Restaurant professional Sarah Jablonski was only 20 years old when she was diagnosed with prediabetes and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). After years of struggling with her weight and trying a variety of diet and exercise plans, her board-certified family medicine physician, Marc Feingold, MD, suggested she consider bariatric surgery.
“For some people, diet and exercise alone do not result in sustained weight loss,” says Dr. Feingold. “Sometimes another solution is needed to take off the excess weight and reduce weight-related medical issues.”
Dr. Feingold connected Sarah with Seun Sowemimo, MD, board-certified bariatric and general surgeon, who determined that Sarah would be a good candidate for sleeve gastrectomy.
Sleeve gastrectomy, also referred to as gastric sleeve or VSG, removes part of the stomach to make a smaller, banana-sized stomach or “sleeve.” This compact stomach makes one feel fuller faster, contributing to faster weight loss when paired with regular physical activity and a healthy diet post-surgery. Sleeve surgery offers another unique benefit—it removes a portion of the stomach that produces an appetite-stimulating hormone called ghrelin.
“I knew after my first meeting with Dr. Sowemimo that I would have the surgery,” recalls Sarah. “I had tried everything else.”
After a successful surgery, Sarah had the support she needed to help her stay on track to better health.
She attended pre- and post-operative private sessions with a bariatric dietitian and had access to free biweekly support group meetings, a bariatric group fitness program at CentraState Fitness & Wellness Center, and a monthly group workout with Dr. Sowemimo.
“I’ve seen it time and time again with my patients—after their surgery, they lose weight faster and it stays off for the long-term,” adds Dr. Sowemimo. “We equip them with the tools to follow a healthy lifestyle.”
A New Life One Year After Surgery
Sarah is no longer prediabetic and her chronic GERD symptoms are a thing of the past. She has lost 100 pounds so far and is just 20 pounds from her goal weight. She dropped 16 clothing sizes.
The weight loss has motivated her in many aspects of her life. She was promoted from a server to marketing manager at the restaurant where she works, and she recently enrolled in culinary school at night. She spends her free time hiking and jogging to boost her metabolism now that she has a professional desk job.
She adds that it is the little improvements that have made the most impact.
“I can buckle the seatbelt on a plane without needing an extension, walk into a clothing store and know I can find something to fit me, and ride on any amusement park ride,” Sarah says with a smile.
For more information about bariatric surgery at CentraState, visit centrastate.com/bariatrics or call 866-CENTRA7 (866-236-8727).