Active Sportsman and Bariatric Surgery Patient
"I now feel half my age – like I have a new lease on life."
Bariatric Surgery Gave Him a New Lease on Life
At age 55, and 334 pounds, Robert Vodicka was taking several medications to treat his type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high triglycerides. He also used a CPAP machine to combat sleep apnea.
Robert had not always carried the extra weight that plagued his health.
“I had a bigger build, but I worked out every day and I was healthy,” Robert said. “Then one day, in my late 40’s, I was working out and felt intense pain in my right side.”
An initial X-ray showed arthritis in the right hip. For a long time, Robert continued to exercise through the pain, however the gym sessions slowed and eventually stopped. A follow-up X-ray showed the arthritis was quickly getting worse.
“My doctor told me I would eventually have to have the hip replaced; it was just a matter of time,” Robert said. “When I could no longer stand the pain, I was ready for a hip replacement. I started to gain weight when I stopped working out. After hip replacement surgery, I gained even more.”
For Robert, the turning point came at a family gathering.
“I ran into a cousin who had undergone bariatric surgery,” he said. “I didn’t recognize her because she had lost so much weight. I asked her a million questions and then I went on the Web and read everything I could find about bariatric surgery.”
On December 3, 2008, Ernest Cudjoe, M.D., performed Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery on Robert at MidMichigan Medical Center - Gratiot in Alma.
“I had no complications from surgery and recovered quickly, although the first six weeks were quite restrictive as far as what I could eat and what I could do,” Robert said.
One early sign of improved health came a month after surgery.
“I no longer needed the diabetes medicine. Eventually, my cholesterol and triglycerides dropped as well, and I was able to stop taking those medications, too.”
Fourteen months after surgery, Robert weighed 198 pounds. “My pants size went from a 54 to a 38-inch waist,” he said. “My new goal is to weigh 190 pounds by July 1.”
As his health improved, Robert started working out again.
“One day at the gym, after I had lost 120 pounds, one of the guys had me bench press 120 pounds and said to me, ‘That’s what you were carrying around.’ It really feels good to be rid of that extra weight,” Robert said.
“I now feel half my age – like I have a new lease on life,” Robert said. “Getting the surgery is one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
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.