IMPROVE YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE THROUGH WEIGHT LOSS
39-year-old Christine Price started having heart palpitations after battling for years with her weight. She had tried multiple diets only to see the weight continue to come back. However, after Gastric Sleeve surgery, Christine now has control of her life and health.
BENEFITS OF WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY
- Normalized Blood Pressure
- Normalized Blood Cholesterol
- Type II Diabetes Disappears
- Asthma Relief
- Lowered Risk of Heart Disease
- And More.
CHRISTINE'S WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY
Years of diets in the quest to drop excess weight – only to watch it return with a vengeance – left Christine Price both jilted and discouraged as her health concern bore down on her daily.
Then came a stark, and final, realization.
"I started having heart palpitations; that's when I knew that I had to do something and do something immediately," Christine confided. "I started thinking about my two kids and how I wanted to be around to see them graduate from college and get married...I decided right then to change my life."
'I WISH I WOULD'VE DONE IT SOONER'
So it was then the 39-year-old Christine called Longstreet Clinic’s Center for Weight Management and scheduled a visit with Miguel del Mazo, M.D.
It is a moment frozen in time, one that Christine will always remember as the instant she took control of her life – in a way she previously believed unattainable.
"I wish I would have done it sooner," Christine said. "So much has changed."
Since embarking on her weight loss journey with the Center for Weight
Management, including undergoing gastric sleeve surgery on Oct. 15, 2018,
Christine has lost 70 pounds in just four-and-a-half months.
It is far from a miracle or shortcut to better health, however. In fact, it is a
decision which requires full involvement and commitment from any
prospective patient – and Christine is no exception.
After meetings with Dr. del Mazo and Longstreet Clinic staff, as well as plenty
of her own research, Christine determined that following a bariatric medicine
protocol was the best option to not only help her lose stubborn weight,
but also keep it off for good.
Together, Christine and Dr. del Mazo selected gastric sleeve as the best option in her lifelong journey. A gastric sleeve, also known as surgical sleeve gastrectomy, is a procedure during which a bariatric surgeon removes 85 percent of the patient's stomach in order to change the way the body digests and processes food.
"It changes the metabolism of the body. With a gastric sleeve, patients generally lose two-thirds of their excess weight within a year," Dr. del Mazo said. "It's a major surgery completed through several little cuts. By and large people do very well with it. And the day of the surgery, I want people up and walking."
That proved the case for Christine, who underwent a successful sleeve procedure at Gainesville’s Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
The surgery is only a small part of the path to success, however.
"Bariatric surgery is not a one-and-done process," Dr. del Mazo said. "We are building long-term relationships here. The entirety of our practice at Longstreet Clinic is medically improving people's health through weight management. That requires the patient to be actively involved."
Christine has done just that.
Dedicated from the moment she made the decision to undergo the procedure, Christine began prepping for the rest of her life. That included undergoing a pre-operation psychiatric evaluation. “They want to make sure you are committed, not just looking for a quick solution,” Christine said.
Perhaps the hardest part, however, was a two-week clear liquid diet Christine undertook just prior to receiving the gastric sleeve.
“It was not easy, especially with two teenagers in the house,” Christine said in reference to her children, Sarah, 16, and Kevin Michael, 14. “It’s really a life-changing experience; people don’t understand that. It’s not just a surgery and you lose weight and you keep on with your old life – not at all.”
A NEW CHAPTER
The operation demands significant changes in what and how much patients may eat. In fact, Christine related that since her stomach is now the size and shape of a medium-sized banana, she must be very cautious in her dietary approach.
That includes eating just one cup of food three times a day – “any more and I’d get sick,” Christine said. She has also cut out such American diet staples as carbonated beverages and a whole range of carbohydrates. Her meals now center around quality proteins and plenty of water – not to mention a heavy regimen of vitamins that Christine will continue to take for the rest of her life.
A LIFELONG COMMITMENT
“Patients do need to be on vitamins for life after a procedure like this,” Dr. del Mazo said. “We have a great idea of what is necessary because bariatric surgery has been around for some time; in fact, the first gastric bypass was performed in 1959.”
According to del Mazo, the biggest requirement for success, however, is a willingness to learn and a stick-to-itiveness attitude – and Christine has that in abundance.
“Christine has done quite well; she’s enthusiastic and wants to be a lifelong learner, and that’s a big deal in this kind of medicine,” Dr. del Mazo said. “We coach our patients what to eat post-surgery, and we provide them with as much support as we can give them for success. And it’s great for us as doctors because we get to see people take control of their lives. We see things like diabetes go into remission, people control their blood pressure without medication…We get to see people live the life they want to lead.”
And that’s where Christine finds herself these days, watching the weight continue to fall away. And those heart palpitations? Long gone.
Now Christine’s goals center around what she can do, rather than what she cannot.
“I came out of my room, ready to go somewhere with my daughter the other day, and we were wearing pretty much the same outfit. She laughed and told me, ‘Mom, you can’t wear the exact same thing as me!’ But she and my son are so proud of me,” Christine said. “I’m also working toward running a 5K. That’s my goal in the fall.”
For del Mazo, it is yet another example of a patient facing down the pitfalls of both poor health and misformed conceptions.
“There’s an incorrect belief that obesity is something that is purely the result of actions, that obesity is a choice,” Dr. del Mazo said. “It is a recognized disease. And, as a society, we make people feel bad about it in a way we never would for cancer or heart disease.”
Christine says her journey has changed her entire outlook.
“I’m a completely new person. I’m living a better life, and I would encourage anyone else who finds themselves in the situation I was in to go for it,” she said. “Anyone can do it. Do your research and look into it. Go meet with a doctor. They make it so easy for you here at Longstreet Clinic. Dr. del Mazo was amazing; he made the process great, and told me, ‘I’m here to serve you.’”
Dr. del Mazo joined Longstreet Clinic in November 2014 after working as a bariatric surgeon at Atlanta Medical Center. He is a graduate of the Emory University School of Medicine and completed his fellowship and residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami in advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgery.
ABOUT CHRISTINE'S SURGEON
DR. MIGUEL B. DEL MAZO
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