Weight Loss Surgery Lightens Up With New Expo

LightenUp Expo gives weight loss surgery patients access to products and services formerly available just to doctors. Plus, executive director Charlie Brown dishes candid relationship advice for WLS patients.

The LightenUp Expo, scheduled for February 2010 in Atlanta, brings products and services straight to bariatric surgery patients, instead of doctors. The event is open both to those who have had weight loss surgery and to those who are considering it, and offers seminars and nutritional resources designed to meet the unique needs of pre- and post-op WLS patients.

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These factors help the event stand out from other public forums about obesity surgery.

“One of the reasons we did the Lighten Up Expo is because there wasn’t an expo like that,” said executive director Charlie Brown. She said she was aware of many events that focused only on what doctors knew, “but not one that really brings everyone in to see patients and potential patients.”

The next LightenUp Expo, set to be Hawaiian-themed, will feature Chef Dave, host of Eating Right Every Bite on The Weight Loss Surgery Channel, offering a “Lunch and Learn” session; bariatric surgeon Celio Burroughs; and Brown herself, who addresses candid relationship issues with “Love, Sex and Weight Loss.”

During Brown’s discussion, participants can write anonymous questions on a card and hear them read and answered in public. Brown will pivot her talk around the statistic that 48 percent of people who have bariatric surgery experience negative issues in their love lives.

“Our community is sending relationships to the curb,” she said. “And what we’re trying to do – my husband and I, after having 13 years of facilitator training in couples seminars – we’re trying to help our population stay together.”

For more information, visit www.lightenupexpo.com or www.lovesexandweightloss.com.