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Guest Blog: My Bariatric Surgery Success Story

This week we welcome Sean Amore as our guest blogger. Sean, weighing 483 pounds at the time, had gastric bypass surgery in March 2007. Having lost half of his body weight since, Sean continues his weight journey while living with his wife and daughter in Wichita, Kansas and working in public relations – writing about all of the above, and more, on his own blog, My Journey.

Sixteen months after gastric bypass surgery at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Connecticut, I’ve lost 240 pounds.

sean amore bariatric surgery sean amore bariatric surgery

I would credit my surgery for helping to change my life but I go out of my way on my blog and when I speak with people about my gastric bypass journey to make it clear that the surgery is not itself a silver bullet and is not a guarantee of weight loss or long term success. Statistically, the impacts of surgery only last about eighteen months. The rest, as they say, is up to “you.”

The short-term impact reality of surgery has left many people skeptical of gastric bypass. The lore of the procedure is that you wake up with a ping-pong ball sized pouch and are healed of all that ever ailed you when it came to food and diet. Life after gastric bypass is no different than life before. You have to stay vigilant to the diet, you have to exercise and you have to decouple and your emotions or you will not succeed.

I’ve spent the last two years working on my diet, my physical health and fitness, my mental health and fitness, trying to identify and master the emotional triggers that always drove me to food and trying to make myself a better overall person. I was only in surgery for four hours.

I believe three things will make all the difference in my long-term success:

Family and Friends – I have a great support system. My wife and daughter loved me at 500+ pounds and they love me today. My family and friends still cheer for me. I am looked out for and respected, no matter what. To have that security drives me to make “good” in return after years of not being the man I am becoming.

Diet – I have three simple rules 1 – Low fat, high protein. 2 – Low-to-no sugar (even “allowed” sugars). 3 – Every calorie counts so count every calorie. I made changes before surgery (stopped eating and drinking at the same time, reduced portions, counted calories, etc.) so that, by the time I returned to “real foods” after surgery, I was ready for my food reality. I still count every calorie every day and have found lots of help in blogs, and cookbooks, too.

Professional Support – I enrolled in a formal, medical program for my surgery. Nutritionists, blood work, stress tests, mental evaluations and counseling, mandatory pre-surgery weight loss, support groups, physical trainers and medical professionals who really understood obesity medicine, etc. I had six months of it before surgery and six months after (with ongoing visits for the rest of my life). If you look at the statistics –patients to just have the surgery with no real prep or follow up are often less successful with the surgery.

Simple diets or drastic gastric-bypass surgery, it is nearly impossible to have long-term, meaningful weight loss and improvement of quality of life without a true commitment to a life of changes.

July 11th, 2008

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I read your story and its too interseting..weight loss surgery gives you a new life with bright future in every part of life like in professional growth,family,friends etc.It seems like you feel lot of happiness after surgery.As i have seen your pic it also increases your personality also.
Your story tells us that gastric patient have to control the diet after having surgery.
Thanks for giving me the diet tips also.

posted Dec 23rd, 2010 4:47 am


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Gastric bypass is generally performed using a technique called Roux-en-Y, a procedure that reduces the size of the stomach to create a pouch that accepts no more than an ounce or so of food at a time. In Great Britain and the U.S., costs for bariatric surgery can cost up to $25,000. The same technique performed in India costs roughly $9,500, while South American destination costs hover around $10,000.

Conventional hip replacement surgery involves large incisions made around the hip joint. Muscles are detached, the ball joint of the hip removed and replaced with a prosthesis or artificial joint. The artificial joint is attached to the thighbone with materials that allow bone to reattach to the new joint or by using a cement-like product.

Thanks for everything, I'm so glad that I spoke to you and found such a wonderful Medical Procedures Overseas.

posted Aug 21st, 2010 4:51 am


Steve Myers, MD

Nice article by Sean. As a bariatric surgeon I tell my patients that the gastric bypass operation will help them lose weight for about 12 to 18 months as you aluded to in your article. However, assuming you make the basic changes that you should make in your lifestyle and eating habits the operation will help you a great deal even after 18 months to Maintain your weight at about the same weight as at 18 months from surgery. You should be confident that this tool will help you for life as long as you work with your gastric bypass. Best of luck! See my blog for further thoughts about sucess after bariatric surgery at . Keep up the great work!
Steve Myers, MD

posted Mar 3rd, 2010 11:00 pm


David

Hi Leigh Ann! I would email you but I don't have your email so I hope you see this post.

If you're looking for a healthy diet that comes with the support you need give MediFast a try. I started not to long ago and I'm astounded at my results. I'm 5'10' and soon I'll be reaching my goal of 165 lbs.

The program was originally designed to help people lose weight before surgery to reduce the risk of complications. Now it's used for anyone seeking to lose weight because it's so effective. I hope you'll try it because it's so much more than a diet. It's really a support team as well.

posted Sep 2nd, 2009 8:15 am


Leigh Ann armona-Diaz

I am looking for a support group in my area, Danbury, Ct please email me I am statrting to doubt myself again and do not want to pout weight back on and I feel it starting

posted Jul 17th, 2009 8:18 pm



   
 

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6 Responses to “Guest Blog: My Bariatric Surgery Success Story”


Steve Parker, M.D.
Jul 11th, 2008
5:54 pm

Congratulations, Sean, on your success!

I like your aphorism: “Every calorie counts, so count every calorie.” Fits in nicely with the current blogospheric emphasis on food diaries.

-Steve


Sylvie
Aug 5th, 2008
2:08 pm

It was really good to see a positive post about WLS after all the negative fear mongering ones I read before this. I myself had the surgery OCtober 2007 ad am down 85 lbs, 45 more to go. Couldn’t have made a better decision for myself and my lvoed ones.


Sean C. Amore
Aug 5th, 2008
2:14 pm

Thanks for the kind words, Steve. It sounds very simple to just be accountable for every calorie that I put in my mouth but, if I had always lived by such a “simple” rule – I would have never gotten to the state I was in. Now – actually FOLLOWING the rule – I realize just how easy and impactful it is.


Sean C. Amore
Aug 5th, 2008
2:16 pm

Hey, Sylvie. Thanks for checking in and sharing your story. I heard a MILLION things about gastric bypass for years before my surgery. Good. Bad. Scary. Exciting. I have found, as you know yourself, that every one has a VERY unique and different experience and the opinions (positive and negative) don’t really even factor in to your post-surgery reality.

Congrats on your early success and best wishes on reaching your goal. It seems like you have the right focus and energy . . . even putting making the decision for YOU before for your loved ones.


bariatric beds
Sep 28th, 2008
12:46 am

Hi, I am very surprised by this article. I had the gastric by-pass surgery in September of 2006 and the doctor’s office that did this highly recommends vitamins that are specially designed for people who have had this surgery


RaiulBaztepo
Mar 28th, 2009
7:49 pm

Hello!
Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
See you!
Your, Raiul Baztepo