Gastric Sleeve Success Stories

Posted by Jason Radecke on Mon, Aug 25, 2014

Here at Riverside, we believe that by hearing the success stories of some of our patients, others might take the initiative to change their own lives for the better. We are grateful for all the kind words from our patients and we just want to take the time to appreciate and commend them for their hard work and determination. After hearing their transforming journeys, we hope you’ll be inspired to take that first step. Here are some amazing gastric sleeve success stories from our patients:

Screen Shot 2014 08 14 at 3.46.02 PMAnna’s Story

Last year we partnered with Sebastian River Medical Center to host a Facebook contest in which two winners were chosen to receive either a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy or a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery. The Why Weight! Contest drastically transformed the lives of two people forever, and Anna was one of them. After being turned down as a candidate for weight loss surgery because of insurance issues, Anna didn’t give up. She knew she wanted the surgery, she just needed to figure out a way to pay for it. Upon winning the contest, her excitement and gratefulness was astonishing. Although she was nervous about the surgical procedure, the surgery’s payoff in the end calmed her and put her nerves at ease.

After her gastric sleeve surgery, Anna recalled feeling so energetic and even wanted to go back to work after only five days post-operation. With only little stomach cramps every now and then, she experienced minimal side effects of the operation. She found that walking around easily suppressed these cramps, and that it was actually an enjoyable pastime. She writes, “It is like two to three days of discomfort for an entirely new life of being thin and shopping on regular clothes size racks, being active, running and whatever else your dreams are.” Reading her blog and watching her videos, you can feel the energy and excitement and watch as she transforms her life into something she dreamt about for a long time.

As of April 2014, Anna lost 80 lbs. She’s down to a size 14, and she can even fit into some size 12’s. “I am pretty comfortable in a bathing suit, it’s great. Pretty soon I will weigh under 200! I cannot even tell you when the last time I weighed that much was.”

If you want to hear more about Anna, you can track her weight loss success by following her blog!

Ken’s Journeyken testimony pic

Ken began his weight loss journey at 350 lbs. As a corrections officer, he found it incredibly difficult to perform his duties because he was limited by his weight. It prevented him from being on certain response teams because he couldn’t make the long run across a campus or facility to help. It was bothersome to him that he had to be placed in positions where he wouldn’t pose a liability. He knew he had to make a change in order to improve his status and progress in his career.

Ken also found that he had a hard time coping with the everyday life challenges that came with being overweight. He always wanted to travel, but the fear of flying isn’t what stopped him. It was fitting into airplane seats. He said, “You don’t want to be that big guy or big woman that folks are talking about and don’t want to sit next to.” He didn’t want to have to go online searching for seating arrangements with two open seats or to pay extra for a window seat.

Basketball was a huge part of Ken’s life before he gained so much weight. Shortness of breath and inability to run the court was a huge problem for him. He was tired of sitting on the sidelines, eating chips and drinking soda, being the “big teddy bear cheerleader” for the family.

Although all these incidences affected him greatly, his defining moment came when speaking with his doctor. He told Ken that he wouldn’t live past the age of 40. That’s when Ken decided to look into his options. He recollects that he was lucky enough to stumble across Dr. Domkowski at Riverside and he finally made the life-changing decision to undergo a vertical sleeve gastrectomy.

Ken stayed in the center for three nights, in which he describes the nurses as friendly and helpful. He recalls that even though he was stubborn about having to get up and walk, the nurses are the ones who pushed him and cheered him on through it.

As of most recently, Ken lost a total of 130 lbs due to his weight loss surgery, and now he weighs in at 220 lbs. He returned to basketball and recently took a trip to Atlanta. He even took the middle seat on his flight, saying that he had so much extra room to move around comfortably. His weight loss journey inspired him to go into the medical field, so now he’s studying to become a registered nurse, hopefully bariatrics specifically. He hopes to inspire others and encourage their weight loss success because after seeing other people struggling, he wants to give proper advice from someone who has been through it. He says, “Surgery has definitely been a blessing for me and I would recommend it for anyone who is not comfortable with themselves…”

Visit to read more weight loss success journeys.

At Riverside, we are thankful and proud of all our patients. We hope to see even more weight loss success stories and watch as people continue to transform their lives before our eyes. If you’re interested in taking that first step in bariatric surgery, we encourage you to get as much information as you can. Sign up for one of our free weight loss surgery seminars or webinars and get all of your questions answered today.  


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