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Kristen G.

Procedure: Gastric Sleeve

Total Weight Lost: 89

Surgery Date: 04/27/2022

Comorbidities: Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, High Heart Rate, High Triglycerides and Hypothyroidism.

Before my gastric sleeve surgery, my life was drastically different. I was a 48 year old woman that felt like my body was 84 years old, with the humiliation of being labeled morbidly obese. I had tried every diet and exercise program possible. I would lose about 10-15 pounds, then gain it right back. When I was 43, I had a heart attack with stents being placed. I weighed 218 pounds and was 5 foot 3 inches. Over the next 5 years, I had a total of 3 more surgeries to have a total of 4 stents placed. I was on medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high heart rate, high triglycerides and hypothyroidism. My cardiologist had referred me to a gastric doctor to try to help me lose weight, but my insurance would not cover anything gastric related. My heart disease is hereditary and I will always have a chance of having another heart attack. However, as my cardiologist told me, I might not be able to control my chances of having another heart attack, but weight loss would help me with the recovery from one, since it would take stress off of my heart. It would also help me drop some of my medications and take some of the work off of my liver from having to break them all down. On the emotional and personal side, I didn’t have the energy to spend time with my 3 grandchildren. With my husband, even though he would always say he loved me and how beautiful he found me, I was self-conscious around him and felt there was no way he could feel proud to call me his wife. There would be times he would want to go hiking or camping and I knew we were both thinking the same thing…..will I make it without quitting or will I hurt myself trying to hide my pain and embarrassment.

I had considered weight loss surgery for about 2 years prior to coming into the office. The only thing that stopped me was my fear of the pain (I am a recovering opioid addict) and the cost. When I found Dr. Doucette, the cost was extremely reasonable for self-pay and highly recommended. Once I spoke with Dr. Doucette, I explained my fear of the pain, since I would not be able to take the traditional route for pain medication, and he assured me he would work through it with me.

I live in Georgia, so my initial contact was via phone call with the office team. This initial contact was so reassuring. They answered my questions and went out of their way to make sure I not only understand the process, but were patient with my many questions. When I finally came for my surgery and met the office team, they were every bit as helpful as they had been prior to that visit. They had laid out all of the steps I needed to do prior to the surgery. They even helped with getting the pre- authorization forms I needed, since I had heart related issues. After the surgery, they have continued to check in on me and are just as helpful if I call for questions or need clarification for anything.

I am now 8 months post-op and I have met and exceeded my weight loss goal. My goal was to weight 135 and wear a size 10 jeans. Today, I weigh 129.6 and am in a size 8 jeans. But, the best part is when I go to take my medications each morning and I only have a couple. I no longer take medication for blood pressure, triglycerides, hypothyroidism, or heart rate. I will always take cholesterol medication, since my family history is so extreme with heart disease, but my numbers are much lower. I love how I wake up and feel my energy racing through my body. I look forward to grabbing my dog’s leash and heading out to walk him, I love when my husband and I go on impromptu hikes, I love that we were able to go zip lining without fear that I weighed too much and I love being able to have the grandkids over and not need to take a nap before they leave.