Monica's Story - Gastric Sleeve
Surgery: Sleeve Gastrectomy - Total Lost: 57 pounds (in the first 6 months)*
"I am truly thankful to Dr. Yijun Chen at UCLA and the COMET team for putting the biggest smile on my face." —Monica
I battled with being overweight since I was 10 years old. I was always teased, I became withdrawn, and so food and chocolate became a great comfort for me at a very young age.
When I was 14, I injured my right Achilles tendon and could no longer run or do any other exercises I enjoyed. And so the weight started coming on. As I got older, I developed back spasms and herniated discs, which prevented me from exercising further, sleep apnea, depression and hyperlipidemia. I tried all the diets before: Jenny Craig, SlimFast, Fen-Phen and Atkins among them. I would lose weight, but then gain it right back.
If it wasn’t for my primary care physician Dr. Manali Shendrikar, I would have never met Dr. Yijun Chen at UCLA’s COMET program. We all worked together to make this life-changing decision for my health and wellbeing. The entire staff at COMET are very professional, encouraging and gave me the necessary information I needed in order to make the best decision of my life! From beginning to post-op, all the work I have done has improved my health, my self-esteem and the relationship with my family.
After surgrey, I went from a size 18 to a size 8-9. I sleep better at night, I make healthy food choices to keep my new stomach healthy and I have an abundance of energy and strength. Shopping is no longer a bad experience – I actually enjoy it because I can purchase the clothes I like. My children are happy because their mom looks healthy and because I have the energy and motivation to do things with them. My biggest accomplishment was running after 31 years. I won an entry to the LA Marathon and because of the sleeve gastrectomy, I was able to run it and I haven’t stopped running since March. I also ran the Hollywood Half-Marathon in April and am registered for the 2016 LA Marathon and other 10K races as well. I can’t wait to work my way up to a triathlon one day.
I am truly thankful to Dr. Chen and the COMET team for putting the biggest smile on my face. I recommend this surgery to anyone who is tired of being unhealthy. Do the research, follow the program plan and commit to this life changing experience!