Mary's Weight Loss Surgery Success Story
Lost 120 Pounds
The journey that led me to the Sky Ridge Program and Dr. Chae began in February 2006 when I visited my doctor seeking an explanation for my swollen ankles. Congestive heart disease was a possibility so I was sent to a cardiologist for tests that proved my heart was in good shape but I was overweight, as I had been for most of my life. The cardiologist referred me to a pulmonologist who administered several more tests and determined I had sleep apnea. I didn’t want to be on a CPAP machine so I was referred to another specialist who believed I could be cured with surgery to carve off some of my soft palette and fix my deviated septum. But that surgery seemed awfully drastic and the side effects described were not going to be pleasant. All the doctors I saw did agree that weight loss would definitely help my situation. But after 30 years of trying diets, programs, pills and fads, I was just worn out.
Even though I exercised and watched my diet, I was not losing weight. My cholesterol numbers were rising, my sugar level was bordering on diabetes and my blood pressure was rising. The fear of developing additional health problems and possibly shortening my life led me to look for yet another weight-loss program. During my research, I learned about bariatric surgery and specifically, the gastric band procedure. I searched for doctors in Colorado and found Dr. Chae. I went to his seminar and decided this program could work for me. I qualified with my insurance company and I had my surgery just before Thanksgiving in 2007, thinking “what better time to test my ability to stick with a weight loss program than through the holidays?”
My first post-surgery year was spent losing a lot of weight and I was delighted with the results. The second year, I continued losing weight and I actually lost too much. With 132 pounds of weight gone, I was looking very gaunt and had developed an irritation in my esophagus. To cure this, I had to have the entire fill taken out of my band, heal and then have my band refilled. Although I gained some of the weight back during this break, I felt and looked so much better. In year two I focused on exercise and getting in shape. Late in year three I again developed an irritation in my esophagus and had to have the entire fill removed from the band. But this time even that didn’t help. I was having problems digesting foods and suffered from intense heartburn. Dr. Chae decided a “revision” was needed to my band to re-position it. During the operation, he also discovered and repaired a hernia in my esophagus that had previously been hidden by fatty tissue. Since this recent surgery I am feeling great and I am able to eat again. I hope that now, into year four, I will be able to find the “sweet spot” on my band with just the right amount of “fill” to maintain the weight loss I have accomplished.
Even with the problems I have had, this is still the best weight loss tool I have come across and I would go through it all again for the results I have achieved. I am thankful to have found the support and care I have needed on my weight loss journey with Dr. Chae, his staff and the program he has put together here at Sky Ridge.