Hannibal Regional Helps Woman Regaining Her Life Through Bariatric Surgery


In the summer of 2022, Rebekah Parks of Memphis Missouri found herself grappling with significant health challenges. At 340 lbs. and in her early 50s, she was dealing with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure requiring medication, frequent migraines, joint pain, and low energy levels. Despite trying various weight loss methods, diets, and medications over the years, any success she had was short-lived, with the weight always returning, often with more added.


Recognizing the need for professional help, Rebekah consulted her primary care physician, Dr. Priyanka Yerragorla, at Hannibal Regional Medical Group. Dr. Yerragorla candidly informed Rebekah that her health would continue to deteriorate and recommended surgery as the best option for long-term success given her severe obesity.


Following this advice, Rebekah was referred to Dr. Richie Goriparthi, a bariatric surgeon at Hannibal Regional Medical Group. After an in-depth discussion about her weight and other medical conditions, they decided on the Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS) procedure. This surgery, more so than gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, significantly impacts intestinal hormones to reduce hunger, increase fullness, and improve blood sugar control. It is considered the most effective metabolic operation for treating type 2 diabetes. Also, it offers the least chance of weight regain compared to the other procedures. Dr.Goriparthi was the first to perform this complex procedure in 2022 at Hannibal Regional Hospital using the advanced Robotic surgery technology, and had performed several successfully since then. Rebekah recalls, “I felt reassured by Dr. Goriparthi's knowledge and the detailed information he provided. That was all I needed to feel comfortable moving forward with the procedure.”


Rebekah says a crucial element of her journey was the support from the Weight Management Solutions Team, both before and after her surgery. She began a pre-operative diet immediately, losing 32 pounds before the surgery. She explains, “The dietitians were always available to answer my questions, and the support meetings, which I could attend virtually if necessary, were immensely beneficial. Because of all of these resources, I never felt alone in my journey.”


Eighteen months after her surgery, Rebekah has lost an astonishing 170 pounds! She has completely reversed her health issues and regained a significant part of her life that was lost to poor health. Reflecting on her transformation, Rebekah shared, “Over the years I lost so much of myself to poor health, migraines, and always feeling tired. Now I can go and do the things I want to with my grandkids without worrying if there will be too much walking. This surgery has given me the greatest gift – it has given me my life back!”