Winning at Weight Loss Together
Jeanne and Bill Garber of Poolesville, Maryland, had tried diet after diet yet still struggled to lose weight. After years with little or no results, the husband and wife decided to take a new approach and undergo bariatric surgery together at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center.
Bariatric surgery reduces the size of the stomach, helping people decrease the amount of food they eat and feel full longer. Jeanne underwent the procedure in January 2016 with Tuesday Cook, MD, bariatric surgeon at Shady Grove Medical Center. Bill had surgery with Dr. Cook two months later.
According to Dr. Cook, it is common for couples to undergo this surgery together.
"I have many couples who desire to lose weight in order to improve their health and their lifestyle," Dr. Cook said. "Having your lifetime partner by your side throughout the entire process, supporting you every step of the way, usually leads to better compliance and outcomes."
She said pairing up for weight loss can have a positive impact on the whole family. Grocery trips become healthier, and cooking nutritious meals become a family affair.
If a couple is considering undergoing weight-loss surgery together, Dr. Cook recommends staggering the procedure dates. Separating the surgeries allows for the postoperative spouse to be in great shape to take care of the spouse who has surgery next while balancing any household responsibilities.
Nearly two years after surgery, Jeanne has lost 145 pounds and Bill has lost 225 pounds.
“We enjoy so much more today, and I’m amazed how many things I took for granted that I didn’t even realize I couldn’t do,” Jeanne said. “We are actually living.”
The couple exercises and travels regularly these days — activities that were nearly impossible a few years ago.
“I wish I had had this surgery earlier because I feel like I’ve missed out on so much,” Jeanne said. “What would I say to someone considering this? Do it. Take the leap.”
According to Shady Grove Medical Center’s Bariatric Program medical director, Barry Greene, MD, anyone who is 60 pounds or more overweight can benefit from the procedure.
“Weight-loss surgery has been shown to be safer than obesity,” Dr. Greene said. “Significant, long-term weight loss often cures diseases like diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea and allows patients to enjoy their [lives] again.
Recovering from weight-loss surgery is easier than you may think. Most patients have little discomfort and return to work in one week, Dr. Greene said.
Following weight-loss surgery, it’s necessary to make a few changes to your lifestyle. Because of the surgery, patients eat a smaller volume of food and are encouraged to follow a low-carb, healthy diet. Dr. Greene said that on average, patients lose approximately 100 pounds following surgery.
The Bariatric Program at Shady Grove Medical Center is nationally recognized for its commitment to quality, patient safety and excellent outcomes. Shady Grove’s safe, high-quality care has passed rigorous review to earn accreditation from the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program, which is the gold standard for weight-loss surgery programs.
Shady Grove Medical Center’s dedicated Bariatric Unit features all private rooms. Additionally, nurses and team members are specially trained to care for bariatric patients following surgery.
YOUR JOURNEY THROUGH BARIATRIC SURGERY
Weight Loss Surgery Seminar
Shady Grove Medical Center’s bariatric surgeons host free, informational weight-loss surgery seminars. Attend in person or through an online webinar.
Nutritional Counseling and Weight-Loss Surgery Education
Classes are offered twice a month and taught by both a certified bariatric nurse and bariatric registered dietitian.
Management of Chronic Conditions
Caregivers work with patients to get conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure under control so the patient is able to undergo surgery.
The surgery itself typically lasts 90 minutes to three hours. Shady Grove’s specialized bariatric surgery team cares for patients throughout the procedure.
Most bariatric surgery patients go home in one to two days. By then, they can do most things, such as shower or use stairs.
Patients can attend free support groups at the hospital both before and after surgery.
Long-Term Follow Up
Our bariatric team frequently checks on patients once they’ve gone home, including a six-month post-surgery visit and a yearly appointment.