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An 80 Pound Weight Loss and Life Gain Thanks to Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery

Fed up with the yo-yo dieting cycle, feeling like all she was losing was hope, a webinar led Henrietta to getting sleeve gastrectomy surgery and a new lease on life.
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I had bariatric surgery in September 2018. I’d tried other ways of losing weight, including Weight Watchers, but any weight I’d manage to take off came right back. The only thing I was actually losing was hope.

A colleague told me about a Jefferson webinar on bariatric surgery. I watched it and learned everything I could. I decided I wanted a sleeve gastrectomy, which offers less risk of long-term complications than gastric bypass.

I made an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Alec Beekley. He agreed that sleeve gastrectomy would be right for me. Before scheduling my procedure, I had extensive testing, including a psychological evaluation to ensure that I would be able to adjust to the changes resulting from bariatric surgery. The psychological evaluation also helped me to understand that my excess weight had been caused by stress rather than my diet and appetite. I knew that after surgery, my desire for food would be less intense and I would have a much easier time controlling it. But I also realized that I mustn’t let stress control my life, and that I should reach out for support when needed to family, friends and Jefferson.

My surgery went very well. The only side effect I experienced was nausea, which went away after a couple of days of drinking ginger tea. Other than that, I felt no pain or discomfort and returned to work very quickly. In addition to being an excellent bariatric surgeon, Dr. Beekley was very understanding and compassionate. In fact, I was very happy with my whole care team, including my nurse practitioner and dietician, who showed me ways to stick to my diet. For the first year after my surgery, I saw Dr. Beekley and his team quarterly. Now, I’ll see them annually. I’m eternally grateful to them.

The loss of a significant amount of weight has given me my life back; my ability to move around without pain, to exercise without agony, to execute my duties at work without debilitating back/knees/feet pain. Simply put, I’m no longer just a spectator powerlessly witnessing the movie of my life playing out in front of me as a prisoner of being morbidly overweight. Now, I’m an active participant of every aspect of my life, thanks to the weight loss achieved through the gastric sleeve procedure. I lost 80 pounds in total. I’m moving forward with confidence, dignity, much more energy and enthusiasm every day. I’m happy, motivated and don’t ever want to go back to the way I was.

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