Bariatric surgery helped patient shed pounds and unhealthy lifestyle

-My name is Liz Phillips and I was born and raised in Southern California. Love living here, love the sunshine, love the people, just enjoy being around. I call it my happy place. I’ve fought with my weight most of my life, tried every diet out there, ballooned up and down. I figured that’s it. This is me, I’m okay. I realized I’m not okay with that. I am not okay with that, I can’t do this anymore. -Patients normally choose bariatric surgery because it is the most effective option for the treatment of severe obesity. Beside just weight loss, bariatric surgery actually offer many other benefits including resolution of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and even obstructive sleep apnea. -I was 208 pounds and I’m 5 feet tall. That is a very short person with a lot of weight on them. -After consultation with Liz, we came up with the decision that the vertical sleeve gastrectomy is the best operation for her. Essentially we reduce the stomach size from a football to that of a banana shape. -I chose the sleeve because it was a decision that I couldn’t go back on. I made the choice to make this a permanent change in my life. -Prior to surgery we meet with the patient’s two or three times to discuss their history so we can provide them with the holistic approach. We like to look at where they’ve come from and give them expectations as to what they need to do to become successful with the surgery. -With the pre-surgery education you learn the things that you can do and the things that you can’t do. I can still eat, I can still enjoy food, I can still enjoy my life the way it’s supposed to be. Some of the changes that I’ve made in my life since having surgery is every lunchtime I walk. I get out there and walk 40 minutes out of an hour every day not only to lose the way to keep the weight off but it helps mentally. I am so glad that I had my surgery at UC Irvine health. Not only they supported you before but they absolutely are hundred percent behind you afterward. You are a family there, everybody makes you feel that you can succeed. -Liz has done a really great job in taking advantage of the opportunities that UC Irvine Health provides in terms of support group, education, counseling. She’s really made the lifestyle changes that she needs to be successful long-term. -The support group makes you feel like you want to succeed. We are a cheer section for each other, we are absolutely 100%for each other. Our dietitians always there, we also have a counselor there at all times, and the doctors come in to see us too. -Our patients really look up to Liz, and she provides a lot of support because of her success. -I see that my lifestyle changes have helped motivated other people to do this. My coworker Pedro, he was not a healthy person either. And he walks everyday with me. It’s actually changed his life also seeing my life. I feel good, I feel healthy. When you feel good about yourself, you tend to bring that out in other people too. When I’m out and about people see me, they don’t see my weight anymore. The bariatric surgery helped me to become the person I knew I could always be.

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