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
"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