My Patients


Personal Stories

Nicole - San Diego, CA

Weight Loss Surgery Patient

I struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. As I entered into my 40’s I was the heaviest I had ever been. Not only was my weight a problem, I developed hypertension too. As a Nurse Practitioner, I knew I needed to lose weight; I just couldn’t do it on my own. I had tried so many diets. They all worked…but the weight just kept coming back.

I knew the gastric bypass surgery was the Gold Standard in weight loss surgery. It has the best outcome for weight loss maintenance than any other method of weight loss. I knew this because for several years I assisted surgeons with the laparoscopic gastric bypass roux-en-Y in the operating room. I have been an RN First Assistant at surgery for several years, and have helped perform the operation over 1000 times. One surgeon in particular that I enjoyed working with was Dr. Julie Ellner.

Nicole After Gastric Bypass Surgery
Nicole after gastric bypass surgery
After working with Dr Ellner in the operating room, I knew I wanted her to perform the procedure on me. Her surgical technique was excellent, and I knew I would be in expert hands. I helped perform this surgery so many times; it was obvious to me that Dr. Ellner was an exceptionally skilled bariatric surgeon. Another quality that Dr. Ellner possessed that I was drawn to was the genuine concern and compassion she had for all of her patients. I felt very comfortable with her operating on me.

I had my surgery on November 14, 2011, and It has been an exciting and wonderful journey ever since! The recovery was pretty uneventful, and I was back to work after 2 weeks. The time flew by, and the pounds dropped pretty quickly. I weigh 135 pounds after one year, and I am loving spending more time with my family doing the things I never felt comfortable doing: swimming (in a bathing suit, not shorts and a tank top), playing outdoor sports with my daughter, boating, hiking, and of course, shopping! I am also enjoying being an inspiration to my patients who are considering weight loss surgery. It feels good knowing that I am helping others achieve their goals too.

I am so glad that I had the surgery, and I would do it all over again. Dr. Ellner has been there with me and my family all the way. I am so glad that Dr. Elllner and I worked together in the OR. It has changed my life 100%. I have never been happier or healthier!