Patient Success Stories
Carolyn Smiser is living proof that you truly can turn back the hands of time and she’s living proof that it’s never to late to try. At 64, Carolyn is not only full of life; she’s living life to the fullest. Whether she is conducting safety training courses in surface and underground mining operations, gliding down a runway modeling beautiful clothes for Dillard’s, or kicking it up in a high intensity Krav Maga class, Carolyn embraces every day as if it was a bonus gift.
It’s hard to believe that five years ago Carolyn did not expect to be around for too much longer. She felt that she had lost her lifelong battle with obesity, a condition she believed she should have been able to address on her own. And, over the years, she continued to rack up not only pounds but serious health issues like sleep apnea, diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, high blood pressure and major joint and mobility problems as well. As a matter of fact, Carolyn had to use a scooter to do her shopping because her excessive weight had created major tears in the cartilage of her knees. Before 2007, Carolyn never considered getting medical help and she never considered that her lifestyle was contributing to her weight.More
If you had told Mark Noblitt just a few years ago that he’d be able to get on a road bike and crank out 100 miles without blinking an eye, he’d have thought you were crazy. That’s because just a few short years ago Mark topped the scales at almost 500 lbs.
Prior to December 2008, he wasn’t even aware of what he weighed because he had not weighed himself for years and when he did, he’d have to go to the local truck stop where he’d weigh his car, get out and reweigh his car to determine his weight.
Today, Mark is a picture of health and is in the best physical condition of his life. Following gastric bypass surgery in 2008, Mark has lost a total of 275 pounds. His decision to have weight loss surgery was as personal for him as he believes it is for everyone. “I really think that this is an individual journey and for each person it’s different,” says Mark. His decision came when he had reached his darkest hour. Surgery for him was the “court of last resort” because he knew that if he “didn’t make this work” that he was going to be in really bad shape.More
I come from a family with a history of obesity. Everything revolved around food. When we were happy, we ate; sad, we ate; bored, we ate. Needless to say, there is also a family history of heart disease, diabetes and strokes.
When I discovered I was considered morbidly obese, I was shocked. I had honestly never thought of myself as that fat, despite being overweight my whole life and consistently having doctors encourage me to lose weight. My diet-battle began when I was six years old. My mom was attending Diet Center, and they placed me in the program as well. Throughout the remainder of my pre-teen and teen years, I tried all types of diets, including prescription weight-loss drugs and even Phen-Fen.More
I started thinking about weight loss surgery in the fall of 1997. I was a newlywed, but it wasn’t going well and I was desperate to make my husband happy. When we met five years earlier I weighed about 135-40 pounds, which was a good weight for me. Since our meeting, I had steadily gained weight year by year until I reached 214 pounds. I’m not sure what it was that caused the weight gain – lack of exercise, motivation and an ongoing bout with depression were the main culprits. I tried everything from fad diets and dangerous drugs to bingeing and purging, but nothing seemed to work. When my relationship with my fiancé began going downhill, food became my new best friend. My family had always turned to food, so for me, it was a natural solution. After gaining so much weight in just a few years, I made the decision to have weight loss surgery.More
When my husband and I decided to try and have a child, the year was 1992 and I weighted 145 pounds. After multiple pregnancy losses, I began to gain weight – about ten pounds every year until I totaled 245 pounds. We knew we wanted to attempt to get pregnant one more time, but before we tried, I wanted to lose some weight.
I began to hear people at work talking about weight loss surgery. I started attending the monthly support meetings hosted by New Dimensions Weight Loss Surgery so that I could better educate myself about the process. After six months of meetings, I made my first appointment with the surgeon who eventually performed my operation, Dr. Pilcher.More
I started gaining weight as a young child. I remember looking in the Sears catalog and having to search for the oval that said “chubby girls.” At times it was hard to find something other than food to give me comfort. I never realized how much emphasis I put on food not only for those bad times, but also for the good times, the sad times, etc.
My weight loss surgery journey began when a friend who was interested in surgery asked me to check with the doctors I worked with at Northeast Ambulatory Surgery to see who they recommended. Many of them recommended Dr. John Pilcher, and I passed that information on to my friend.More
After being overweight for many years, making the decision to have weight loss surgery wasn’t one that I entered into lightly or impulsively. I had an initial consultation with Dr. John Pilcher, the doctor who eventually became my surgeon, in February 1998.
At the time, weight loss surgery was unpopular not only with general public but with my family as well. No one, including my wife, was enthusiastic about me having surgery and I personally didn’t feel it was God’s timing. I decided surgery was not an option, but it always stayed in the back of my mind. A year passed and I continued to struggle with both the physical and emotional effects of my weight. I always tried my best to hide my emotions.More