Sonja C. ~ Finding The Right, Long-Term Weight Loss Solution
Reflecting on her recent weight loss journey, 58-year-old Sonja C. says, “The moment I realized a big difference is when I was walking and found myself constantly pulling my pants up. I put on a smaller size and they were too big; I went down three sizes and didn’t even realize it…I took a look at myself in a full-length mirror and realized I did look smaller.”
Sonja is now riding her horse again, sleeping better, and taking less medication. Her gastric sleeve surgery earlier this year put her back on the path to healthier living, and she credits her continuing success to the bariatrics team at Texas Health Hospital Rockwall, including Lilo, Jane, Betsy and Dr. Stephens.
“During the insurance phase, Lilo and Jane were such a big support system for me. They could not wait to give me the call to tell me I had been approved. They cried with me!” Sonja said. “Betsy has always been supportive with nutrition questions and giving advice when needed. Then Dr. Stephens – he was and is so supportive. He is constantly giving advice to help with success and lets you know it is OK to not focus on the numbers on the scale but to be mindful of eating healthy and exercising.”
But Sonja’s weight loss success didn’t come without trials and tribulations. Just over 10 years ago, Sonja weighed in at 278 pounds, and she turned to lap band surgery – the only procedure that her insurance would cover at the time. In simple terms, a lap band restricts the size of the stomach by placing an inflatable band around the upper portion of the stomach to create a small pouch; the idea is that people will feel fuller faster, eat less, and lose weight.
“I was very successful with the surgery and lost approximately 130 pounds, going from size 24 tight to size 10 loose. I felt AMAZING,” Sonja explains.
But in 2015, she became ill and needed to have fluid removed from her lap band. Upon recovering from her illness, she decided to have the band refilled, only to lose its effectiveness. That’s when she looked into having revision surgery with Dr. Stephens and Texas Health Rockwall Bariatric Center.
“My final straw to revision weight loss surgery was when I got on the scale and found myself weighing over 200 pounds again – something I swore I would never let happen again, but I DID, and I was very disappointed in myself. I took a long look at myself, what I was eating, doing, etc. I tried on my own to get weight off but it was too hard without the tool. I may lose 10 pounds only to gain 11 back,” she said.
“Due to insurance issues, I waited three long years to receive my revision surgery…I did a lot of research and discovered the lap band did not have a great long-term weight loss success rate.”
Instead, she turned to Dr. Stephens for the revision surgery and the gastric sleeve.
“I am proud of the success I have achieved thus far and look forward to being a healthier, smaller version of me,” Sonja says. “I know they see many patients but when you walk in and they tell you how good you are looking, it boosts your confidence level which encourages me to keep doing what I am to be successful. I still have quite a ways to go but as Dr. Stephens told me recently, if I keep going at the rate I am or even slow down some I could lose 50 plus pounds within a year…WOW.”
Am I a Candidate?
While there are general guidelines regarding qualification for bariatric surgery, our program offers a variety of services, surgical and non-surgical, regardless of BMI, lifestyle and related illnesses. The Bariatric Center at Texas Health Rockwall will help you navigate your options so that you can find the weight loss solution that works best for you!
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