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Local Woman Grateful for new Life after Weight Loss Surgery

Joliet, IL (April 1, 2011) — After many years of unhealthy habits, Norma suffered from joint pain, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. “I was taking many medications and felt so lethargic,” said Crest Hill resident Norma Phillips. Fortunately, Norma’s health has greatly improved since she lost nearly 80 pounds after her REALIZE™ Adjustable Gastric Band weight loss surgery at Silver Cross Hospital in October of 2008.

“Since my surgery I have regained my life back and I am full of energy,” said 66 year-old Phillips. “Plus my husband is so pleased with my improved health and greater energy level.”local-woman-weight-loss-surgery

In addition to her increased zest for life, Phillips’ post-surgery illnesses have been eliminated. “All of my previous chronic health conditions have gone away since my surgery and I only take a water pill and my BMI vitamins each day,” she said. “It is so freeing not to have to take so many medications anymore.”

After researching bariatric weight loss surgery programs, Phillips attended her first educational seminar where weight loss surgery doctors explained how difficult it was for her body to lose weight. Her metabolism was so out of sync due to a lifetime of yoyo dieting.   Free informational seminars are held every Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. on the Silver Cross Hospital Campus in Joliet. 

Her surgeon was Dr. Brian Lahmann with Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery (BMI Surgery) at Silver Cross Hospital.  Dr. Lahmann and his partner, Dr. Christopher Joyce, have performed over 2,000 surgeries including laparoscopic gastric bypass laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, and Lap-Band and REALIZE™ gastric band systems. BMI Surgery is a Bariatric Center of Excellence as well as a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery. They are dedicated to helping patients win their personal battles with obesity and enjoy happier and healthier lives.

Patients benefit from a multidisciplinary approach, with the help of many different departments at Silver Cross. "Patients see an exercise physiologist, dietitian, cardiologist, psychologist, pulmonologist, and a bariatric nurse to get them ready for surgery," says Dr. Lahmann. "We screen our patients very carefully to ensure their success and safety." 

But once the surgery is over, the work has just begun for the patient. They achieve their weight loss goals by keeping to a post-operative lifestyle, which includes changed eating habits and regular exercise.

“Norma is a wonderful example of how life-changing bariatric surgery can be. Her dedication to adhering to the program by eating well and exercising are impressive,” says Dr. Lahmann.

"I couldn't have found a better program," says Phillips. “The BMI Surgery and Silver Cross Hospital staffs were wonderful! I felt Dr. Lahmann and the hospital’s staff were extremely focused on my post-surgical care as they described everything at each step of the process.  They were truly a key in my recovery.”

But once the surgery is over, the work has just begun for the patient. They achieve their weight loss goals by adhering to a post-operative lifestyle, which includes changed eating habits and regular exercise. Norma says "In order to be successful after the surgery you must understand that it is a process to lose the weight. But Dr. Lahmann and his staff prepare you for each step making it easier for you to succeed at reaching your goal weight."

The American Society of Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery defines the morbidly obese as those with a body mass of 40 or above, or, for a normal height woman, being more than 100 pounds overweight. Patients with a BMI of 35 and higher, who are suffering the medical consequences of obesity, are often best treated with bariatric surgery as opposed to nonsurgical weight loss. Those who are morbidly obese are at a higher risk of mortality and such extreme obesity puts people at risk for numerous life threatening disease, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

To find out more about the bariatric surgery program at Silver Cross Hospital, attend a free informational session on both traditional and laparoscopic surgery on any Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. in the Specialty Care Pavilion at the hospital, 1300 Copperfield Ave, in Joliet.  To attend, register here org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

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