Weight Loss Surgery Testimonials About Bariatric Surgery for Weight Loss
For more insight into weight loss surgery and how it could affect your life, read these stories by real bariatric surgery patients.
Patient: Adam Poeppelmeier
Age: 25 in 2006
Age at Time of Procedure: 21
Weight Loss Prior to Procedure: 220 pounds
Marital Status: Dating
Residence: Chicago, Illinois
Doctor: Dr. Loren Schechter, www.lschechtermd.com
"After losing 220 pounds from a gastric bypass procedure, I decided to proceed with body contouring for my chest and abdomen. I wanted to improve the appearance of loose skin and tissue on my chest and abdomen that resulted from my weight loss. I found that prior to the body contouring procedure my day to day life was still inhibited by my problem with weight. When I would do chest lifts at the gym, I would move my arms up, but my body would sag down. In fact, I still felt conscientious about the appearance of my body before the body contouring procedure. After the procedure, not only did I lose 15 more pounds, but I experienced the aesthetic benefits which made me feel more confident in my daily life.
Today, I maintain a balanced diet and comfortably exercise every other day. Furthermore, the gastric bypass procedure forced me to change my eating habits. I can no longer tolerate greasy, heavily processed foods or concentrated sugars. Each time I eat something intolerable, my body reacts and serves as a reminder of what I should not be eating. In the end, the gastric bypass and body contouring procedure changed many aspects of my life.
The best advice that I could give to a patient interested in body contouring is to research the doctor. Just because a doctor advertises the procedure or appears on television about body contouring, doesn't mean that the doctor has extensive training or expertise with the procedure. Be certain to ask your bariatric surgeon or support group for referrals."
Patient: Carolyn Keefe
Age: 29 in 2006
Weight Loss: 115 pounds
Marital Status: Boyfriend
Residence: Rochester, Minnesota
Doctor: Dr. Richard Tholen, Minneapolis, Minnesota, www.mpsmn.com
"In June of 2004, I had an entire body lift, including a medial thigh lift, liposuction on the lateral area of my thighs and a breast augmentation with saline implants. In November of 2004, I wanted to change my breast implants from saline to silicone in order to have a better texture and feel. I also wanted to have a belt lift so that I would have less dimpling on my skin. I did not mind proceeding with the implant change because Dr. Tholen could go into the same incision location. And despite the long recovery associated with a belt lift (I had tubes for six weeks), I felt the belt lift would make a difference in my life. In August of 2005, I had a third surgery including, revision surgery for my thigh and liposuction for my outer thighs and inner knees. I decided to proceed with this because these areas had decreased more over the year and I knew I would not be able to change these areas on my own.
"One of the biggest factors in my decision to proceed with these procedures was the risk for complications. The lift procedures are associated with higher complication rates than some other procedures. Though, since I am a nurse, I understand that complications can irrupt and be resolved. Even though complications may mean longer recovery periods, the benefits of the procedures out weighted the risks for me. I simply planned appropriately should the need arise. I did have the complication of an infection. However, the infection subsided and I was able to return to normal activities without having to cancel planned activities. Even though I missed a significant amount of time from work throughout the procedures, my employer understood. My employer paid for my short term disability needed to be absent from work, but I was not compensated for the actual cost of the procedures, which was over $25,000. The payoff has definitely out-weighed the cost though and I would do it again in a heart beat.
"Personally, I would advise anyone who has significant weight loss or post-bariatric patients considering these procedures to wait until your weight is maintained for at least a year before proceeding with the procedures. I would also suggest that you pace yourself and have help to support you with daily activities throughout recovery. Complications can arise from overexertion. Yet, do not fear the procedure because there is a risk of complications. In the past, I was avoiding activities because of the appearance of my skin. Now, I enjoy my life fully and the procedures helped to make this happen."
Shawn M. Garber, MD, FACS, FASMBS
Spencer A. Holover, MD, FACS, FASMBS
John D. Angstadt, MD, FACS, FASMBS
Eric A. Sommer, MD
Nikhilesh Sekhar, MD, FACS, FASMBS
The New York Bariatric Group
275 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10001
NYU Medical Center
530 First Avenue
New York City, NY 10016
North Shore University Hospital
300 Community Drive
Manhasset, NY 11030