"I used to be a ballerina, and now that I’m able to exercise regularly and have been losing weight, I’ll finally be able to get back into dancing!” Melissa says.
After 52-year-old Melissa Rizzitello of Lakewood spoke with a colleague who’d undergone bariatric surgery, she decided it was time to set up an appointment. After a careful evaluation, Ragui Sadek, MD, FACS, recommended gastric sleeve surgery.
Melissa had considered bariatric surgery for several years. Having worked as a counselor for Jenny Craig, she knew the conventional methods of weight loss, but after she’d tried them, lost some weight and gained it back, she wanted a surer way to reduce the health risks that come with obesity.
“When I met with Melissa, I recommended she also meet with a nutritionist, a pulmonologist, a gastroenterologist and a psychologist, making sure that surgery really was the best option,” says Dr. Sadek, board-certified surgeon with Advanced Surgical and Bariatric of NJ and on staff at CentraState. “We decided on gastric sleeve surgery, a minimally invasive procedure performed with a lower complication rate than the national average.”
The same week Melissa was scheduled for surgery, she was also moving. The adult community where she was moving offers exercise classes, so she looked forward to invigorating lifestyle changes as she progressed after the procedure.
“Since I’d elected to undergo the procedure and understood everything that was happening, I wasn’t afraid at all,” Melissa recalls. “I think I was more stressed about moving!”
Melissa underwent surgery and Dr. Sadek removed the majority of her stomach, connecting the remaining sections with state-of-the-art stapler devices. Over time, this will allow Melissa to reduce her calorie consumption without feeling cravings.
Now, Melissa feels hungry less often and satisfied more quickly by smaller portions of food, and she had lost 40 pounds by late July. She’s happy to have more energy to take care of her dogs, and looks forward to returning to one of her old loves—dance.
“I used to be a ballerina, and now that I’m able to exercise regularly and have been losing weight, I’ll finally be able to get back into dancing!” Melissa says.