My Patients


Personal Stories

Rick - San Diego, CA


y name is Rick and I decided to start my weight loss journey last September when I turned 50. I took a good long look at myself and determined that if I wanted to enjoy the things around me for years to come I needed to do something about it. I have a beautiful wife, four terrific children and the most amazing nine grand children. It was time for me. I started looking at different procedures that I thought would benefit me.

Rick 6 Months After Lap Band Surgery
Six Months Post Surgery

I had tried all those other weight loss procedures. I was on line and saw an ad for a seminar at Alvarado Hospital about a weight loss seminar. I registered and decided to give it a whirl. What I found there was the most amazing Doctor and person that I had ever met. Dr. Julie Ellner is simply the best. I was amazed by her two hour seminar and knew right then that I needed to make an appointment to see her. I called the very next morning and scheduled an appointment with her.

The day I met her changed my life. She took the time to explain everything that I needed to know about the different types of surgery that were available to me. I had already decided through research that I wanted the "Band". She told me that this would be a lifetime commitment from me to change my life. After a lifetime of being overweight this commitment would be the best decision I ever made.

When I first met her she asked me what my goals were. I told her that I wanted to lose between 75 and 100 pounds. She told me that that was possible but again stressed that this would be a lot of work and commitment by me. I was ready for the challenge. She gave me a list of thing that I needed to do to prepare for the surgery. Her staff worked with my insurance company and I got the green light.

The day I met her for the first time, I weighed almost 380 pounds. Today, five months later I am happy to say that I weigh 285 pounds. I feel like a different person. My wife, children and grandchildren have all noticed the difference in my health and my energy levels . I am now off of my blood pressure medicine and my cholesterol medicine. Wow what a difference!

This process has been an eye opening experience for not only me but the people around me. Everyone wants to know my secret. It's really not a secret it's a choice. I spent the first 50 years of my life letting my weight bring me down and not being able to enjoy certain things in life. I am completely determined not to let the next 50 years of my life be without rewards and success.

I have always wanted to fly in a helicopter and I have always been unable to because of the weight restrictions that they have. Well, this is my year - we are taking a vacation in May to Alaska and this yearm, after three previous trips, I will fulfill my dream and fly in that helicopter to the top of the Mendenhall Glacier!

From now on my rewards are all a result of the hard work and determination that I got from a two hour seminar when I met the second most extraordinary woman in the world. "Wife always comes first!" Thank you Dr Ellner for giving me my life back!

6 Months Later...

Rick After Lap Band Surgery

Just an update on my weight loss journey. I had my surgery on December 22 2011 and since then my life has changed drastically. A lot of things that I used to take for granted that I couldn't do have now become a reality. It's amazing that as the weight comes off you regain your confidence.

One of my biggest goals was to ride in a helicopter. It's always been a dream. I had been to Alaska three previous times and I always wanted to ride the helicopter to the top of the Mendenhall Glacier but I was always told that due to my size and weight, I could not go. Well this year, six months after surgery and over a one hundred pound weight loss I was finally able to live a dream. Not only did I ride in the helicopter but the pilot weighed exactly the same as me so I got to ride in the co-pilot's seat. What a thrill!! Not only did we land on the top of the Mendenhall Glacier but the pilot took us on a special ride, through some amazing areas where we got to see grizzly bears feasting on salmon and wild gray wolves trotting through the snow capped mountains. This just simply wasn't possible at my prior weight.

Rick After Weight Loss Surgery

Speaking of things not previously possible... We took a cruise to get to Alaska and it was great to be on the ship and not be preoccupied with the food. I actually had a great time and the best part wasn't the food because I was so busy enjoying my new energy level. The ship was huge, so I got plenty of exercise walking the decks AND taking the stairs! I bounced up and down the stairs while my wife and her friends took the elevators - sometimes for 20 or more flights - and I beat them to the destination floor! Why did I do it? Because I could. Because I'm loving my energy and the way my body finally works the way it should.

I am making up for lost time now -- my wife has already booked us on a trip to the Caribbean in January next year and I am looking forward to showing off my new body. No more will I let extra weight be a factor determining whether or not I can or can't go someplace or do something. Roller coasters/scuba diving/snorkeling/motorcycles here I come.

Thank you Dr Ellner for being such a great life coach and giving me back my confidence. I love the new me !

If you would like to talk to me about my journey before you begin yours or if you just want to talk to someone who has already gone through the process please feel free to contact me via email or call me on my cell phone at (619) 368-9037.