Elizabeth Chambers is no stranger to the struggles of trying to live healthier. Prior to her bariatric procedure, she spent more than 40 years on her own weight-loss journey.
“I have been overweight since I was 8 years old,” says Elizabeth.
She remembers being put on diet after diet at a young age. Not only did these diets not work, but also the whole experience itself negatively affected her self-esteem. Gradually, as she entered adulthood, her struggle to maintain a healthy weight turned desperate – she turned to more extreme and unhealthy means of dieting. These harmful methods never lasted long, and she always ended up gaining the weight back, plus more, putting her right back where she started.
It was not until her forties that Elizabeth heard about a potential solution to her weight troubles: bariatric surgery. Initially, she was hesitant to try it.
“When people started getting the gastric bypass, I followed their successes, complications, and final outcomes. I felt it was not for me. I didn’t feel safe,” she says.
However, when Elizabeth learned about sleeve gastrectomy, also known as gastric sleeve surgery, she changed her mind.
“Gastric sleeve was different and didn’t seem so intrusive,” says Elizabeth. “I studied the outcome of that surgery and then finally decided that it was something I was willing to do.”
Gastric sleeve surgery, like gastric bypass, is one of a variety of procedures that comprise bariatric surgery. The procedure itself consists of removing 75-80% of the stomach and joining the remaining parts together to make a new tube-shaped stomach or "sleeve." In this way, the procedure encourages weight-loss not only by restricting the amount of food you are physically able to consume, but also by reducing the production of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for stimulating appetite. Currently, gastric sleeve surgery is the most popular form of weight-loss surgery in the U.S. today.
After her operation was green-lighted, Elizabeth was referred to Dr. Brian T. Chin, a surgeon at the BASS Bariatric Surgery Center in Walnut Creek who specializes in bariatric surgery. Dr. Chin’s diligence and non-judgmental attitude caused Elizabeth to feel even more at ease with her decision to go through with the gastric sleeve procedure.
“Dr. Chin worked with me and my barriers to losing the weight I needed to prior to the surgery,” says Elizabeth. “I felt totally confident going into surgery with him at the knife.”
Indeed, Elizabeth’s confidence in Dr. Chin turned out to be an exercise in good judgement – her surgery was a success, and she came out of it in great shape and recovered quickly. Aside from adjusting to her changing body, she did not experience any sort of side effects or complications in the weeks that followed the operation. Dr. Chin also kept a close eye on Elizabeth, helping her every step of the way and answering any questions that came up.
Since the surgery, Elizabeth’s lifestyle has changed for the better. She now eats smaller, healthier meals, and rarely eats out. She also incorporates exercise into her daily routine, utilizing simple tools and exercises that can be done at home, outside, and even at work.
As a result, Elizabeth dropped more than 120 pounds. She also reversed her diabetes and recently weaned off five different blood-pressure medications.
Overall, Elizabeth credits the surgery, as well as the help she received at BASS Bariatric Surgery Center, for helping her transform from a person who always felt “bloated, lazy, and in pain” into a “fabulous 48-year-old, living a healthy life and feeling good.”
For anyone considering bariatric surgery, Elizabeth’s only suggestion is this: do not squander the opportunity that will be given to you – take the life change seriously.
“The surgery is worth it if you’re willing to do whatever it takes,” she says.
BASS Bariatric Surgery Center offers some of the best bariatric care in northern California. Dr. Brian Chin and Dr. Jason Moy have years of experience in bariatric surgery and continue to change lives on a daily basis. Finding out you do not have bariatric benefits offered by insurance should not stop you from receiving this life-changing procedure. Visit our site to learn more about bariatric surgery and call (925) 281-3711 to book a consultation today!