By Jacob Luecke and Ursula Kthiri
As a nurse in Parkland Health Center’s Intensive Care Unit, each day Angela Weiss sees people battling serious health problems. Not long ago, she also saw something else in her patients.
“It felt like I was seeing my future,” Weiss said.
Weiss had long struggled with her weight. She also had high blood pressure and was insulin resistant. All of these put her health at serious risk.
Seeking to make a change, Weiss decided to try a surgical option to help her lose weight.
Surgical weight loss had been added as a BJC HealthCare employee health benefit at the beginning of 2011. Weiss reached out to Boone Hospital Center’s Weight Loss Surgery program.
“Boone has a great reputation for quality care,” Weiss said. “When I called them, they were very easy to talk to, and made me feel like they were interested in my wellbeing.”
After participating in pre-surgery education and dieting, Weiss came to Boone Hospital on July 5 and had a gastric band placed on her stomach by Dr. Thomas Etter.
The band works by reducing a patient’s stomach capacity. With gastric banding, patients get full faster and stay full longer.
Weiss said her surgery went well.
“I felt so good and had so much energy,” she said. “I wasn’t sore at all. Recovery was very easy.”
Weiss said the surgery helped her eat less without feeling hungry.
“I can still eat everything I ate before, just much less of it,” she said. “I eat around 4-6 ounces of food at a meal and I don’t feel hungry. The ‘head’ hunger is gone, and I get hungry at the appropriate times.”
With this change, Weiss has already lost 62 pounds. In addition to the weight loss, her blood pressure is now normal and she no longer takes blood pressure medicine. She’s also seen her cholesterol and non-fasting blood sugar drop. In addition, she’s stopped getting the daily headaches that have bothered her for most of her life.
“I feel like a different person,” Weiss said.
But more than anything, Weiss said the surgery has improved how she feels about herself.
“I can do more, feel happier, and I even work better,” she said. “I feel more valuable.”
With improved health, and a better life, Weiss’s future is looking brighter all the time.
“This program has changed my life. It’s changed my family. I’ll be around longer for them,” she said.
To learn more about Boone Weight Loss Surgery, visit http://www.boone.org/weightloss. You can also call the hospital’s Coordinator of Bariatrics, Lisa Schaffer, at 573-815-6447, or reached her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.