Niagara Gazette

Features

April 23, 2014

'A really good feeling'

Bariatric surgery patients to star in 'Celebration Fashion Show'

Niagara Gazette — For many of them, it’s been a long road, a process that’s included myriad decisions and struggles and challenges. 

But on April 29, a dozen patients who have undergone metabolic and weight-loss surgery from Niagara Metabolic and Bariatric Services at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center will gather to celebrate their triumphs ... and strut their stuff. 

The first Celebration Fashion Show will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. April 29 at Antonio’s on Niagara Falls Boulevard, Niagara Falls, sponsored by DKNY of Fashion Outlets with production by Solid Gold Entertainment. All the models have undergone the minimally invasive surgery under the auspices of surgeons Dr. Dang-Tuan Pham and Dr. Bala Thatigotla.

“The fashion show itself is a celebration for our patients, with having gone through the process of bariatric surgery,” said Bariatric Coordinator Merriwyn Larson, RN. “It’s a celebration of the fact that they did make it though that process. It’s definitely cause for celebration.”

The process can be lengthy; there are patients who started it back in July 2012 (when the program began) who have just had surgery, Larson said. 

“It’s not ... just getting into surgery, having surgery, going home. It’s not like that,” she said. “This is a lifelong process. ... There’s a lot to it: nutrition,  exercise, physical therapy.

“It’s more of a collaboration here at Memorial to be sure the patient is ready for surgery, ready for the process, ready to manage at home afterward. It’s a teamwork effort here.”

Friends and family of all the models are invited; seating is reservation only. Larson said that current patients going through the surgery “pipeline” are also encouraged to attend. Planners are aiming for a “runway atmosphere” for the show.

“Everyone’s been wonderful,” she said. “One of the models I spoke with yesterday said she’s bringing her ‘hair and makeup people.’ We’re having a lot of fun with this.”

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