My Patients


Personal Stories


 Marty Before Weight Loss Surgery
Marty & Amanda Before Bariatric Surgery

M y name is Marty and it was February 21, 2010 when I had a mild heart attack. I wasn’t yet 50 years old but was as unhealthy as could be. I weighed over 330 pounds at that time, had extremely high blood pressure, very high cholesterol, smoked nearly two packs of cigarettes a day and couldn’t walk anywhere without huffing and puffing after even very short distances. As a coach for a youth football team, being on the field for hours was exhausting and painful and worse, a terrible example for me to set for the boys and their families.

I had been big all my life, but it wasn’t until I got out of the Navy that I gained so much weight and became so unhealthy. So my heart attack was my eye opener that probably saved my life. I was on so much medication after this that it was a task just to keep track of what I was supposed to be taking and when. That’s when I decided it was time to lose the weight and get my health back.

 Marty Before the Lap Band Surgery
Marty Before the Lap Band

Having the surgery was an easy decision for me and required little research on my part. You see, my youngest daughter Amanda had gastric bypass a year or so earlier and had already done all the research. So I knew how great Dr. Ellner was, how successful the surgery was (she lost over 150 pounds) and that if I followed in her footsteps I be on the right track to getting healthy. She was my role model and I was determined to do as well as she did.

My original plan was to have the gastric bypass surgery, but a week before my date (I was already on the pre-surgery liquid diet) I found out that I couldn’t have the bypass because of being on daily aspirin regimen. I was disappointed to say the least because I had always heard how much more difficult it was to lose the weight with the band compared to bypass. Dr. Ellner convinced me to go forward with the band and I did so on February 21, 2011, one year to the day after my heart attack.

Determined to be successful with the band, I stayed on the liquid diet for almost 4 months, 3 months longer than was required. Different than how most people do things, I wanted to lose as much weight as possible as soon as possible and since the protein drinks that Dr. Ellner put me on made it so I wasn’t ever feeling hungry I just stayed on the liquid program. By the end of that time I had lost about 90 pounds total from my highest weight and hadn’t felt that good in over 20 years.

Not only was the weight gone, but I became truly healthy. I hadn’t smoked since my heart attack, was off most of my medication and was in the gym 5 days a week. Where I couldn’t walk a mile before, I was running 4-5 miles and lifting weights almost every day. I wasn’t ever able to do that - even back in the Navy, or high school for that matter.

It’s been over 18 months since my surgery and I have still kept all the weight off and I’m still a regular at the gym. Maybe the most rewarding part about losing the weight and getting back in shape is that I set a better example for the boys I coach football for. Not only do I tell them what to do, I now can show them as well. Many times I will join them for conditioning and running during practice. It’s a great feeling to know that you can keep up with the 12 – 13 year old boys you coach!

Marty and Amanda After Bariatric Bypass Surgery
Marty & Amanda
After Bariatric Surgery

One other little note about losing the weight... I don’t know how many of you travel, but I travel about 50% of the time during some years. For those of you who have serious weight problems like I did, sitting on a plane is the most miserable thing you can do when you are obese. The people next to you don’t like it, you are uncomfortable and it is just plain embarrassing to be bigger than your seat. So that is one of the things I enjoy most about traveling these days.

I can fit in any seat on the plane. I’ll even take a window seat now, whereas before it was only an isle so I could lean away from the seat next to me. It’s these small things in life that make the weight loss journey so worth the effort.

Good luck to all of you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. I promise you it is worth it.