Kimberly Weber and Tressa Sosnowski
Mothers and Bariatric Surgery Patients
Ithaca and Bay City, Michigan
"Before bariatric surgery, it took so much effort just to get up and clean the house or walk around the mall. Now life is so much better."
Mother and Daughter Lost a Total of 230 Pounds
Kimberly Weber of Ithaca knew she had to lose weight or face a second, double hip replacement.
“I was 20-30 pounds over my ideal weight for most of my life,” Kim said. “I had my left hip done in 1997 and my right hip replaced in 2000 and both times, I gained weight.”
A broken ankle three years later kept her off her feet for a year. “I gained even more.”
Her orthopedic surgeon suggested she consider bariatric surgery.
“He told me I was looking at a second hip replacement if I didn’t lose the weight and I did not want to go through that again any sooner than I had to,” she said. “I went to a seminar in 2005 but decided I wanted to try one more time on my own.”
Kim joined a gym and lost 40 pounds. “Then I broke my ankle and wanted to give up. I didn’t think I could do it.”
Instead of giving up, Kim attended a session about bariatric surgery presented at MidMichigan Medical Center - Gratiot.
”I went to a second seminar in January ’08, and started the process in March,” she said.
On July 15, 2008, Ernest Cudjoe, M.D., performed Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery on Kim.
Her surgery went well and her recovery was normal. “I was back at work after two weeks,” Kim added.
“Bariatric surgery changed my life considerably and life is great,” Kim said. “I’m much more outgoing than I used to be. I walk three to five miles, five times a week. Sometimes I think about the 118 pounds I’ve lost, and I wonder how my legs ever held me up.”
Kim acknowledges that the change in diet and lifestyle was challenging in the beginning, but she adjusted quickly.
“I really don’t miss anything. Besides, the change in me feels better than any ice cream every tasted.”
Less than a year after Kim’s procedure, Dr. Cudjoe performed surgery on Kim’s daughter, Tressa. Since then, Tressa has dropped 112 pounds.
Tressa, 27, a nursing student, wife and mother of two young boys, had learned about bariatric surgery a few years earlier when she attended an information session.
“I decided to wait until after I had another child,” Tressa said. “Plus, at that time, my mother was against the idea. Then she ended up having bypass surgery herself before I did!”
Tressa opted for sleeve gastrectomy, one of the newest bariatric surgery options offered at Gratiot Bariatric Treatment Center. Dr. Cudjoe was one of the first surgeons in Michigan qualified to perform this procedure. During this procedure the stomach is divided into two sections and one section is permanently removed. The remaining portion of the stomach is long and narrow, resembling the shape of a sleeve. A sleeve gastrectomy procedure maintains the basic function of the stomach; however, the volume the stomach can handle is significantly less, so patients feel full quickly and eat less.
While she did have some pain while recuperating, Tressa says she recovered quickly.
“I stayed with my grandparents for the first few days because I needed help with the boys, but within two weeks I could pick up my son again.”
Tressa added that while she had some difficulty adjusting to her new diet, she was surprised and delighted with the increased energy that came with weight loss.
“I’m a different person now. Before, it took so much effort just to get up and clean the house or walk around the mall. Not anymore.”
Nine months after surgery, Tressa has her goal weight in sight and no regrets.
“In the end, it was all worth it,” she said. “Life is so much better.”
Kim advises others considering bariatric surgery to look at all the options available. “Choose the one that is best for you,” she said. “No matter which one you choose, it is definitely going to change your life.”
Learn about laparoscopic weight loss surgery and how it can improve your health and your life. Attend a free bariatric seminar highlighting laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy options. Medicare, along with most other insurances, is accepted. To register for a seminar or for additional information on bariatric surgery at MidMichigan Medical Center - Gratiot, call MidMichigan Health Line toll-free at (800) 999-3199. Or visit our Web site at www.midmichigan.org/bariatrics.