Vertical sleeve gastrectomy is the type of surgery that changed Roberta and John Shaughnessy's lives. The Shaughnessys not only both decided to have gastric sleeve surgery, they decided to go through the process together and ended up having surgery on the same day.
Their results are remarkable - Roberta has lost 90 pounds and John has lost 98 pounds, shrinking his waist from 46 inches to 30 inches. "Before, we always enjoyed being outside but never really did the things we wanted to do, like hiking and kayaking, because we just didn't have the energy," Roberta says. "Now we are outside all the time, and we're at the gym six days a week."
"I feel phenomenal," John says. "I couldn't believe that I actually bypassed my weight goal. I started at 240 and wanted to get to 175. Today, I weigh 142 pounds."
Roberta says they are enjoying their new lives not only as a result of the procedure, but as a result of their commitment to a new, healthy lifestyle. "It is not an easy fix," she says. "The surgery is a tool you can use if you are serious about making a change to being a healthier you."
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Bariatric surgery is not cosmetic surgery and does not surgically remove fat. It works in conjunction with long-term lifestyle changes, including drastic changes in diet and commitments to exercise.
There are two general ways in which bariatric surgeries work," says Jeffrey Chaudhari, MD, bariatric surgeon with the St. Francis Surgical Weight Loss Center. "The first is by limiting the amount of food you can eat with either a gastric banding device around the stomach or a surgically-created, smaller stomach pouch. This ensures that you feel satisfied with less food. The other way is by limiting the number of calories and nutrients your body can absorb with procedures like gastric bypass surgery."
Many of us have heard of gastric banding surgery, in which a removable band is placed around the top of the stomach to create a smaller pouch, and gastric bypass surgery, which permanently reduces the size of the stomach and reroutes it so that the body absorbs fewer calories from food. A relatively new option in bariatric surgery is the vertical sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric sleeve surgery. A vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure limits the amount of food you eat by reducing the size of your stomach.