Gastric Bypass - 1+ Year PO - Chattanooga, TN

I’ve been on this site for ages researching the...

I’ve been on this site for ages researching the procedures I’ll need to get my body back in shape after losing over 100 lbs with a gastric bypass. It’s well worth it, and I still consider WLS to be the best thing I’ve ever done! So I thought I’d share my experience for those who are embarking on their weight loss journey. It’s a lengthy review, but I know when I was looking into it, I wanted all the info I could get.
I started out at 5’5” and 250 lbs. I was a normal weight thru my 20’s, but started piling on the pounds in my 30’s, and by 42 had been upwards of 220 for several years. No kids, just not prioritizing my health or appearance. Like most of you, I’d tried every diet out there, each time thinking I could keep it up long term, only to yo-yo with the same 30 lbs over and over. I just didn’t have another diet in me! I didn’t have health problems, but with diabetes and heart disease in my parents, it was just a matter of time.
I worked in health insurance, so it was easy for me to find out the guidelines to determine medical necessity…if anyone needs help navigating that headache, pm me and I’ll be happy to share what I know. My bmi was borderline, so I was in the catch 22 of being just into the “extremely obese” category (that’s pretty straightforward to get approval), but if I lost the required 10%, I’d drop to “obese” and have to prove health complications that I didn’t have. So insurance was a no-go, and I had to pay out of pocket. I looked all over for something affordable, but amazingly, the best deal with a great doctor was in my hometown! I do highly recommend him! Going overseas looks cheap, but when you account for accommodation, travel expenses, etc., for me it wouldn’t save that much and I’d be away from my supportive family.
I went thru all the prep - consultations, pre-testing, “what to expect” meeting - and with pre-op dieting, was 230 on the big day (4/1/14), which went off without a hitch. I get really loopy with anesthesia, so that day’s a bit of a blur. It takes a while to wear off, so I was weak and tired for several days. Also, I know this is TMI, but I wish I’d known to get a Rx medication for yeast infection, which a lot of women get when taking antibiotics. And of course stool softener/laxatives. I was able to keep my pain in check, just the expected discomfort, and had no complications.
By 2 months out, I was out of the 200’s, and was getting compliments all summer - so encouraging! It goes quicker the first several months and gradually slows down (and the bigger you are, the more you lose in the quick phase). In January, I got to 150, and stagnated there for a while. They’d told me to expect that; if you’ve ever maintained a certain weight for a long time, it’s like your body remembers it and wants to stay there a while. This is what I was in my 20’s and was quite healthy, so I’d have been happy to stay there. But in March, I started slowly dropping some more, and since May have been staying around 135-140….so this is likely my final weight.
So again, it’s been a great experience that if I had it to do again, I would in a heartbeat! Long review, I know, but here’s my advice to those starting out: ***Stick to the rules - supplements, lots of water, lots of protein (you can pm me if you want to know the brands I like best), ***The surgery alters your stomach, not your mind. If you love chocolate pre-op, you’ll crave it post-op. No one’s perfect, but keep any indulgence to a minimum - a few bites once a week or two max. ***Be religious about your food diary - measure everything. I track calories, fat, carbs, protein, and sugar. It’s easy after a while to think you know enough to keep a “ballpark estimate” in your head, but if I ever stayed the same for a week, that was why. ***Track progress in your diary too - weight, measurements, even your moods and activity. It helps you detect patterns if you stagnate. ***Take pics along the way, as bare as you dare - your mind plays tricks on you in the mirror, and you’ll think you’re not making much progress. Then you look at old pics and realize how far you’ve come! ***Don’t get upset by small fluctuations - I’m borderline obsessive about weighing myself, but going up a pound or two is just water weight. As long as the numbers trend downward, you’re good. ***Become a thrift store shopper - this is just me personally, and if you’re loaded, ignore this one. As fun as it is to get into lower sizes, I didn’t want to buy a whole new wardrobe every 20 lbs, so aside from undergarments, this is where I’ve gone.

I hope this helps y’all - YOU ARE WORTH THIS INVESTMENT!!! Take care….xoxo
Chattanooga Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. Sanborn is the best you could ask for in a surgeon! He’s professional, knowledgeable, and clearly cares about his patients’ safety and overall health. He’s the head of the bariatric department at Erlanger, and they have a good program. The nurses and other staff are always friendly and efficient. My experience was pleasant, I’m super pleased with my results, and I would recommend him to anyone!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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