Jeremy's Story - Gastric Sleeve
Surgery: Sleeve Gastrectomy - Total Lost So Far: 100 pounds*
*Weight loss results can vary depending on the individual. There is no guarantee of specific results. Read disclaimer | More patient stories
"I feel great, and my only regret is not having made this change sooner in my life." —Jeremy
I have struggled with my weight for pretty much as long as I can remember. I was overweight by the time I was 6 or 7 years old, and continued to be throughout my life. Even as a child, I was often on one diet or another with my mother, who is now impacted by diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, high cholesterol, you name it. My father is also overweight, just like most of my family. I yo-yo dieted throughout my 20’s and 30’s, getting as low as 202 but hitting a high weight of 328 in 2011. The real turning point for me was in March 2015. A few weeks after a lengthy road trip, I had an odd discomfort in my leg. I went to the ER, and found out that not only did I have a DVT, but I also had a huge pulmonary embolism in both sides of my lungs. I was told I was lucky to be alive. That was my wake up call.
After that, I managed to lose a good amount of weight, get down to about 260, but then sabotaged myself again back up to almost 300. My pulmonary doctor recommended that I check out the bariatric program at UCLA just for information to see if it was something that could be good for me. I hadn't really considered it as an option, feeling embarrassed that I might even qualify for it.
Having lived for most of my life as a morbidly obese person, I lived in perpetual expectation of judgment of my condition. I realized it was time to put aside those fears and address my obesity head on with what studies show to be the most effective way to keep weight off in the long-term. I decided to put aside the common perception that having surgery is “the easy way out”. The decision to move forward was all about obtaining a tool that would help to get me to be more healthy so I can be around to live my life, see my daughters grow up, and get old with my wife. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.
From the very beginning, all of the staff at UCLA COMET were extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and accommodating. From the program administrators and front desk staff to the introductory seminar lead by the nurses and dietitians, and on to the surgical team, I always felt completely comfortable to have all of my questions answered, knowing that I was being cared for by a group of people who were greatly concerned for my care and were vested in my long term success with the VSG procedure. The COMET staff guided my family and me every step of the way. Clear directions were provided for pre-surgical requirements. On the day of the procedure, my family was kept updated on a regular basis so there was no worry about my status. Inpatient visits from the COMET staff were informative, caring, and collaborative. I always felt well informed and that I was being cared for professionally by the team.
After leaving the hospital, having planned on two weeks of leave from work was a great recovery schedule for me. The COMET team provided clear dietary, exercise, and medical maintenance procedures. The first few days focused on hydration, followed by a couple weeks of a liquid diet. Thanks to the hormonal benefits of the VSG procedure, I felt no physical hunger for at least 3-4 months after surgery, and even now sometimes have to remind myself to eat.
Following the program’s dietary and exercise plan, the weight came off quickly. Six months after the procedure, I had lost over 100 lbs and had for the first time in my adult life attained a normal BMI. I have the energy to exercise frequently, including cardiovascular exercise for an hour five times per week in addition to martial arts practice several times per week. Chronic conditions that affected me when I was morbidly obese, including hypertension, gout, and obstructive sleep apnea, are now in my past. Overall, I feel great, and my only regret is not having made this change sooner in my life. If you are affected by obesity, I encourage you to meet with the UCLA COMET program and see if this change is right for you.
Take the Next Step
To schedule a consultation with UCLA Bariatric Surgery in Los Angeles, California, call us at 310-825-7163 or fill out our online form.