program, have the option for a sleeve gastrectomy procedure with Singing River Health System.
“At my heaviest, I was around 175 pounds,” said Knight. “I struggled to keep a regular workout routine and even though I changed my eating habits I continued to steadily gain weight. I was experiencing neck issues and knee pain and suffering from sleep apnea. I knew I needed to do something before my health continued to decline.”
As part of the Jump-Start Low BMI Program, Knight received a gastric sleeve performed by Dr. William “Pete” Avara, III.
Her surgery was in May of 2019, and since then she has lost 60 pounds. “I went from a size 14 to a size 2,” said Knight. “The best feeling has been the confidence with clothes shopping. I’m so happy I did this for myself and for my overall health.”
The South Mississippi Surgical Weight Loss Center has been helping men and women like Salena Knight to meet their weight loss goals since their formation in 2000. Founded by South Mississippi Surgeons (SMS), they have been providing the Coast with quality surgical care for over 30 years.
JULY 2019
JULY 2020
    Who qualifies for the South Mississippi Surgical Weight Loss Center’s Jump-Start Low BMI Program?
Patients between the ages of 18 and 60 years of age with a BMI between 30 and 34.9 may qualify. This self-pay surgery option includes:
• One year of follow-up care with your surgeon • Six months of hospital readmission protection • All costs associated with the surgery
• Meetings with nutritionist
• Gastric Sleeve with Singing River Health System • And more!
South Mississippi Surgical Weight Loss Center
1124 Oakleigh Road, Ocean Springs 228.872.7277 •
110 | October 2021 | SOUTH MISSISSIPPI Living
JULY 2018

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