Danielle's Story - Weight Loss Surgery: Gastric Sleeve

Gastric Sleeve Patient Story
Daniel's Story - Before and After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Daniel's Story - Before and After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
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4 min read

Weight Loss Surgery: Sleeve Gastrectomy - Age 37, Total Lost: 85 pounds lost so far*

*Weight loss results can vary depending on the individual. There is no guarantee of specific results. Read disclaimer | More patient stories

"Thank you Dr. Chen and staff for your amazing support and passion for your patients!" —Danielle

I have struggled with my weight all of my life. Some of it was due to the way my parents cooked food, but it also had to do with health issues. At 14, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, that same year my dad was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. My family made a big change in the way we ate, and that was the first time I started to pay attention to my eating habits and weight. During college, I sought the advice of an endocrinologist and he help me with my diet and exercise program. This helped me lose some weight again. After college, I was put on metformin and 2 blood pressure medications. I was still working out and eating a diabetic diet. Nothing seemed to help. After my daughter was born, I started on the Isagenix protein shake program. I finally got under 200lbs, which I was unable to do since college. I found that that worked for a while and then the weight came on, and it came on with vengeance. Even though I was working out and eating right, by the age of 36 I had topped out at 240lbs. I needed to do something; my health was deteriorating.

I started looking into bariatric surgery and what it was going to take to have the surgery. I refused to see any doctor in town and sought the counsel of the wonderful doctors, nurses, and nutritionists at the UCLA Center for Obesity and METabolic Health (COMET). Dr. Chen sat me down and asked me my goals. He asked me about my health problems: PCOS, HBP, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and borderline diabetic. Dr. Chen said I would be the perfect candidate. From that point, I was six months out from surgery. I was so excited. I met with the nutritionist and followed her diet and exercise plan. I attended a workshop to prepare me for before, during, and after surgery. I took online courses through UCLA COMET and had a little homework. Every month I had to meet with my doctor or Dr. Chen to prepare me for surgery and check in with me. I also had to meet with a psychologist to make sure I was mentally prepared for surgery.

The day before surgery I was on a liquid diet, that was kind of a struggle, but I made it through. I got to UCLA, I was prepped and heading off to change my life! The surgery went amazingly well. I was up and walking as soon as I could stay awake. I get a little drowsy from all the medication. The nurses kept commenting on how much walking I was doing. I told them I want to get healthy and back home! I was able to take my medications right away and drink right away. The nurses made me feel at home and helped with anything I needed. They even took care of my cheerleader, the hubby!

I only stayed one night. I went home and I was sore for a couple days. I slept in the guest bedroom propped up. I took in liquids very slowly. Everyday I got stronger and less sore. I walked 3 times a day increasing my distant as my body would allow. You must listen to your body when doing physical activity after surgery. I met with Dr. Chen a week after surgery and had already lost weight. He is so positive as well as being honest.

Since the surgery, I have met with Dr. Chen 5 times. Everytime he tells me how much I have lost and how much excess fat I have lost. It is so amazing to see what this surgery has done for me. I am off all of my medications! My blood pressure is under control. I do not have a cholesterol problem, and I do not have sleep apnea. In a year, I have lost 85lbs! I continue to eat well and exercise, and I see a psychologist to help me heal my mind. This weight loss surgery is just not about healing your body, it is also about healing the mind. I could not be happier with the UCLA COMET doctors, nurses, nutritionalist, and staff. They have been so supportive, positive, and honest during my journey. I look forward to a long healthy life and encouraging other to have the surgery. In fact, 2 of my friends had the surgery just months after me when they saw my results! Thank you Dr. Chen and staff for your amazing support and passion for your patients!

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Danielle Before
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Danielle After

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