Olga's Story - Gastric Sleeve
Surgery: Sleeve Gastrectomy - Total Lost: 51 Pounds (6 months post-op)*
"After surgery, I felt that I had my life back." —Olga
I have been overweight since I was born. My family taught me that everything was better with a full stomach. I struggled and was taught that food was the best way to feel good. Growing older when I was 24 years old, I became an obese adult. No matter how heavy my weight, I felt beautiful. If I could go back and tell to myself that it is not about being beautiful, it is about having control of our lives and our health is what really matters, not the look. Maybe that would change my life back then.
Before enrolling in the UCLA COMET program, I had severe joint pain, shortness of breath, depression and lack of energy. I tried so many diets without long-term success. After trying several diets and being diagnosed with prediabetes, I decided to seek bariatric surgery. My family doctor told me “You need to do something about your weight,” I then started to cry. What else can I do? I am always hungry. My doctor asked, “Have you considered bariatric surgery?” My physician helped me to find the best surgeon and we found Dr. Yijun Chen at UCLA. Not only having bariatric surgery was the best decision that I made, but having Dr. Chen at UCLA as my surgeon definitely helped me so much in this process. I had the Sleeve Gastrectomy and after 6 months lost a total of 51 pounds. I can happily say there is no more pain, no depression, no more sleep apnea, emotional eating or overeating. I can walk, run, jump and exercise. My marriage improved 100%. I am a new person with many dreams. I am feeling strong and that makes me feel better, thanks to bariatric surgery.
UCLA has changed my life in so many ways. I feel healthy and strong. I want to go back to school. I feel I can eat with no regrets and expect to grow old graciously. I only have one regret about the surgery that I did not get it done sooner. I wish I got the surgery when I first heard about it. The information I received was helpful in preparation for after surgery. The diet was very easy to follow. After surgery, I felt that I had my life back. I learned how to take care of myself and I love it. I feel as though I got my life back. I would like to thank all the UCLA staff, the registered dietitian, nurses, thank you for making this process so easy. My experience with the staff was the best. I love all the staff. They made me feel so pampered and important. Dr. Chen is well represented with his staff and he is an amazing doctor. I strongly recommend him.