Gastric bypass surgery is a useful tool in the battle against obesity. For many who have gotten to the point that their weight is causing them serious health issues, it is the fastest solution to get their weight back on track. We had the pleasure of speaking to a patient, Michel, who told us his story of weight loss success and how he is maintaining a year after surgery.
"I weighed almost 400 pounds about year ago and I've lost close to 200 in a year's time. I grew up in a Sicilian family so we're all big eaters with big appetites. My parents are both overweight and I fought weight issues my whole life," says Michel. He decided to make a change for himself and his family. He has a wife and 10 year old daughter and says he finally found the right center to help him both medically and mentally to face the challenge of weight loss.
Michel chose the Khalili Center for Bariatric Care in Beverly Hills and had a gastric bypass procedure in which the physician creates a very small stomach pouch and the rest of the stomach is permanently separated. This is different from gastric banding procedures like the Lap-Band which is reversible.
Michel, Gastric Bypass Patient, Before and After his surgery
"My recovery was quick and I went back to work within about 4 weeks. Physically I was doing pretty well, and emotionally I was doing pretty well too. It was all a process, and it continues to be a lifelong process," Michel says. He says the pain was minimal an that he was able to get out of bed and walk around within just a couple of hours of coming out of anesthesia.
He has enjoyed several benefits from his weight loss including more energy and the ability to spend more quality time with his family. "It's given me a lot more to live for," says Michel. "Physically and mentally, I'm feeling a lot better." He says that conditions he was facing that were caused by his obesity have disappeared. "I had high blood pressure and sleep apnea. I took about 8 pills a day, every day to take care of all my problems. I don't take anything anymore. Everything is gone."
Michel is very pleased with what he's accomplished but cautions other patients to seriously consider their decision before going under the knife. "You have to remember as a patient that gastric bypass is a tool. It's not a miracle cure and it's not a miracle pill. This is a tool that you can use to help you make lifestyle changes. You also need the support of your doctors and other people who have had the surgery."
He advises joining support groups and actually works with a support group himself to help others acheive success and better health. Working with the group helps him stay motivated as well. "It's nice having people look up to me, but mostly I realize that I need support just as much as they do and that I have issues just as much as they do. To say that I don't wouldn't be honest with me or with anybody else. I like to reach out to those people and also have them reach my direction too."
Michel says that he is happy with his decision to undergo the surgery and loves his new life. "I feel so much better. I have no regrets," he said. "I just feel 100% better."