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Patient Testimonials

Kelly B.

I have always struggled with my weight. After college, I decided to start tackling this issue and for 10 years I tried every diet and exercise regimen out there. Seriously! I did Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, Lean Cuisine, Phen/Fen, nutritionists, personal trainers, gyms, even hypnosis! Each thing I tried I would follow to the letter and have marginal success and lose 20-40 pounds at first. After a while, I would start gaining the weight back even though I was still exercising and following the diet regime. Three years ago, I was up to 290 pounds and wearing a size 26 to 28. Thanks to stores like August Max and Lane Bryant, I still made sure to try to dress nicely as I have always liked looking nice. My self-esteem was in the toilet and I thought I was ugly and knew I was fat. I was so frustrated as I had tried so hard for so many years and it was like trying to run in quick sand — I got nowhere!

I decided it was time for some medical intervention and started researching bariatric surgery options.

Kelly, Before Weight Loss Surgery Kelly, After Weight Loss Surgery

My doctor here in Chicago listened to all of the research I had done, agreed with me that I needed to get serious about saving my health, and then brought in a calendar brochure from Pacific Laparoscopy and explained the duodenal switch operation. She felt it was the best solution to my problem.

A few days later, my parents and I went to a Chicago support meeting and met Dr. John Rabkin. He did a full presentation and the group of potential patients asked a bunch of good questions. I decided that night it was what I needed and I started looking into insurance coverage the next day. Within a week, my mom had found out that someone she knew had my same primary doctor and had the DS surgery with PacLap! I set up a lunch with her to get the real scoop about the surgery and after effects. She and I met and nothing she said scared me off at all. It was great to hear all about it and have someone being completely open about it. It just further confirmed for me that I was making the right choice.

My insurance ended up not covering the surgery, but I did it anyway and never regretted spending that money at all! What better investment than your health?

My mom and I flew to San Francisco and I had my "last supper" at Cheesecake Factory. The next morning we headed to the hospital.. I can't lie — I was nervous and a little scared as to that point since I had never had any major surgery in my life. I woke up in my hospital room and stayed at St. Mary's for about three days.

Over the next two years, I learned how to eat right for my new body. I now eat about 6 times a day but much smaller portions.. I limit the amount of sugar and treats that I eat. I ended up losing about 170 pounds and now I am down to a size 4! I have never been that small in my life that I remember!

There are times now when I see old pictures and I don't recognize myself! I am now so much more confident and feel healthy and good. I have been on more dates in the last two years than I have had collectively in my life!

I was very lucky to have a strong support network of family and friends. I look forward to living my life and maintaining this weight now and just being happy!

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