COLLINGSWOOD, N.J. (WPVI) --A local woman has turned her life around after surgery helped her lose weight and overcome diabetes.
Inside Kenkojuku Karate in Collingswood, 46-year-old Jennifer Geiger is learning something she's wanted to try for years.
She's also recently taken up belly dancing.
"It's a bunch of women who are all together and are so supportive," said Geiger.
In the past six months, Geiger has lost 80 pounds, and 80 percent of her excess body weight.
She tells us she's always struggled with her weight, and battled high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
"We never really got it controlled. We got it better, but we never really got it controlled. I was never in the normal range," said Geiger.
When a doctor told her life was at risk, she looked into weight loss surgery.
Bariatric surgeon Dr. David Greenbaum of Virtua, who came to watch Geiger at the dojo, suggested duodenal switch surgery.
It's a combination of a gastric sleeve and gastric bypass surgery.
It makes the stomach smaller, and food bypasses some of the intestine, so your body absorbs less.
He says it is riskier than other procedures, but the weight loss is better, and its effect on diabetes and other medical problems is also better.
Which helps pave the way for sustained success.
"This is the incredible thing about weight loss surgery, in general, is that we see not only improved health, but we see transformations of people," said Dr. David Greenbaum, Virtua bariatric surgeon.
Jennifer has vowed to eat healthy and stay active. Her blood pressure and cholesterol are now normal and she no longer has diabetes.
"Relief, I think that's an understatement. It's freedom," said Geiger.