My Patients


Personal Stories

Lisa - Alpine, CA

Lisa Before Weight Loss SurgeryI attended an informational seminar hosted by Dr. Julie Ellner in October 2004. I felt an immediate connection to this woman the minute I laid eyes on her. She was personable yet professional, funny yet incredibly intelligent. She had the hands of a surgeon and the demeanor of a lifesaver. It was apparent that she was determined to help as many people as possible regain their health and get back into the life they deserve. I had no idea that upon entering that room, I was looking at my destiny.

After the educational and informative seminar I was convinced this was the tool I'd been searching for most of my life. The diet clinics with specialty foods, the weight loss centers that preach counting food points along with plenty of “Rah Rahs”, the diet drugs that were pulled off the market, the lo-carb. no-carb, lo-fat, no-fat treadmill I had been on for so many years was going to be a thing of the past…I hoped.

Lisa After Weight Loss SurgeryOn that day in October, I was mainly focused on the surgery itself. Dr. Ellner had charts, slides, and pictures of exactly how this procedure is performed. By the time she was done I could have practically performed it on myself! She made it that clear.

3 weeks later I was checked in to the hospital and surrendered my life to Dr. Ellner and her team. It wasn't until I was on the gurney that I actually realized I was embarking on this journey and it suddenly became real. It was a profound moment that changed my life forever.

I had no measurable pain and no problems following this miraculous surgery. I was a little afraid of my new stomach as I didn't know if it would like me. It sounds weird but it's kind of an alien-like experience; to have something inside your own body having been drastically changed from the only way it'd ever been known to be; to once again learn how to eat, what to eat and what not to eat. The plan was simple really. And if the new tummy doesn't like something, it'll let you know. It has rarely been a problem. I've followed the rules and guidelines that Dr. Ellner set forth and come armed with questions for her at each visit. She happily and concisely answers them all.

Celebrating My Rebirth

Today I'm celebrating the one year anniversary of the day I was reborn. I've lost almost exactly 100 lbs. But it's not what I've lost that's been the greatest accomplishment; it's what I've gained. The self consciousness has been replaced by self confidence, the lethargy has turned into zest and endless energy, and the self-loathing has been traded for self-love and appreciation that I was fortunate to have been given a priceless gift…a second chance at life.

Lisa After Gastric Bypass SurgeryI owe my life to my lifesaver, Dr. Ellner. I can never repay her for what she's done. How does one put a price tag on giving someone life? I can now see the future and I'm in it. Pre-surgery I envisioned my husband carrying on alone and my sons being mother-less; they're almost grown they won't need me much longer. It was scary but a reality I'd learned to live with. I was indeed digging my own grave with a fork. My own early death was imminent. I knew the statistics of obesity related illness and consequential death and I saw no way out.

That has all changed forever. This is no quick-fix and I must remain diligent in my battle for health but for once I actually have a weapon that works; that's not a temporary solution to a life-long problem. Lap bypass is a pathway to a miracle that can be achieved, the miracle of being in the middle of life, not on the sidelines. Everyone deserves to be a participant and not just a spectator.