Silver Cross Hospital

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When Jill Wojciechowski and her husband Brian decided to start a family, they couldn’t imagine the struggles that lay ahead of them, including visits to a fertility specialist and years of heartache before finally conceiving their now 7-year-old son John. The biggest hurdle they faced:  Jill’s health complications and her weight. 

High blood pressure, asthma, and acid reflux were just a few of the issues she faced. At 304 pounds, and after two prior attempts at weight-loss surgery where Jill admittedly “chickened out” at the last minute, they knew it was time. “Brian and I fought so hard to have our son, John; I knew I could not check out now,” she explained. That’s when she set up an appointment with BMI Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital and officially began her incredible weight-loss journey.

Photo caption: Before and after – following weight loss surgery at Silver Cross Hospital, Jill Wojciechowski has lost more than half her body weight and has a new lease on life.

Making the Decision

Every Wednesday, the BMI team hosts an informational group meeting called Obesity & Your Health for individuals considering weight-loss surgery. BMI surgeon Dr. Christopher Joyce speaks to patients and family members directly to answer questions. “BMI’s reputation meant everything to me,” Jill said. “They have a ‘fan following,’ and their results speak for themselves.” Under the care of Dr. Joyce, Jill underwent gastric bypass surgery in August 2016.  She remained in the hospital for two days where she received kind and compassionate care from Silver Cross Hospital staff.  “The nurses at Silver Cross who were in charge of my after-care while still an inpatient were wonderful; they were so knowledgeable about my procedure and knew exactly how to care for me.”

New Lease on Life

Just over two years later, Jill has lost more than half her body weight. At 144 pounds, she has a new lease on life and couldn’t imagine what her life would be like if she hadn’t mustered the courage to commit to her health. But the energetic wife and mother is quick to point out surgery was not the easy way out. “This is definitely a lifestyle change, not a one-time fix-all,” she explains. “You have to work hard at it.”

These days, Jill has more confidence and energy than ever before. She’s also a lot more social. “I maintain my good health by walking every single day, playing with my son John and keeping up with the nutritional class with BMI every three months,” she said. She also follows the eating and drinking guidelines of the “Bariatric Bible” to the letter and relies on her “support team, which includes my proud parents, my loving husband, Brian and my amazing co-workers.”   

In November of 2017, Jill and her family fulfilled a longtime wish when they ventured to Disney World in Florida. “I had no fear of not being able to fit on the ride! It made John so happy that his mom could do this with him!”  When asked if she would go through this procedure all over again, Jill said emphatically, “I have no regrets!”

Who is a Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?

The American Society of Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery defines the morbidly obese as those with a body mass index of 35 or above with comorbidities, 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 life threatening disease, including heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.

BMI Surgery has improved the lives of over 6,000 patients with life-changing surgeries including laparoscopic gastric bypass, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, ReShape, and Lap-Band and REALIZE gastric band systems at Silver Cross Hospital. Board-certified laparoscopic and bariatric surgeons Brian Lahmann, M.D., and Christopher Joyce, M.D., are dedicated to helping patients win their personal battles with obesity and enjoy healthier lives. Their office is located on Silver Cross Hospital’s campus at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. BMI Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital has been named a MBSAQIP accredited center – Comprehensive. BMI Surgery is also a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery.

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. at BMI Surgery at 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., Suite 260, New Lenox.  To register, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

Located at 1900 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox, IL 60451   Main Phone (815) 300-1100

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Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.