"I have a different life now than I ever thought I would have"

Lydia Rella lost more than 120 pounds after having weight-loss surgery at Palmdale Regional Medical Center. She shares her story:

"Months before I decided to undergo weight-loss surgery, my mother became very ill with a bowel obstruction, had major surgery and was hospitalized for three weeks with another month and a half in a rehabilitation center. She and I have always had issues with weight gain. Her surgery wasn’t directly caused by her weight, but I witnessed how her weight impacted every part of her body. Every condition, minor or major, was made worse by her weight: her heart function, her blood sugar, high cholesterol and so on. It was terrifying, especially because we are so similar body wise. I saw it as a scary view into my possible future and it looked very bleak. I’d seen other people have weight-loss surgery and viewed it as a “last resort,” but maybe I needed that very thing.

I’ve dieted before, so it’s not to say that I haven’t had success. I never had lasting success. Sugar was my kryptonite. Bread, pasta and rice weren’t far behind either. Weight Watchers, Medifast, calorie tracking and gym memberships were all tools I’d used before with random success. I’d lose 30 and gain back 40 — up and down the roller coaster — without ever actually reaching my goal weight. Something more drastic was definitely warranted if I wanted to be healthy.

A friend of mine had recently undergone the gastric sleeve procedure, which I hadn’t heard of before. I liked the fact that your system basically works in the same way, just with a smaller stomach area. Bypass felt too drastic for me for the amount of extra weight I was carrying. So, I started researching the best doctors near me on the internet and found Dr. John Yadegar. I spoke with my primary care doctor. He agreed that this could be an excellent option for me and submitted the referral to Dr. Yadegar. While I was hesitant because of the drive, I was also ecstatic because of his reputation and reviews. It’s more important to get the right doctor, than the one you’re referred to, in my opinion."

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After all my appointments, testing and Dr. Yadegar’s required education and test, I went under the knife. I can honestly say I have never been more thoroughly prepared for a surgery. Ever. I spent three days total in the hospital and the staff at Palmdale Regional Medical Center was fantastic. Staying in a hospital wing dedicated solely to abdominal surgery makes you feel very comfortable. You know you’re with a staff familiar with the procedure as well as patients that are probably in your same situation. The information given to me via Dr. Yadegar’s office made all the difference in my being able to advocate for myself and have a healthy end result.

The office staff and Dr. Yadegar are truly amazing. I have a different life now than I ever thought I would have. I started my journey at 248 pounds and now two years post-surgery maintain a weight around 125. A boot-camp style gym three times a week has become part of my life and I can actually say I am in better shape than I was in high school. It takes work and it’s a tool, not magic. It’s my job to use that tool well to ensure that I have a healthy future. Dr. Yadegar and his staff have made that possible and I couldn’t be more grateful."