Gastric Bypass Surgery Patient Stories

Rita Booth: Gastric Bypass Surgery

When Rita Booth's weight began affecting her work and health, she started researching bariatric surgery. She found UPMC 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.

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Dann Brown: Gastric Bypass Surgery

At age 55, Dann was taking more than 20 pills a day to manage high cholesterol, high blood sugar, depression, sleep apnea, and joint pain. But it wasn’t until his doctor recommended adding insulin that he decided to do something drastic about his weight. He lost 40 pounds before his gastric sleeve surgery. Since then, he’s lost another 57 pounds and eliminated all his medicines.

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Robert Dunkerley: Gastric Bypass Surgery

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.

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Adam Ferris: Gastric Bypass Surgery

In high school, Adam Ferris played football until a serious leg injury ended his playing career and upended his life. Unable to walk unassisted for 6 months, Adam says that’s when the serious weight gain started. By age 24, he weighed 440 pounds. Once he decided that something had to change, Adam underwent gastric bypass surgery.

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Ricarda Lavelle: Gastric Bypass Surgery

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.

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Tonya Lightcap: Gastric Bypass Surgery

Tonya Lightcap was 38 years old when she made a life-changing decision. The mother of two young boys was 100 pounds overweight and facing increasing health issues. Constantly tired and out of breath, she knew something had to change. Since undergoing gastric sleeve surgery, she has lost 90 pounds, dropped from a size 18 to a 6, and seen her blood pressure dip to a healthy 90/60.

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Carol Mineo: Gastric Bypass Surgery

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.

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Vickie and Linda Newark: Gastric Bypass Surgery

Just two years after Vickie Newark had her gastric bypass surgery, her wife, Linda underwent her own gastric bypass procedure. Both had struggled with unhealthy relationships to food for a long time. Luckily, with the expertise of UPMC, the pair is now living healthily at their goal weights.

Read Vickie and Linda Newark's story

Lynn Oslosky: Gastric Bypass Surgery

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.

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Rich Petarca: Gastric Bypass Surgery

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.

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Ed Pikna: Gastric Bypass Surgery

At age 49, Ed Pikna weighed 476 pounds. Once a three-sport athlete and outdoorsman, he couldn’t walk to the mailbox without “huffing and puffing.” He had a leg infection that wouldn’t heal and everything hurt. Realizing that “enough was enough,” Ed decided to have gastric bypass surgery. He lost 100 pounds prior to surgery and another 120 following the procedure.

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Ken Schnur: Gastric Bypass Surgery

For Ken Schnur, a married father of two from Munhall, choosing to have gastric bypass surgery at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital was a life-changing — probably life-saving — decision. His job as an emergency dispatcher, which involved shift work and long hours sitting behind a desk taking calls, had taken its toll.

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Nicole Seal: Gastric Bypass Surgery

Weight was never a big deal to Nicole Seal, a Monongahela native. At 5 feet, 7 inches, she was accustomed to the scale hovering between 215 and 230 pounds. Then she took a job in a personal care home working odd hours and night shifts. The weight started piling on.

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Melissa Silvis: Gastric Bypass Surgery

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.

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Richard and Diane Suriano: Gastric Bypass Surgery

Diane Suriano was desperate and felt that bariatric surgery was her only option. She underwent gastric bypass surgery and 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.

Read Richard and Diane's story