Getting Ready for Weight Loss Surgery

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital March 11, 2014

Emily is getting ready for bariatric surgery.

Today’s post is written by BWH patient Emily Bell, a 43-year-old woman who has made the decision to seek surgical treatment for her obesity. Emily is blogging about her experience throughout her journey to better health. This is the second post in chronicling her journey to better health.

Since I made the decision to undergo weight loss surgery, the last two months have included a series of nutritional sessions, meetings with my surgeon and the program’s behavioral psychologist, and many tests. I’ve been living mostly on protein shakes for two weeks, and I’ll enjoy them for two weeks after surgery as well. That will pass. After surgery, I may be nauseous for a few days, but that too will pass.

I’ve been asked repeatedly to look at my eating patterns and recognize how they have to change if this surgery is to be successful. The entire team, especially my surgeon and the behavioral psychologist, has impressed upon me that this will be a dramatic change. It’s not for the faint of heart, and it’s not for those who can’t do the work required.

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The Unexpected Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 23, 2013

Bariatric surgery has led to several significant health benefits for Chuck Uglietta.

After undergoing bariatric surgery on February 28, 2012, Chuck Uglietta, 34, of Peabody, MA, not only lost a lot of weight, but he also trimmed quite a bit off his golf handicap – from a respectable 12-14 to an impressive 2-4. But, of course, that wasn’t the reason why he opted for the surgery. It was just another pleasant surprise.

Chuck was a pretty happy guy on the morning of September 27, 2008. Besides being a popular assistant coach for the Saugus High School boys and girls golf teams and a disc jockey in a thriving wedding business, Chuck was about to get married to his longtime sweetheart, Jennifer.

But, despite that happiness, it was hard for Chuck to ignore that he wasn’t healthy that day and hadn’t been for a long time. He weighed 537 pounds and had high blood pressure, diabetes, and obstructive sleep apnea.

“I still have the vest that I wore on my wedding day. It was a 6X,” says Chuck. “My tuxedo pants were a 72. My jacket was a 78. My wife loved me for who I was, but I just couldn’t live that way anymore.”

After struggling with his weight throughout his life and pondering weight-loss surgery for several years, Chuck finally reached out to Scott Shikora, MD, FACS, Director of the Center for Metabolic Health and Bariatric Surgery, for help at the end of 2011. Several months later, Chuck underwent a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, a minimally invasive procedure that reduces the stomach’s volume by about 60-80 percent. Now, less than one year after the surgery, Chuck is summoning folks onto the dance floor and swinging the golf club at 261 pounds, less than half of his peak weight – and he isn’t done yet.

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