Published on February 01, 2019

No Slowing Down Romeoville Woman After Weight-Loss Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital

There’s no slowing down Michelle Vaupel of Romeoville! After losing more than half her body weight, this 41-year-old is always on the go. In fact, she’s got so much energy she even runs…something she never could have done before weight-loss surgery at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox.

michelle vaupel “I can’t believe after losing 182 pounds I can run a 5K now!” Vaupel explains. Her weight before surgery was 350 pounds; now over a year later, she’s running 5K’s and feeling better than ever at 168 pounds.

“Two years ago, a doctor recommended gastric bypass surgery to me, and I have to admit I was a little offended when they first discussed it with me,” said Vaupel. “But after I really thought about it and did my research about the surgery, I decided I was tired of being fatigued and out of breath all of the time.”

That’s when she attended a free seminar with BMI Surgery at Silver Cross and officially began her weight-loss journey.

Every Wednesday, the BMI team hosts an informational group meeting called Obesity & Your Health for individuals considering weight-loss surgery. Surgeons Christopher Joyce, M.D., and Brian Lahmann, M.D. speak to patients and family members, answering questions about weight loss surgical options.

Making the Decision

Before surgery, Vaupel’s health risk factors included a high BMI (body mass index) and sleep apnea. In fact, the sleep apnea was so severe, she relied on a special machine to help her breathe easier at night. Not anymore since she’s at a healthy weight!

“Not only was the sleep apnea a concern of mine, but there is a history of diabetes in my family,” she added. “I had tried different ways to lose weight in the past that just weren’t successful, it was time to consider other options.”

Vaupel had a consultation with Dr. Lahmann, a board-certified surgeon with BMI Surgery, where he addressed her concerns and thoroughly explained what to expect pre- and post-surgery. She was impressed with his knowledge and experience with gastric bypass surgery, helping her make the decision to move forward with the procedure in November 2017.

“Before my weight-loss surgery, I was eating a high-fat diet, dining out a lot and drinking sugary soda. Now after surgery, I cook low-carb healthy meals and enjoy cooking and finding new healthy recipes on Pinterest,” said Vaupel.

Just a year later, she’s exercising regularly and meets with a personal exercise trainer once a week.

“I am really enjoying exercise,” she added. “My trainer has me doing exercises that use my body weight as resistance and integrates stretching. Throughout the week I do fast-paced walking on the treadmill.”

One other activity I look forward to now – I love shopping for clothes again!” she exclaimed.

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, visit or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

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.