My Patients


Personal Stories

Rachel - San Diego, CA

Rachel Before Weight Loss SurgeryF

irst, I’d like to congratulate you all for having the courage to come to this website and get more information about health and weight loss. I know from personal experience that weight is a touchy subject and it can be very embarrassing to seek help. Before I met Dr. Ellner and decided to have gastric bypass surgery, I used to feel so ashamed that I hadn’t been able to lose the weight on my own.

Pain After Weight Loss Surgery, CNN InterviewMy battle with weight began when I started law school in 2006. In the three years it took to earn my degree I gained almost 100 pounds. I ate when I was bored. I ate when I was stressed. I ate when I felt sad or lonely. And because school required so much from me I rarely put aside my books to go to the gym. I began taking medication for depression and anxiety and I felt like I had lost control of my body.

After graduation I felt sure that I could re-commit to a healthy lifestyle and lose the weight. I tried Nutri-System, Weight Watchers, Atkins, and the South Beach Diet. I’d lose 20-30 pounds only to gain it all back a few months later.

Being overweight was a constant source of stress and frustration for me. Almost every time I went out I would get upset about the way my clothes fit. I never wanted to be in pictures and in 2010 I avoided seeing my family for the holidays.

Rachel's Weight Loss Success with Dr. EllnerI began to realize that I couldn’t lose the weight on my own—I needed a big change! I started to see advertisements everywhere for weight loss surgery and began researching the different procedures and programs in San Diego. I found Dr. Ellner’s website and I was very affected by the testimonials of some of her patients. As a woman, I liked the idea of having a female surgeon. After my first meeting with Dr. Ellner I knew that I trusted her and I wanted her to perform my surgery. She has a calming presence and is clearly passionate about her patients’ success.

Rachel After Weight Loss Surgery
18 months after gastric bypass, I had the wedding of my dreams!
I had gastric bypass surgery on July 25, 2011. I was pretty terrified but the procedure and recovery went exactly as Dr. Ellner had explained to me. The first few months were the hardest for me. I realized what a huge role food had played in my life. Suddenly I couldn’t go to my favorite restaurants and order the unhealthy foods I used to crave. I had to find new things to do and new ways to comfort myself. A cup of herbal tea instead of a candy bar. A walk with a friend instead of a lunch date. Some of my friends told me that they felt guilty eating in front of me. This was very awkward at times but as the months went on I was able to add more things to my diet.

My whole relationship with food has changed for the better. Also, I did have thinning of my hair. This really upset me at the time but it’s coming back now. Dr. Ellner told me that people notice hair thinning typically from the third to the sixth month, and I’m glad it’s over! While most other people don’t notice it, I noticed it when I shampooed and brushed my hair and it’s scary when it happens.

In the last year I’ve lost 100 pounds and I’ve gained back my confidence, energy, and happiness. I’m getting married on December 1, 2012 and I can’t explain the sense of accomplishment that I felt when I went to try on wedding dresses. I felt like I could wear any dress I wanted because they all fit me properly – it’s so good to just feel normal.

I’m so grateful to Dr. Ellner and to her fantastic staff. Also I want to thank my amazing fiancé Kevin for standing by me through this entire journey and for always telling me that I look beautiful.