Lifelong Resident and Bariatric Surgery Patient
“My life is now my own and it feels incredible!”
Feeling Incredible and Very Optimistic About Her Future
Over the years, lifelong Breckenridge resident Christine Horvat tried a wide variety of fad diets, weight loss programs and even prescription medications to lose weight, but unfortunately she had little success. “I would lose a little weight then get discouraged with not losing enough,” said Christine. “What weight I did lose, I always gained back with many more pounds added.”
Christine was familiar with General and Bariatric Surgeon Ernest Cudjoe, M.D., and knew about the Surgical Weight Management Program at MidMichigan Health. “I chose bariatric surgery because at 55 years of age, I was at a point in my life where I had become so overweight I was depressed because of my lack of mobility, back pain and severe osteoarthritis pain in my knees,” said Christine.
Christine started her weight loss journey at 326 pounds. After consulting with Dr. Cudjoe, she decided to have a sleeve gastrectomy. Her surgery, performed on June 5, 2013 at MidMichigan Medical Center in Alma, used staples to divide her stomach into two sections. The largest section, which accounts for approximately 85-90 percent of the stomach, was permanently removed. The remaining portion is long and narrow, resembling that of a sleeve. A sleeve gastrectomy procedure maintains the basic function of the stomach; however, the volume the stomach can handle is significantly reduced.
“I had minimal discomfort after surgery and I've had no problems since,” added Christine. “I wasn't sure how much I wanted to lose when I started, but I've lost 143 pounds to date, about 45 percent of where I started. I'm hoping to lose 10 or 15 more pounds, but I’m sure my body will tell me when to stop.”
According to Christine, she can now walk without pain or shortness of breath and she no longer has hip pain when trying to sleep. “My outlook on life is 180 degrees different from before surgery,” she said. “MidMichigan Health’s Weight Management Program has great surgeons, quality of care and an amazing support staff. Bariatric Coordinator Angela Munro is truly an asset to the program because she's extremely knowledgeable and really cares about the patients she helps. I know she is always only a phone call away with encouragement and answers.”
Since surgery, Christine has been attending as many bariatric support group meetings as she can. “I think it's important to listen to others and be able to share my experience so far,” added Christine. “I can't begin to imagine where I'd be if I hadn't chosen to have weight loss surgery. My life is now my own and it feels incredible!”
MidMichigan Health offers bariatric surgery in both Alma and Midland. For more information or for a list of upcoming free seminars, call MidMichigan Health Line toll-free at (800) 999-3199 or visit www.midmichigan.org/bariatrics.