Weight Management Center

Patient Stories

Richard and Helma

Richard and Helma

Macungie • Lost 100 pounds each
Laparoscopic Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass

My husband, Richard, and I both struggled with our weight. And as it often happens with married couples, we had similar issues – a long history of unhealthy eating habits and little to no exercise regimen. We gained weight over the course of many years and as we got older, it was harder to lose. I was diagnosed with diabetes and high cholesterol, but was not on medication for it yet. Richard suffered from sleep apnea, high blood pressure and diabetes. After seeing ads for St. Luke’s bariatric surgery, we decided to research our options.

We attended local hospital programs offering bariatric surgery and were very impressed by the breadth and depth of the St. Luke’s Weight Loss Program. The St. Luke’s approach included highly qualified and experienced doctors, but did not stop there. They also offered a supportive staff which included small group information sessions given by a social worker and access to a nutritionist, in addition to broad-based supports such as monthly, large, group support meetings. This broad-based approach as well as the reputation of the program and the St. Luke’s surgeons sold us.

Our insurance required a six month period of time prior to surgery in order to review healthy nutrition, exercise and the process of bariatric weight loss and surgery and we needed those six months to wrap our heads around the process and commit to making the necessary lifestyle changes to support our weight loss goals.

Richard and I decided to do the surgeries together – the same day, to be exact, one right after the other. It was helpful because we always supported each other and we continue to support each other through our journey.

Almost immediately after surgery, we both noticed a difference. Richard’s sleep apnea and high blood pressure were resolved and he significantly reduced his insulin level to treat his Type 1 diabetes. Each month post surgery brought us closer to our weight loss goals. We can now walk at a much quicker pace and for a greater length of time than before. We can go on a hike without a problem (including hills) that we would have thought twice about trying in the past. We both feel better about ourselves. We’ve gained self-esteem, confidence and greater energy because of our weight loss.

Richard and I tell anyone thinking about bariatric surgery to go to the information sessions and talk to someone who has had it done and talk to your physician to see if it might be a medical fit for you. And give yourself time to think about it while exploring the option. For me, I wish I would have done it much sooner. Instead, I put myself through years of feeling like a failure because I could not reset my body’s set point to a normal degree no matter what I tried via diet and exercise. This surgery and the healthy lifestyle that you must follow in order to stay slender has been life changing for both of us.

Return to Patient Stories