Patient Story from Southern Regional's Bariatric Center

Tonya Finds Path to Weight Loss Success

Just six weeks after having LAP-BAND surgery, Tonya was feeling great and had already lost 42 pounds.

She decided to have the surgery after years of yo-yo dieting and struggling with her weight. Tonya didn't have high blood pressure, diabetes or any of the other illnesses that often go hand-in-hand with obesity, but she knew her weight was out of control.

"Basically I was healthy other than my weight, and I was sick and tired of being fat," she recalls.

She had lost weight successfully before, dropping 110 pounds by going to a nutritional clinic that prescribed a regimen of diet pills. But she gained it back through life's ups and downs, including a foot injury and then a car accident that prevented her from exercising for long periods of time.

Weight Loss Struggles

Tonya, a 43-year-old married mother of two, was an emotional eater who ate too much when faced with stress or other difficult challenges in life. She weighed 320 pounds-her heaviest weight ever-when she had LAP-BAND surgery at Southern Regional.

But the past is all behind her now. She has not only undergone surgery, but also learned a whole new approach to a healthy lifestyle through guidance and counseling from the team of experts at Southern Regional's Bariatric Center. And there's no turning back.

"I know I won't go back to my old habits because I've got the band around my stomach," she says. "I can only eat so much."

A Life-changing Surgery

During surgery, the LAP-BAND® System was placed around the top portion of her stomach laparoscopically. It induces weight loss by reducing the stomach capacity and restricting the amount of food that can be consumed at one time. Toyna W. was in the hospital for only 24 hours.

Tonya followed the recommended liquid diet for several weeks before and after surgery. She is now eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise by walking on her treadmill and hitting a 1.5-mile path in her subdivision.

"I eat a lot of fruits, veggies and proteins," said Tonya, an educator from Jonesboro.

Of course, like everyone else, she has some guilty pleasures. But now she has to enjoy them in moderation.

"I've always loved sweets and chicken wings," she admits. "I still do, but I know I can only eat a little bit of them now."

Supporting Your Success

Just six weeks after surgery, she was down to 278 pounds and enjoying a very healthy and active lifestyle. She attributes a large part of her success to the guidance and support from Southern Regional's Bariatric Center. From the informational session and support group meetings to surgery and nutritional counseling, the team at Bariatric Center has been with her every step of the way.

"They provide such good support and they make everything a really good experience for you," said Tonya.

She is especially grateful to the Bariatric Program Coordinator, who is a registered nurse.

"The Program Coordinator makes you feel like you are the most important person in the world," Tonya said. "She gets you every bit of information and stays on top of every detail, and you can always tell how much she cares."

Tonya had such a wonderful experience at Southern Regional's Bariatric Center that she is already referring people to the center who are considering LAP-BAND surgery.