Navigate Up

Gastric Sleeve, Bypass, and Lap Band Success Stories

Learn how bariatric surgery changed the lives of these UPMC patients. Read about our patients' gastric bypass and lap band success stories.

Note: These patients' treatment and results may not be representative of all similar cases.

Gastric Bypass Stories


Sandra Henry

In 2006, Sandra weighed 380 pounds. She had difficulty climbing stairs and performing household improvements. She was on medication for high blood pressure and asthma and had to use a machine to help her breathe at night because of sleep apnea.

Sandra realized that if she didn't try to lose the weight, she could end up dead. She knew that she needed to make a change, so she decided to learn more about having gastric bypass surgery.

Gastric bypass story | Sandra Henry

Dina Perry

Dina was about to turn 40, and she knew that she had a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, and strokes. After over a decade of inconsistent dieting and watching her weight go up and down with no real results, she decided to look into gastric bypass surgery.

Today, 88 pounds lighter, she is running races and exploring the world with new energy and sense of adventure.

Gastric bypass story | Dina Perry
Melissa Silvis

At 513 pounds, Melissa Silvis tried to avoid interaction with people, but after watching a friend's success with gastric bypass surgery, she became motivated to find out about surgical weight loss options.

Within a year after her surgery, Melissa lost nearly 230 pounds, and also found out that she had another exciting change not even related to her bariatric surgery.

Gastric Bypass Story | Melissa Silvis
Richard and Diane Suriano

Diane Suriano was desperate and felt that bariatric surgery was her only option. She underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2011. Since then, she's lost 135 pounds.

Inspired by her dramatic turnaround, Diane's husband Richard decided to have the same procedure. He's lost 100 pounds and can fit into jeans that have been hanging in his closet for 20 years.

Gastric bypass story | The Suriano's
Sister Mary Catherine Stana

For years, Sister Mary Catherine Stana would lose large amounts of weight, but regain it through emotional eating. As a diabetic, she was injecting herself with insulin three times a day.

Two years after having gastric bypass surgery, she has lost 140 pounds and no longer needs insulin.

Gastric bypass story | Sister Mary Catherine Stana
Steve Adler

At 325 pounds, Steve Adler was missing work due to pain and had developed sleep apnea. When he started falling asleep while driving, he knew something had to change.

Gastric bypass surgery has helped Steve improve his own lifestyle and that of his three children.

Gastric bypass story | Steve Adler ​
Rich Petarca

Rich Petarca felt that he was fighting a losing battle with obesity. His weight tended to go through “seesaw” patterns, reaching 427 pounds at one point.

After doing some research, he decided to have gastric bypass surgery, losing 232 pounds and finally winning his weight loss battle.

Gastric bypass story | Rich Petarca
Stephanie Ruby

Stephanie Ruby dealt with weight issues all of her life. Short-term successes with weight loss left her depressed and feeling hungry — not just for food — but for a solution.

One year after bariatric surgery, Stephanie has lost 131 pounds and is happier than ever.

Gastric bypass story | Stephanie Ruby
Rita Booth

When Rita Booth's weight began affecting her work and health, she started researching bariatric surgery. She found UPMC's George Eid, MD, and had gastric bypass surgery.

Since then, she has donated over 150 pounds of dog food — for every pound she's lost — to her local humane society in Dr. Eid’s name.

Gastric bypass story | Rita Booth
Norma Patton

Norma Patton started gaining weight in fifth grade, mostly from the treats her mom baked several times a week.

Reaching 400 pounds and battling numerous obesity-related health problems, Norma went to a bariatric surgery information session and decided to have gastric bypass surgery. She's lost 162 pounds and found a healthier lifestyle.

Gastric bypass story | Norma Patton
Lynn Oslosky

Lynn Oslosky was petite most of her life until she gave birth and had a hysterectomy. Unable to lose the 75 pounds she gained, she was more concerned with her rising blood pressure and blood sugar.

Gastric bypass surgery helped Lynn lose the extra weight and find a new way to make healthy choices.

Gastric bypass story | Lynn Oslosky
Steve Iwanicki

On a visit to his doctor in 2005, Steve Iwanicki learned he wouldn’t be around much longer if he didn’t get his diabetes under control. Three months after having gastric bypass surgery, his diabetes was gone.

Losing a total of 224 pounds, Steve says bariatric surgery has been a tool for a healthier, happier life.

Gastric bypass story | Steve Iwanicki
Robert Dunkerley

At 360 pounds, Robert Dunkerley's weight was affecting his health. After spending 40 days in a coma, and almost a year in the hospital, Robert made a choice that would change his life.

He underwent gastric bypass surgery and, just six months later, ran a 5K race.

Gastric bypass story | Robert Dunkerley
Lori Inserra

Lori Inserra was mindful of the many health challenges brought on by excess weight. Her father died of a heart attack at age 49.

So, when her doctor told her she was a good candidate for gastric bypass surgery, Lori turned to UPMC. Now, 136 pounds lighter, she's found a new outlook on life.

Gastric bypass story | Lori Inserra
Norma Hufnagel

For years, Norma Hufnagel struggled to lose weight. Facing a future of diabetes, worsening back pain, and even a liver transplant, she knew she couldn’t win her weight loss battle alone. She needed help…and needed it fast.

Gastric bypass surgery and healthy lifestyle changes saved her life.

Darryl Granata

To Darryl Granata, losing weight was more than wanting to look good; it was a matter of life or death.

When his doctor told him he'd be dead in five years if he didn’t lose weight, Darryl found a life-changing solution: gastric bypass surgery. Now he feels younger and more energetic.

Carol Mineo

After a foot surgery left her unable to exercise, Carol Mineo tried several commercial diet programs to lose weight without long term success.

After hearing the success stories of colleagues who had undergone the procedure and learning about the many health benefits, Carol scheduled her own gastric bypass surgery. Today, she has more energy, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and feels like she is back in her twenties.

Gastric bypass story | Carol Mineo
Ricarda Lavelle

When Ricarda's weight began to affect her health and overall quality of life, her primary care physician suggested that she consider bariatric surgery.

Since her gastric bypass surgery, Ricarda breathes easier, has more energy, and has even been able to better manage her diabetes with a decreased insulin dosage.

Lap Band (Gastric Banding) Stories


Mary Jo Miller

With 5 grandchildren, Mary Jo had plenty of excitement in her life. However, she found that she had problems keeping up with them after she became seriously overweight. Health problems developed as well, so she decided to make a change.

She had tried different diets and weight loss approaches, but none gave her the outcome she wanted. Then she considered lap band surgery...

Lap band story | Mary Jo Miller
Ashley Walker

At 268 pounds, Ashley Walker began her weight loss journey by attending bariatric presurgical lifestyle classes and lost 20 pounds.

After lap band surgery, she dropped close to 50 pounds more. Dedicated to a healthy lifestyle, Ashley says bariatric surgery has helped her become someone she never thought she could be.

Gastric banding story | Ashley Walker
Crystal Brown

For 10 years, Crystal Brown struggled with losing weight. She had low energy and didn't like what she saw in the mirror.

Lap band surgery, along with her dedication and discipline, has given Crystal the energy to play with her son and a new body that she likes seeing in the mirror.

lap band surgery success story | Crystal Brown
DeAnna Brooks

Eating less and exercising more did not equal sustained weight loss for DeAnna Brooks. With the encouragement of her primary care doctor, she decided to have lap band surgery.

Since then, she's lost 85 pounds, her health has improved, and she's completed physically intensive training to become a yoga teacher.

Lap band surgery success story | DeAnna Brooks
Veronica King

Veronica King's weight and low self-esteem had her avoiding scales, mirrors, and cameras most of her life. At 270 pounds, she had difficulty walking and keeping up with her kids.

Since undergoing lap band surgery, she has lost 150 pounds and gained confidence.

Lap band story | Veronica King
Jason Doptis

Jason Doptis struggled with his weight ever since high school. He tried every diet and exercise program, to no avail.

After researching weight loss surgery options, he decided to have lap band surgery. Now, 112 pounds lighter, Jason feels healthier and more confident.

Gastric banding success story | Jason Doptis
Nina Wilson

Nina Wilson's unhealthy eating habits began in childhood. After years of "quick fixes," and watching her parents develop obesity-related health issues, Nina made a life-long commitment to her health.

Since having lap band surgery in 2008, she has kept off the 100 pounds she lost. Her motto? “Faith + Action = Results.”

Bariatric surgery success story | Nina Wilson

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com