My Patients


Personal Stories

Autumn - Riverbank, CA

Autumn Before Weight Loss Surgery Autumn 5 ½ Months After Weight Loss Surgery

When I looked at my family members, I realized that obesity and diabetes were going to be a very real part of my life. My mother had struggled with increasing weight gain over many years and was over 350 pounds. Gastric bypass surgery literally saved her life.

My wonderful husband seemed to love me no matter what my weight. I had lost 60 pounds before we met, but after we were married, we both began to put on the pounds. I went on to give birth to two children 11 months apart and could not, no matter how I tried, lose "the baby weight." I hit a high of 280 pounds with the second child, and the most I managed to diet off was 30 pounds. I was so fat that I could not get down on the floor to play with my babies. Breast-feeding was nearly impossible because my big stomach was in the way. I was out of breath a lot, and carrying either of the children for more than a few minutes was exhausting. It was depressing.

It was about that time that I began to consider gastric bypass surgery myself. After many years of dieting, I decided it was my only real option for long-term health and weight control. My mother had lost 130 pounds after hers, and my uncle and aunt also had successful gastric bypass surgery, with a combined weight loss of 230 pounds. All had kept their weight off.

At the age of 23, after over 10 years of yoyo dieting, I decided to consult with Dr. Ellner about having gastric bypass surgery. My uncle and aunt highly recommended Dr. Ellner. Their experience with her was fantastic. Not only was she described as a very skilled surgeon, but she clearly cared about the person inside. I knew I was very young to be considering such a radical step, and I thought I might not be taken seriously. I was totally wrong! Dr. Ellner was kind, compassionate, and nonjudgmental. She had done hundreds of gastric bypass surgeries, and I had complete confidence in her abilities.

Autumn After Weight Loss Surgery

I had laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery in July 2005. For me, the experience was so much easier than I had anticipated. The hardest part was fasting before the surgery and the knowledge that I would not be able to lift my children for a month after surgery. By my fourth postoperative day, I was completely off all pain medication, including Tylenol. I was back home a week after surgery, feeling great. My tiny incisions healed very quickly. In a matter of days I was back in the routine.

Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY! I went into surgery on July 19 weighing 250 pounds. Today, 6 months later, I weigh 142. I went from a size 24 to a size 6. The best part, though, is that I feel healthy and attractive. Do I still like food? For me, the answer is yes. The difference between then and now is that I am satisfied with much smaller amounts, and I have lost the “food obsession.”

I live over 800 miles away from Dr. Ellner, but it is as if she is close by. She has followed up with me regularly by phone since my surgery, and I know I can contact her if I have any concerns. I feel that I owe my life to Dr. Ellner because she made it possible for me to live it.