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Mary Jo Miller, age 58, loves her grandkids — she has five, ranging from 3 to 8 years old — and they keep her days full of excitement and activity. When she was seriously overweight, however, she found it interfered with ability to keep up with them.
She’d tried different weight loss approaches and had achieved some success. But after sustaining an injury that prevented her from her normal physical activity, the weight returned.
In the following seven years, Mary Jo began to develop health problems, such as high cholesterol, arthritis in her knees, and borderline diabetes. She made the decision then that something had to change.
After speaking with another patient who’d had gastric bypass surgery, Mary Jo became interested in surgical procedures and researched options online. A nurse practitioner at her primary care practice suggested the LAP-BAND® system, and her husband encouraged it as well.
Before her surgery in January 2011 at UPMC Hamot, Mary Jo weighed 256 pounds. Now two years later, she has lost 86 pounds, feels great, and has achieved a happy, comfortable weight.
Mary Jo says she found the staff at UPMC Hamot extremely helpful. They answered all of her questions and kept her completely informed of the surgical process. She expresses confidence in her board-certified bariatric surgeon, who provided his expertise, comfort, and support.
Mary Jo maintains her happy and healthy weight by working out on the elliptical three to four times a week, staying conscious of her food choices, and “chasing after her five grandkids.” She said her surgery was definitely worth it and she feels better now than ever before.
When asked about her advice for potential future patients she says, “It’s a lot of work and a whole new life adjustment.” She explains that she must take her time when eating and be conscious of new foods.
“I feel so much healthier,” she says. “I can do a lot more and spend more quality time with my grandkids.”