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BMI Surgery at Silver Cross helps Elwood resident live a healthier life after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy

New Lenox, IL (Aug. 13, 2015)—When 355 pound Les James arrived in the emergency room with a tingling in his arm and pain in his chest, the 38-year-old thought for sure he was having a heart attack. 

“I was experiencing all the typical symptoms of someone who was having a heart attack,” exclaims James. As he sat in the hospital, all he could think of was how he lost his Dad at a young age due to weight-related health issues. “This health scare to the emergency room was God’s wake up call to me. I had a very sobering reflection - I am my father’s son. I was almost the same weight as my Dad when he passed away,” said James. “It was at that moment, I knew I had to change my life, so I could be there for my wife, son and two daughters.”  

Photo caption: Les James of Elwood lost over 144 pounds after his weight loss surgery with BMI Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital. Watch Les’s video

Since losing over 144 pounds after having bariatric weight loss surgery with BMI Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital, James is relishing every day as he eats healthier foods and exercises regularly. 

Health Issues/Pain Gone after Surgery

Prior to his weight loss, James suffered from high cholesterol and high blood pressure. He also was sore from severe joint pain, had sleep apnea and Type 2 diabetes. However since his surgery, the only medication he takes are vitamins and has absolutely no joint pain.  

“My life has dramatically changed since my surgery,” said James. “Prior to my weight loss, I would come home from work and flop on the couch exhausted from the day. Now I have so much energy that in the same night I can tend to my garden, trim bushes, pick weeds and even go for a bike ride with my kids. I have a stronger stamina to do more outside activities with my family like fishing and taking walks.”

“My advice to others that are considering surgery is to stick to the food plan because it is designed for you to lose weight,” stated James. “Also you must remove bad temptations, like processed food, out of your life in order to be successful.” 

Comprehensive Weight Loss Program

After his trip to the emergency room, James remembered that two of his friends went to see Dr. Christopher Joyce at BMI Surgery to have weight loss surgery.  So Mr. James decided to attend BMI Surgery’s free informational session.  “After listening to Dr. Joyce’s presentation, I was impressed with the program, Dr. Joyce and his staff at BMI Surgery. They guided me every step of the way from dealing with my insurance to after my surgery,” states James. “With their support, along with encouragement from my wife, Lori, and our three children, I committed to the exercise and diet plan and underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy surgery on November 25, 2014.” 

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. Christopher Joyce. "We screen our patients very carefully to ensure their success and safety."  

“Dr. Joyce patiently explained to me that the surgery was merely a tool to lose weight and the real success depended on me making behavioral changes,” said James. “I am forever thankful to Dr. Joyce and his team. I’m also grateful to the nurses at Silver Cross Hospital, who were so supportive of me and helped me start walking right away after my surgery, so I can begin healing.” 

“Les is an excellent example of how bariatric surgery can positively improve one’s life. His commitment to adhering to the program by eating well and exercising was essential in his ability to lose over 144 pounds,” says Dr. Joyce. 

Criteria for Surgery

The American Society of Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery defines the morbidly obese as those with a body mass 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 changed the lives of over 4,000 patients with life changing surgeries including laparoscopic gastric bypass, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, 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 the new Silver Cross Hospital 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 attend, visit 

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.