"Since having LAP-BAND® surgery at Mercy, I’ve lost more than 120 pounds and have the same amount of energy I had in my 20s."
–Jan, Mercy bariatric surgery patient
On left, Jan before her LAP-BAND® surgery at Mercy. On right, Jan two years after her surgery.
My bariatric surgery journey started in November 2008 when curiosity inclined me to attend a community lecture about the LAP-BAND® surgical procedure at Mercy. I was overweight and I couldn’t do anything. I was exhausted all the time and suffered from severe sleep apnea requiring me to wear a C-PAP machine at night.
I had LAP-BAND® on April 3, 2009 at Mercy. I was up and moving within two hours of surgery! The Mercy Weight Loss & Nutrition Center staff were fabulous and supportive, they provided me with the right education so I knew what to expect after my surgery
At my heaviest, I weighed 250 pounds. Today, I weigh 130 pounds and am still losing. I have a few more pounds before my body mass index is considered to be within the “normal” range.
Shedding the weight has helped me tremendously–I can cross my legs, walk without getting winded and I sleep better. I retired my handicap parking sticker and I no longer use my C-PAP machine to sleep at night. Before I had surgery, I had to take the elevator whenever possible; today, all I do is take the stairs. I feel like I can do anything. My Fibromyalgia pain is not nearly as severe as it was before surgery.
Best of all, I can be a better mother and wife. It was because of my family that I wanted to do the surgery and lose the weight. At the time of surgery I had five children with ages ranging from 10 to 23 and I can now take care of them better. Life is precious to me and after having done the surgery it is even more enjoyable. I am healthier, hope to have added years on my life and enjoy being with my friends and family.
My advice to anyone who is considering the surgery is to do it! It will change you for the better.
"I've lost more than 100 pounds
since having LAP-BAND® surgery at Mercy and now actually look forward to going to the movies."
--Chelle, Mercy bariatric surgery patient
On left, Chelle before her surgery. On right, Chelle today who loves kickboxing to get her heart pumping.
The fear of death was the catalyst for my bariatric surgery journey. I knew I had to do something as I huffed and puffed after climbing only three steps.
I had LAP-BAND® surgery at Mercy on Aug. 4, 2009. I have lost more than 100 pounds and can now do things I have never done before. I am able to stop eating because for the first time in my life I know what being full feels like. I no longer need help sitting up in bed or getting up and down from the floor. Sitting comfortably in a movie theater is no longer an issue and I no longer have to take medicine for joint pain or acid reflux. The list can go on and on. My life has completely changed and I love it. For the first time in my life I can honestly say that when I look at myself in the mirror I love the new me and my life!
I now look forward to leading a healthier lifestyle along with so many other things. My husband and I are planning a honeymoon after more than 21 years of marriage and I am actually excited about finding a bathing suit to wear on our trip! I would tell anyone considering LAP-BAND® surgery to run–don’t walk to the Mercy Weight Loss & Nutrition Center. LAP-BAND® surgery is life changing!
"Since having bariatric surgery at Mercy, I’ve lost more than 100 pounds and don’t hide from a swimsuit."
--Pam, Mercy bariatric surgery patient
On left, Pam before gastric banding surgery at Mercy. On right, Pam one year after surgery.
In January 2008, I had gastric banding surgery at Mercy. Since then, I’ve lost more than 100 pounds and have the power to control my intake and so much energy! As I started losing weight, my blood pressure improved and I was able to stop taking my high blood pressure medication.
I’m much more social now than what I was before having surgery. I actually enjoy going out and socializing with friends. I went to Oceans of Fun in Kansas City–and wore a bathing suit! I went from a size 28 to a size 14 and I wanted to show it off.
One day I was at the mall and a revelation hit me–I can walk into any department store and buy anything I want right off of the rack. It felt so wonderful to reach that point. WOW. I’m exactly where I want to be and bariatric surgery was a tool that helped me get here.
Gastric banding surgery has changed my life in such a positive way. I’m so excited about what bariatric surgery has done for me that I encourage you to speak with your doctor to see if it would be right for you. I want people who are overweight to feel the same enjoyment in life that I am feeling.
"I've lost more than 100 pounds and am looking forward to Disney World with my two sons, but without the fear of not fitting in the seats!"
Tricia, Mercy bariatric surgery patient
Since the age of seven I have battled my weight. My elementary and middle school years were filled with fair-weather friends, ridicule, embarrassment and shame. It was “in my genes” to be big. I was always consoled this way. We did family diets, and they would work for a time. I got into a size 12 at the age of 14 and that was the smallest I had been in a long time. I was so proud. But it was just another hill, and there was a point of sliding back down.
My wedding dress was a size 24 and I had to squeeze to get into it. When I tipped the scales at 343 pounds, I was in denial and didn't really believe that I was that big–my size 26/28 pants barely fit and I could barely wear 30/32 (4X) shirts. Inside I was a train wreck worried that my sons would be forced to grow up without me. I was terrified of having a heart attack in my sleep. I would put my children to bed and then cry myself to sleep, wondering if I would wake up the next morning.
To my doctor’s surprise, I had no other major health conditions, although I did have a sore back and knees, but I thought they were a normal part of life. My oldest sister, Traci, started talking about having bariatric surgery. I scoffed at the thought as that was the ‘easy way out' and I was too proud for that. In actuality I was being cautious. Nothing had ever worked for me before and I was always going to be obese–nothing would change that. I despised the idea of going through surgery and losing the weight just to gain it back again.
Traci talked and talked with me about bariatric surgery and each time I would brush her off. It just wasn't worth it. Traci and my mom were going to the informational meeting, the first step in qualifying for bariatric surgery, however, my mom forgot a previous engagement. I was the only one who was able to go with Traci, so I went begrudgingly. As we walked in we were greeted and given a packet which I looked over half-heartedly. I don’t remember much of the meeting, but when the nurses and doctor started explaining the LAP-BAND® procedure, my interest spiked. They were saying that it wasn't a cure, but a tool and if used properly, it will work. However, if it was put in and forgotten the procedure had zero rate of success. Really? Could this be? My preconceived notions about bariatric surgery began to be dispelled. By the end of the meeting, I was ready to go!
Although the process was a long and stressful the nurses and doctors at Mercy were amazing! They took on the insurance company for me and set up all my appointments with the other specialists I needed to see. Thankfully, I was able to go through the process with my sister step-by-step. Our appointments were always on the same days and time. She received her approval first and on the day of her surgery, I received my approval! Two weeks later–April 28, 2009–it was my turn. I stepped on the scales and weighed 296. I was so proud, after six years I was under 300 again!
My journey has been an atypical one. Since the surgery I have dropped 110 lbs. I am in a size 12 pants and XL shirts–and even my feet have shrunk! I was in women’s 12 wide but I can wear a size ten now! As I lost weight, I gained confidence. I still blush when people tell me how good I’m looking. The best moments are in the mornings when my 4 year-old son and I race through the skywalk to get to work. I can win now! I love being able to rough house with my boys and know that my weight isn't holding me back anymore! I am able to go to sleep and thank God for the life he has given me, instead of begging him to help me wake up in the morning.
I am only 1.5 percent away from being out of the obese category for my BMI! My journey is just beginning. I am so glad that Mercy has given me my life again! I travelled to Disney World in November 2010 with my kids and I was so excited to be able to go on all the rides without fear of not fitting in the seats!