Type 2 Diabetes and High Blood Pressure, Bariatric Surgery

Before and after bariatric surgery photos of Beau Crowding

The Need for Change

As a firefighter and liaison for the Chester County fire service, Beau fully understands the risks that come with the job including the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Due to his weight impeding his physical fitness, Beau resigned from his position as a volunteer firefighter, which was a devastating loss for him.

He knew it was time to make a change.

For years, Beau considered weight loss surgery and began to navigate his options. But his plans for weight-loss surgery were quickly derailed after learning of a cancerous tumor on his thigh that required more immediate attention.

Beau hanging out of fire truck window

After receiving care at Penn Medicine for his cancer, his positive experience led him to explore Penn's bariatric surgery program.

He decided to attend an information session and met with Dr. Williams, which helped him confirm that bariatric surgery at Penn was the right choice for him.

Beau says that the three things that led him to considering bariatric surgery were "seeing pictures, my friends and my passion for the fire service."

The Penn Medicine Difference

Beau, bariatric patient, putting out a fire

Beau's intensive research into local and regional weight loss surgery centers continually led him back to Penn Medicine.

"Everything I found research-wise pointed back to Penn as the most successful," says Beau. "I just think most of the positive stuff I heard always pushed me back to Penn."

Additionally, he attributes the success of the program the patient himself: "It's a successful program as long as you want to be successful. They can't make this all successful for you unless you want to play the game."

Life After Bariatric Surgery

Beau coming out of fire truck

Due to the amazing results Beau experienced from his bariatric surgery at Penn Medicine, he is back serving his county as a volunteer firefighter and is even running 5K's.

Beau couldn't be happier about the secondary health benefits he has received from undergoing bariatric surgery.

Not only has he gone from weighing 443 pounds to a healthy 215 pounds, he is thrilled to say, "I'm off all my meds, I'm no longer a diabetic, no more high blood pressure, everything's just gone."

He's thankful for nursing staff he encountered following his surgery: "They know what you're going through and they're compassionate about it…they have got it cornered on making sure they cover every base."

Moreover, he recommends that anyone undergoing bariatric surgery attend the support groups since they're "great and part of the total package."

Beau Crowding, bariatric patient

Before Beau's surgery, his psychiatrist gave him a piece of advice that really stuck with him. When asked "Why do you want to do this?" Beau responded, "Because I want to be skinny."

His psychologist's response: "Well, we've got to change that right now. You want to be healthy."

And healthy is what describes Beau now! Watch his story: