"I've been given back my life"
Weight was always a sensitive issue for Chrissy Geiser. For most of her life she was on a roller coaster of dieting, with no success. When her weight began to raise serious health concerns and limit her ability to do things with her son, she decided she was ready to make a lifelong change.
“My entire life I dieted and tried everything, including starving myself, which is not healthy,” says Chrissy, a single mom. “I always ended up in the same spot.”
“My family has a history of diabetes and congestive heart failure,” she says. “I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I wanted to regain my health. I wanted to be there for my son. I also wanted to be a role model for him.”
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To find out if you are a candidate for weight-loss surgery or for more information about the program at Palmdale Regional, please call 661-382-5051.
In January 2015, she attended a consultation with bariatric surgeon John Yadegar, MD, at Palmdale Regional Medical Center. “I’d seen other people go through the weight-loss surgery process with Dr. Yadegar, and I was inspired by them,” says Chrissy, who is the Education Coordinator at Palmdale Regional Medical Center. “They’ve had nothing but the best things to say.”
After carefully considering the options, Chrissy decided that a gastric sleeve procedure was the right choice for her. With this procedure, 75 to 80 percent of the stomach is removed, reducing hunger.
“It’s a lifestyle change, it’s not a fad diet,” she says of the surgery that would help her go from a size 22 to a size two to four. “You start changing your way of life and being healthy months before the surgery. You attend support groups where you can talk with people who have already been through it.”
The focus on preparation by Dr. Yadegar and his staff reassured Chrissy throughout the process. “There’s no fear because you’re well-educated,” she says. “The staff is amazing, and Dr. Yadegar has the best bedside manner. They just make you feel comfortable.”
With bariatric surgery, Chrissy lost 85 pounds, and her blood pressure and cholesterol problems have resolved. Today at age 38, she is totally committed to a healthy diet and regular exercise.
“I don’t have knee pain every day anymore,” she says. “I don’t worry that I’m going to have a heart issue at a young age. At an amusement park, I don’t feel embarrassed about having to squeeze into a seat.”
“I don’t want people to think surgery is an easy way out, because it’s not,” she says. “It’s a lot of work, and you have to be ready to embrace the change.”
Dr. Yadegar, who says he considers his patients “an extension of the family,” remarked on Chrissy’s dedication and inner drive to succeed. “Chrissy also has a good sense of awareness and good support. These are all key elements to success,” he says.
“I can’t thank Dr. Yadegar enough,” Chrissy says. “I wanted to be healthy, and I am now in a healthy, happy place.”
Elective Weight-loss Surgery
Elective surgery for weight loss can offer extremely good results, but patients need to be mentally and physically prepared, and committed to lifelong changes, says bariatric surgeon John Yadegar, MD.
A minimally invasive approach supports faster recovery for patients at Palmdale Regional Medical Center, where three kinds of weight-loss surgery are offered: gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and adjustable gastric banding. While there is not a standard weight loss for everybody, Dr. Yadegar says that on average, patients who are committed and engaged can expect to lose 80 pounds or more for each 100 pounds they are overweight.
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Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if bariatric surgery is right for you.