My Patients


Personal Stories


before gastric bypass surgery
Christmas 2015
Before Surgery


et’s start by saying I SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS 15 YEARS AGO! I’m 53 years old now and have always been an active big guy. It’s always been a struggle to keep the weight off. Until turning 35 I exercised to extremes daily; Semi-Pro Football, Baseball, Basketball, Softball, Gym. However, I never ate right and drank like a fish. Then I got married and moved to a more sedentary lifestyle and the pounds just multiplied. In 2006 I topped out at 366 lbs. and was 6’1” at the time. Hey everyone shrinks with age. In 2010 I had a heart attack that required two stints. I was battling high blood pressure, gout, and bad knees for years. I was in and out of weight loss and pre-surgery programs for over 10 years. I would slim down then get complacent or get hurt and put it all back on plus some more. After attending one of Dr. Ellner’s lectures I knew she was the one for me!

I was originally scheduled for gastric bypass surgery in April 2016 and still managed to chicken out. Thought since I was doing so well on the diet and exercise program from Dr. Ellner that I could double down and complete the weight loss through natural means. BIG MISTAKE! Excuses aside I was just being a big FAT chicken! Luckily I had stayed in her program and on August 5, 2016 I had the surgery. Dr. Ellner, her staff, the staff at Sharp and my wife were the BEST! I was up and walking within 3 hours of surgery with no pain after 24 hours and out of the hospital in 2 days.

I take less pills now than before the surgery. My high blood pressure is gone. My cardiologist just cut my medications for the stints in half, No more gout, and I could go on and on….

A few numbers for you:

When I joined Dr. Ellner’s program I was at 358 lbs. with a morbidly obese BMI of 47.7 and on April 23, 2017 I weighed in at 243 lbs. and now have a BMI of 34.0. Still to much but manageable and trending downward.

18 more lbs. to go to reach my goal of 225 lbs.

Before the surgery I could barely walk to the end of the block because my knees ached so bad. I was getting injections in them every 6 months just to function. Now I hike mountains around the San Diego area at least 2 to 3 times a week. Also on the hit parade:


  1. Gym time is fun time again, especially when you must work to get your heart rate up 135 where before that was more like a starting heart rate.
  2. I fit in roller coasters for the first time in almost 20 years. YAY!!!
  3. Most days I ride a bicycle to the gym to work out.
  4. When I miss a day at the gym I feel guilty and double down the next day.
  5. I have so much energy it’s driving my wife crazy. I wake up raring to go and only go to sleep when I’m bored.

The worst part of the surgery?
I had to start buying all new clothes. OH DARN

The proof is in the photos, so here you are:

after gastric bypass surgery  
Top of Mount Woodsen (Potato Chip Rock)
April 23, 2017

Photo Progression


before gastric bypass surgery 
before gasric bypass surgery 


That was probably round 2 or 3 at the buffet in April 2016.

after gastric bypass surgery 

Post-surgery 1 month in Italy

Walked all the way across Rome with my wonderful wife and had no issues with knees or breath.

after gastric bypass surgery before gasric bypass surgery

Month 2

after gastric bypass surgery before gasric bypass surgery


Month 4

after gastric bypass surgery  


Month 5

First time I fit in that undefeated championship sweatshirt in 15 years.
And, my first time hiking Cowles Mountain. First time took me almost an hour but I did it. My last trip took me 26 minutes.

after gastric bypass surgery after gasric bypass surgery


Out dancing again with the wife!

after gastric bypass surgery after gasric bypass surgery


Month 7

Found my bench. Not that I need it anymore.Rollercoaster...YES!!!
after gastric bypass surgery after gasric bypass surgery


Month 8
Riding motorcycles through Arizona and hiking the Vally of Fire in Nevada.

after gastric bypass surgery after gasric bypass surgery


Summit of Mount Woodsen at Potato Chip Rock with my hiking buddy and personal trainer “Goliath”. 8 miles round trip. 1 hour and 13 minutes to the top. Now every climb is a competition with myself to beat the previous time.

after gastric bypass surgery after gasric bypass surgery