My Patients


Personal Stories


before gastric bypass surgery
Before My Journey Started


t's been 18 months since I began my journey and I am approaching the one year anniversary of my weight loss surgery. Weight loss surgery was one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I never had a weight issue until I quit smoking and was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in my early thirties. One of the side effects of PCOS is weight gain and the weight just continued to increase over the next 17 years. I was 296 lbs when I started this journey and I was at the heaviest I have ever been. I was truly unhappy with myself and could not stand to have my picture taken. My health was being affected by the weight - I had high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and was bordering on having to take blood pressure medication. I tried every diet under the sun but was not actually committed until after we traveled to Europe. I barley fit in the airplane seat and I needed a seat belt extender. I could hardly walk due to the swelling in my ankles and feet. I was miserable and this was when I decided I had to get the weight under control and make my health a priority.

after gastric bypass surgery
After Gastric Bypass Surgery

A really good friend came across Dr Ellner’s seminar through the website and asked me if I would attend with her. We had attended a seminar and considered weight loss surgery about ten years ago however our insurance would not cover it so we basically gave up on surgery as an option. We attended the seminar and were both really impressed with Dr Ellner’s compassion and expertise in the field of weight loss surgery. We listened to the success stories of previous patients and never looked back, we started the process with Dr Ellner that night! Not only were we having major surgery we were going through a lifestyle change so I was blessed to be able to share the experience with her.

I had to be on a regulated diet for six months in order to gain approval from my health insurance so I began Dr. Ellner’s liver shrinking diet. I had made my mind up and actually stayed committed to the diet. I lost 65 lbs before surgery. Dr Ellner was a huge supporter through the whole process and continues to take my health very seriously - you are her patient for a lifetime. The office staff is very knowledgeable and handled every aspect of working with my health insurance company for approval and scheduling.

before gastric bypass surgery

Since having weight loss surgery I have lost 126 more pounds and feel better than ever. I am about 15 pounds from my goal weight and am very determined to lose it before my one year anniversary. I have been off of cholesterol medication since the day of surgery and my blood pressure has returned to a healthy level. Before surgery, I could barely walk around the block without back pain from the weight and now I can hike five miles with no issues. We recently traveled to Greece and I fit in the airplane seat (with room!) and was able to walk for days with no swelling in my ankles or feet. Before surgery the thought of working out was daunting to me, now I love the sessions with the personal trainer and it is beginning to pay off because I can see my body changing. I have changed my relationship with food. I still enjoy some of my favorites and my “tool” just limits the amount for me.

It is a very true statement that people look at you differently when you are heavy, I have experienced this and notice the difference since my weight loss. I am grateful to have been able to have the surgery and get my life back in control. It has not been an easy journey but was worth it to feel good about myself again.

Twyla After Gastric Bypass Surgery