Lisa’s Bariatric Surgery Story
Many people struggle with their weight, even when making positive changes to try and control it. Before she came to MetroWest Medical Center, Lisa Ahern was among those who didn’t seem to be making any progress despite her best efforts. “I was overweight and diabetic,” recalls Lisa. “I had joined the gym. I paid money for a personal trainer. And I was really trying to lose weight. But it was definitely a battle. Then I went to my regular physician for a checkup and I had gained more weight.”
Lisa was devastated. “I just started crying in the office,” Lisa says. “That’s when my physician handed me Dr. Ameri’s card.”
Finding the right solution
Lisa met with Darius Ameri, MD, FACS, one of the bariatric surgeons at MetroWest Medical Center’s Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program. They discussed the three bariatric surgery options offered at MetroWest: gastric bypass, lap band and adjustable gastric sleeve.
“Being a 40-something woman, everybody around me seemed to be doing the lap band, including all my girlfriends. It seemed like the thing to do.” But Dr. Ameri was concerned that Lisa would not get the results she wanted with the lap band procedure. He suggested that gastric bypass would be a better fit for Lisa, and enable her to lose the amount of weight she wanted.
“The bypass was more frightening to me, I thought it was so invasive,” says Lisa. “But the way Dr. Ameri looked at me and the way he talked to me… there was just something about him that made me trust him right away. So I said, ‘I’ll do it.’”
The surgery process
Once they decided on the right treatment for her, Lisa began preparing for surgery. This included comprehensive testing and education from cardiologists, behaviorists, nutritionists and other professionals that ensured she was ready for surgery and had the tools she needed to maintain healthy weight loss after surgery.
“I had all these doctor’s appointments to get ready for surgery,” says Lisa. “But the team at MetroWest was so good about making everything happen. They made all the appointments for me. It was very simple. If I needed to cancel and reschedule it was easy and very quick. It was wonderful. A couple of months later I had surgery and it went really well. I was in the hospital for around five days. I was very comfortable there. I didn’t have any problems at all.”
Once she returned home, Lisa’s recovery continued and it wasn’t long until she was returning to a more active life. “I don’t even think I was out of work a full two weeks,” recalls Lisa. “I knew that I needed to start walking and get back on my feet. Within a month I was back at the gym, walking on the treadmill. As soon as they said I could, I did.”
A whole new life
And what has Lisa been up to now that it’s been over a year since her surgery? “Half marathons, Warrior Dashes, zip-lining, whitewater rafting… My life is absolutely incredible,” says Lisa. “I’m 150 lbs. now. I lost 125 lbs. I followed the diet to the T. It’s to a point now where I can eat anything, I just choose not to.”
Looking back on her experience, Lisa has no regrets about her decision. “The experience was fantastic from start to finish,” says Lisa. “I couldn’t be happier. If I had questions about anything, Joanne (the bariatric program coordinator) was always right there to help. Therese, the office manager, she was absolutely wonderful as well. Everybody was just great.”