Looking back now, Gretchen N. of Hudson Oaks, Texas, only has one regret surrounding having bariatric surgery in 2018. “I wish I wouldn’t have suffered so long before deciding to do it,” she said. “For 23 years, I was obese and I didn’t have to be!”
Gretchen, 46 years old, describes her younger self as “a very normal, cute high school girl”. But during her college years, she didn’t gain the freshman 15 like so many of her girlfriends. “I gained the freshman 50!” It was also during those years that Gretchen was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, a condition she has battled most of her adult life.
Do Your Research
Gretchen was interested in bariatric surgery but was reluctant because she knew a few people who had gastric bypass surgery or the gastric band but had gained their weight back over time. She definitely didn’t want that so she just kept researching.
Gretchen happened upon a bariatric procedure called the duodenal switch and was intrigued. Individuals who had this malabsorptive bariatric procedure as opposed to the restrictive bypass and band appeared to have better long term success with keeping their weight off. “That got my attention,” said Gretchen.
“I set out to find the best surgeon who could help me accomplish my goal,” said Gretchen. This search led straight to the doors of Weight Loss Specialists of North Texas and Dr. Folahan Ayoola.
Gretchen, a happily retired IT director, gathered her questions and concerns, and made an appointment with Dr. A. “He spent over an hour with us,” said Gretchen, who brought Ken, her husband of 25 years, to the consultation. “I felt very safe and heard. I was just so comfortable with him. I knew this was going to be a great experience!”
Do the Work
Gretchen leaned into the process, happily attending three months of nutritional visits before her surgery day. “I felt so well prepared,” said Gretchen. “I showed up on the day of my surgery without any fear and trepidation. I felt very confident. Dr. A is so compassionate and understanding. I walked into this whole experience feeling educated, empowered and enlightened.”
Gretchen was a model patient. She followed Dr. A’s post-op instructions to a T, filled in every page of her workbook and was careful about her vitamin, protein and water intake. Her weight came off quickly. Within nine months, she had reached her goal: not a number on the scale, Gretchen’s goal was to be able to shop for clothes in any store and not in the plus-size section!
Enjoy the Benefits
Asked about how her life has changed since having bariatric surgery, Gretchen can’t say enough. “My confidence is through the roof!” she said. “I’ve always loved nature but I kind of hid that part of myself for 23 years. Now, I love to be outside! I enjoy hiking and renting bikes when we go on vacation.” This year, Gretchen and her husband were able to take two beach trips and she had no problem enjoying pool time and even felt comfortable wearing a swimsuit.
Although Gretchen does wish she would have had the surgery sooner, that delay is absolutely her only regret. She’s involved in a Facebook group for people who’ve had the duodenal switch. “I tell people the older you get, the harder it will be to recover,” she said. “You have nothing to lose by acting now!”
Gretchen also believes an important key to her success was her attitude. “I was determined going in that this was going to work!” she said. And work it did. We’re so proud of you, Gretchen!
Not the Easy Way, the Best Way
If you struggle with your weight, you’ve probably tried everything – diets, exercise, pills, hypnosis – anything that promises results. But often, these just leave you even more frustrated and disappointed.
Perhaps you’ve considered weight loss surgery – but you stop yourself because it feels like the “easy way”. Many people feel like this…BUT we’re here to tell you that it’s NOT the easy way. For many, many of our patients, it’s the BEST WAY! Let’s talk and see if weight loss surgery could be the solution you’ve been looking for.