My Patients


Personal Stories

Jeff - San Diego, CA

Jeff Before Weight Loss Surgery


y name is Jeff. I’ve had weight problems all my life. I think I’ve tried just about every diet out there at one time or another. A lot of them worked for a while but most of them only a short time. Then all of the weight would come back… plus even more. It seemed like my dieting was making me even bigger.

Back in the seventies the doctor gave me a black capsule. It was some sort of amphetamine. It worked for a short time, just like the others. I tried nutrisystem after that, then Jenny Craig. In the nineties I tried FenPhen which did help, but they told me I would have to take it for life… then they said it would take my life and they banned it.

After years of slowly gaining weight, hitting a high of 370, I started looking into gastric bypass. That’s when I found Dr. Ellner. This too sounded too good to be true. I did a lot of research about it and finally I was all set up to have the surgery. Then my insurance company denied it. At that point I knew it was my only hope so I was determined to have it.

It took me three years but I was finally able to have the surgery. In the meantime I talked to some other surgeons about it but they just didn’t compare with Dr. Ellner. She really cares about her patients. That’s just a gut feeling but it’s something I just didn’t get from the other doctors.

Jeff After Weight Loss Surgery

When I came to her I was about 353 and I could barely walk across the street without being totally out of breath. It was a big deal just to get from the parking lot to her office. I was diagnosed with type II diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea. I had bad knees and my joints always hurt. Now it’s all gone. I don’t take any medication anymore and just feel so much better.

The evening of surgery I started walking to the end of the hall, later to the nurses station then by the end of the next day around the floor. Now I’m actually doing six or seven miles a day, and I actually add about 50 pounds of sand to my backpack because I love how it makes me build muscle. I haven’t stopped walking since the surgery. It's so wonderful to be able to walk without pain. I've found out what it's like to enjoy exercise. It's so much easier when it doesn't hurt! I bought a home gym and I’ve started watching my body really start undergoing changes.

It’s been just over a year now and I’ve lost 175 lbs and still going down. But now I’m healthy again. Dr Ellner tracks my muscle and fat pounds and I’m building muscle because I go hiking and kayaking all the time. I'm probably in better shape now than any time of my life. Even in high school I was about 20 lbs. heavier than I am now. . I can even outdo my grandkids! They have a hard time keeping up with me, which I love. That’s something I never thought would happen. Dr. Ellner gave me my life back. Without her I don’t know if I would have had the surgery and I hate to think about what kind of condition I would be in today. I’d be happy to talk to any of you who might have questions – my email is