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We are the surgeons who pioneered the outpatient LapSleeve® procedure. We have performed this procedure, which is a variation of the vertical sleeve gastrectomy, on nearly 3000 patients. Our board-certified surgeons, physicians, and dietitians work in concert in a program tailored to your story.
"I’ve had people who’ve known me for years walk right by me and not recognize who I am!"
Shelly | November 2019
I’ve always been heavy, as far back as I can remember. I think I went on my first diet (old school Weight Watchers) when I was 11 or 12. It was really tough being significantly overweight as a child and as a teenager – it affected my self esteem, my confidence, it really affected who I became as a person.
Over the years I lost some weight, gained it back, lost it again, gained back more. Over and over again. I had actually lost about 100 lbs in my early 20’s but managed to let it all creep back on over a few more years and the battle raged on! I did every “program” out there – many stints with Weight Watchers, TOPS, Atkins and they all worked…until I stopped following it which always happened at some point and the weight would come back.
Everything else with life was great – I have an awesome supportive loving husband, 3 great healthy smart kids, a fulfilling career, I just could never win the weight battle. I thought about having weight loss surgery for years and years but was scared of the thought of such a permanent change. I beat myself up about letting my weight get to such a place that I was even considering something as drastic as surgery, Yes, I watched every episode of My 600-lb Life at least 3 times and could identify with every patient on that show!
The highest I ever weighed myself at was around 275 lbs and I’m 5’4”.
Two things triggered my decision to finally make the move – my Dad passed away after a 2 year fight with lung cancer and I turned 50 not long after that. It hit home for me that none of us have much time on this world and it was time to make some changes so I could get the most out of the life I have left
I finally made the decision that I was going to have surgery – I just needed to find a surgeon. I’m Canadian and the programs offered in Canada have very long waiting times (around 2 years) – this was not the timeline I wanted so I searched for options in the Seattle area which is the closest US city to where I live...and I found Eviva.
I was excited to make my first call and schedule my remote consult at the beginning of August 2018 – I received clear instructions on all the information/tests/bloodwork that was needed to ensure I was a good candidate for surgery and the day after that call I got to work getting everything done. Once all the results were back and everything was ok I was able to schedule my surgery for Sept. 11 and set up my pre-surgery visit with Dr. Landerholm. He answered all the questions I had and helped me accept that my inability to lose the weight and keep it off wasn’t a failure of my will or intelligence or strength. Years of yoyo dieting and my genetics made it really difficult if not impossible to lose weight without some help – and this was the help that worked. I always knew that my battle was harder than the average “thin” person, but it was good to hear it from a doctor! He made me feel very comfortable with my decision. Dr. Landerholm performed the LapSleeve procedure on me (and repaired a surprise hiatal hernia) on September 11, 2018 and everything went smooth with no complications or unexpected problems.
I was very worried about being nauseous after surgery, but I didn’t even feel a twinge. There was some pain from the incision sites but that was it. I went back to Canada the next day and sat on the couch for about a week (walking a bit throughout the day of course). You are definitely exhausted as your body heals but every day it got better, and I went back to work 10 days after surgery at my desk job.
I weighed 250 lbs at my first visit to Eviva so consider that my starting weight even though my highest was about 275 lbs. After my 2 week low carb diet (I was so happy to not have to do 2 weeks of liquids like some other programs do!) on the day of surgery I weighed 243 lbs. Now at just over one year post op I weigh 160 lbs…yup that’s 90 lbs gone from my starting weight in and 115 lbs from my highest. When I had my first call with Eviva I said my goal was to be around 180 which at the time seemed like a dream…I am amazed that I’ve been able to get to 160 and am still losing slowly. I was wearing size 20-22 clothes and now I’m into size 10’s and even the odd size 8!! I haven’t been this small for 30 years and that was after I had lost 100 lbs! I’ve had people who’ve known me for years walk right by me and not recognize who I am (that’s almost embarrassing), I’ve had a stranger from my building who works in a different office come up to me out of the blue and tell me their office has been watching me lose and that I look great (also a bit weird ha!).
Starting in January 2019 I joined a gym and have been strength training 2-3 times a week since then. I go to yoga and I even joined a running group to train for a 5K race in November! This is the biggest change from my “old life”. Exercise was way too hard and I hated it! It is still a challenge but it is possible. I am now the most fit I have ever been and I’m 51 years old. In October 2019 I went sturgeon fishing and I never once worried about fitting into a life jacket or the hip waders! I am a normal sized person and it’s hard to believe!
For anyone who is considering surgery:
- Weight loss surgery does not make losing weight easy, but it does make losing weight possible. I still need to make the right choices every day. There is no food that makes me feel sick or have pain.
- Surgery doesn’t do anything about changing your brain – it only changes your digestive tract. Your relationship with food needs to change to be successful. The surgery will help you especially at the beginning but it is up to us to keep that going.
- Don’t be afraid that you will “never live a normal life again” because yes, you will.
- Having surgery is not a failure, it’s not embarrassing or something that you need to be ashamed of doing.
- You won’t lose weight every week, even if you do everything right. This fact annoys me and can derail me pretty easily! Patience is required.
- Lastly, I highly recommend Eviva. I have been perfectly happy with the process and aftercare!
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