To date (Oct 2011), we have performed just under one thousand weight loss procedures. Most of our patients have undergone Laparoscopic Adjustalbe Gastric banding as this is our recommended procedure. Our patients are 76% female. At the time of surgery the average age was 45 but ranged from 18 to 76. Average weight at the time of surgery is 275 pounds with a BMI of 45.
I have been overweight my entire life. I remember my Mom putting me on “eating plans” when I was as little as 6 years old. My Dad, his Mom and his Sister are all morbidly obese. Growing up I watched them all yo-yo diet and none of them were ever successful long term. When I turned 19 I decided I was ready to lose weight – I had been diagnosed with hypertension at 18 years old. I couldn’t believe I weighed 230 lbs (at 5’2” tall)! At the time I did lose a significant amount. I was doing well until I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at 21 years old. Between the treatment and depression I was experiencing from my diagnosis, I ate to numb my stress and re-gained all the weight I had lost (about 50 lbs) and was at an all-time high of 236 lbs. I was devastated. At times my struggle with obesity felt much more difficult than my battle with cancer. Initially I lost 25 pounds after recovering, but then I stalled out. I was bouncing around between the same 5 lbs and couldn’t lose anything. At 24 years old I was trying to picture the rest of my life, I didn’t want to end up like my Dad, Aunt and Grandma, morbidly obese and never successful at reaching a healthy weight. I felt destined to follow the same path. Working in health care I had heard about Lap-Band surgery before, but I never thought I qualified for it. In the fall of 2009 I started to read about it more and realized I definitely qualified. I did a lot of research; and thought carefully about whether it was right for me. I talked to family and friends and realized it definitely was the right choice for me. Going to the seminar was hard, I felt like I was really facing my obesity head on and it was difficult to realize where I was at. On 10/26/2009 Dr. Fusco took me to the OR and changed my life! Donna’s smiling face was there in the recovery room, although I did get reprimanded for chugging my liquid Lortab a little too fast! The first week was tough and I did have a moment of “what did I do?! – did I make the right choice?” but that quickly passed and every day since has been a confirmation that I made the right choice. I was terrified of failing, I knew statistically some patients do not lose weight with gastric banding, but I also knew those people didn’t commit to following the “rules” and advice that Dr. Fusco and the rest of the LifeShape team provided. I was determined to utilize all the tools they gave me. I went to my appointments, listened to their advice, followed the rules, got myself back on track when I got off track, and kept going. The weight has come off slowly. I started out at a lower weight (211). As of January 2011 I am at 158! The last time I weighed in the 150s I was probably 13 years old. I still have more weight to lose, but I know I will get there – this is a lifelong journey and at 25 years old I hope to have a long and healthy life! I am more active than I’ve ever been and it feels great! I am in a fitness Boot Camp right now and still can’t believe I can keep up! The Lap-Band is not magic; it’s just a tool that makes weight loss attainable – as the patient we have a huge role to fulfill and we can’t expect the band to do all the work. You have to make changes and you have to listen to Dr. Fusco, Donna and everyone else’s advice – they really do know what they’re talking about! Knowing that I am not only a cancer survivor but an obesity survivor is an amazing feeling. Looking back I didn’t realize how sad and hopeless I had become, but now I am strong , happy and confident and I owe a part of that to myself, to my Lap-Band, and to Dr. Fusco and LifeShape!×
Hi, My name is Lori. I have always been active despite my weight or size. I went scuba diving, white water rafting, 4 wheeling. However one time scuba diving, my husband was asked if I would be ok diving. I was horrified as I didn’t realize how big I was, since I stayed away from scales. I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and put on medication. I tried just about every diet there is and didn’t have much success in the keeping the weight off very long. I was in a great habit of going to the gym faithfully; but my eating habits were horrible, I ate potato chips, candy bars, cakes, late at night and ate super fast. I felt like I would never get full. I would waiver between 210 and 240 pounds in the last 10 years. I hated shopping for clothes or having my picture taken cause then reality would hit on how big I was getting. In November 2009 I realized I had to do something about my weight. So I went to a LifeShape seminar with a few of my friends from work, I knew immediately this was what I needed to help control my hunger. On January 25, 2010 I had my surgery. Best decision I have ever made in my life. My band helped me lose 80 pounds in the first year. I don’t let food control my life anymore. I don’t crave the sweets/chips like I used to. I now get full on a little amount of food and always eat slow. I still regularly work out at the gym and can now workout longer without becoming winded. I have never liked running, but now I average 15-20 miles a weekly. I completed 2 half marathons and a 3 mile obstacle course within the last 3 months. My goal is to compete in my first triathlon this year and possibly complete a full marathon. I have met some great fellow band patients in the process. I feel like I am in the best shape I have ever been, at least since high school. I love shopping for clothes since I can wear junior clothes and have more of a selection. My energy level has gone up, my cholesterol has gone down. My health is so much better now. And I feel like I am young again. Lifeshape has changed my life for the better and I am so thankful for Dr. Fusco and his great staff along with the great instructors at LifeShape fitness. 2010 and 2011 were great years for me due to my new lifestyle! I can’t wait to see how much I will be able to accomplish in 2012.×
I was always the “pudgy one” of the family. From the time I was in middle school, my parents had me on every diet known to man. My father would always tell me that my mother and I both needed to lose “some weight”. My grandmother constantly compared me to my stick-thin sister. My mother and I tried to lose weight together. We went to support groups, weight loss physicians, and tried a variety of different weight loss programs together (Slim fast, Shakley, Tea Diet, Grapefruit Diet, etc). There were several years growing up where I would eat lunch by myself because I didn’t want other kids to see the shakes, celery sticks, and other “diet foods” I was forced to bring to school. By the time I was 16, I was on Fen-Phen. It really was the only thing that worked for me. I lost several clothing sizes on that diet drug and managed to go to my high school prom at a size 12. Soon after, they took Fen-Phen off the market and the weight started to come back. My first few years of college, where some girls gain 10-15 pounds, I gained well over 75. When I finally moved to Melbourne when I was 25, I weighed in at my heaviest- 247 pounds. At 5’ 0” tall, I was morbidly obese, and very depressed about it. The day I stepped on the scale and saw that number was the day I had my “wake-up-call”. I had a new resolve to get the weight off. I heard about a program called “transformations” on the radio and gave them a call. At first, the weight came off quickly. I lost 20 pounds in a matter of a few weeks. For the first time in my life, I thought I might be able to get the weight off and finally feel good about myself. After about four months on the program, the weight-loss stalled. I kept a chart of my weight loss, and could see graphically what was going on. On the advice of the program physicians and nurses, I stuck with the program for another year, hoping and praying the weight loss would pick back up. It didn’t. Finally, I came to the devastating conclusion that I couldn’t lose all the weight alone. I needed help. The day I came to that conclusion was a sad day for me. I talked it over with my husband and we both went to a LifeShape Seminar. With about 75 other obese people, I listened to Dr. Fusco talk about all the reasons diet plans fail and thought to myself “this could work…” Of course, I had all the fears like “what If I am in that 3% of people who don’t lose weight with the LapBand?” It wasn’t covered by my insurance and it was an awful lot of money for something that might not work for me. I decided to go for it and with my husband’s support, I made all the appointments and meetings I needed. August 20, 2007 is the day I consider my birthday. It’s the day I stepped into the operating room a sad, depressed, scared morbidly obese girl and walked out a woman who had hope of a life without the excess weight and health problems that go along with it. Almost exactly 2 years later, I reached my goal weight of 115 pounds and I have been there ever since! Some things that helped me make my weight loss a reality: 1. Baby steps. It really helped to look at the small achievements, not the big challenges. 2. Be careful of unrealistic expectations. I remember waking up in the recovery room after surgery and being depressed because I was still fat. It takes dedication, time, and hard work for any weight loss goals to be reached. It certainly doesn’t happen overnight, and two years may seem like a long time, but it goes by faster than one might think. I wouldn’t trade a single moment. The moments where we struggle and persevere are the moments that make us who we are. 3. Exercise. No matter how much weight I lost, I would never have the strength, endurance, self confidence, or stamina I have now without exercise as a part of my life. It took me several months to realize that the Band is not going to work unless I made it work for me. 4. Keeping a chart. I have been charting my weight for almost 5 years. It has really helped keep things in perspective and I am able to look back at where I have come from and really be proud of my accomplishments. 5. People in my life who support me, even on those “fat days”. Yes, I still have “fat days”, but having people who have watched me transform into the person I am today there to support me on those days really helps. They can see the changes, even when I can’t. 6. Understanding that we are all “Mirror Blind”. The most important indicators of my weight loss were the scale, my clothes, and my best friend: the tape measure. Forget the mirror! Your eyes will lie to you every time (unless, of course, they say “You look Awesome!”). Tina Bonnett 130 pounds smaller!×
At 30 I felt old and tired. I weighed close to 250 pounds at 5’2”. I had a new baby and did not have the energy to play with him. I was miserable. In my mind I had come to the conclusion that this was my life so I should just get used to it. I would have the endless search for descent fitting and looking clothes, feel like everyone was staring at me and just try to look presentable. I come from a family with weight problems. Almost everyone in my family was morbidly obese. That was until we discovered the LAP-BAND. We were all between 250 to 300 pounds. One by one we started getting the band and our dreams and lives returned. I was number three. We now have four lap-bands in the family. We are all successes and love our bands. We have the funniest holiday meals now. I was the third to get my band. I was actually quite stubborn. I was still in the mind set that all the fad diets would work and that I could take a magic pill to loose all of the weight. My aunt set me down and told me that I needed to do this for myself and that I would love it. She was so right. I went to Dr. Fusco’s seminar and found out for myself how the lap-band could work for me. I had my surgery on June 13, 2005. I woke up with a brighter outlook. I came out of surgery fine and within a couple of days I was running after my toddler. By the end of the summer, I looked and felt like a different person. Within six months I felt ten years younger. I was actually shocked one day when I was able to fit into “normal” sized clothes. I almost cried when I thought I would not have to search all over the place for descent looking clothes. I am now a different person both physically and emotionally. The band has allowed me to be the person I never thought I could be. People meet me and would never guess that I weighed close to 300 pounds at one time. The true joy is to know that with the band I will never gain back the weight like I had done with every other diet. The lap-band has truly changed my life. ~Meredith×
In the beginning of 2006 I realized that the quality of my life was severely hampered. I was FAT! And that was an understatement. I didn't’t even know my own weight, as even my doctor’s scale couldn’t weigh me. The deterioration of my quality of life was a direct result of my weight. I wasn’t sleeping very well at night and required naps almost every day. I couldn’t bend over without being out of breath when I straightened up. If I had to stoop down, it felt like my legs were going to break when I stood up. I barely fit behind the wheel of my truck and could steer with my belly. When I went into stores little kids would stare at me. Some would comment to their mother ‘he’s FAAAAAT’. Their embarrassed mother would try to quite them or scurry away with them. After I had an umbilical hernia repair the surgeon commented, he’d be seeing me again unless I lost weight. He recommended surgery. I explained I had previously considered Gastric Bypass, but found the complications and risks to great. I felt I would be exchanging one set of problems for another. He told me of a new procedure, Lapband which was done Laparoscopically. He advised me, that all those problems associated with Gastric Bypass were not associated with Lapband. He recommended Dr Fusco to me. After attending a seminar, I decided to have the procedure even though my insurance would not cover it. As it turned out, it was the best money I ever spent. I talked with my Internist about having the procedure. He did not say ‘go for it” but rather gave me a very clinical answer outlining the pros and cons and the possible complications. A week before my surgery I saw my Internist again to discuss how to handle my Diabetic medication. I told him I was going to have Lapband. He was elated, telling me how much my life was going to change. He was right! On the day of surgery I weighed 402 pounds. I had serious thoughts of calling it off, because I was scared. I found the operating team very supportive and reassuring. They seemed they were actually concerned about me. The operating room personnel talked to me as a person and appeared friendly even through their masks. The Anesthesiologist assured me he was going to take good care of me, which I found very comforting and Dr. Fusco asked me if I wanted to go through with it. I walked out of the surgical center a few hours later without pain and was never in pain. I was walking that day. Nineteen months later I am 191 pounds lighter. I am now 211 pounds! I went from a very tight 56 inch pants to 34 inch pants. I basically can eat anything I ate before surgery, just less of it. My quality of life has skyrocketed. I am no longer a diabetic. I can no longer steer with my belly, but I can release the parking brake without opening the door. If I drop something on to the floor of the car, I can pick it up without getting out of the car. I recently repainted a couple of rooms in my house and was able to bend over to tape off the baseboards. I can now climb a ladder again, which I couldn’t do before because my belly was in the way. I sleep for 6-7 hours per night without waking up and find it impossible to take naps. I just do not need them. It is so nice to go into your closet and decide you can’t wear something because it is TOO BIG or go to Wal-Mart and take something directly off the rack. Besides losing 22+ inches around my waste I have gone from a 3XXL shirt to an XL shirt and my shoe size has gone down one and a half sizes. I am now almost at the weight I was at in basic training. The best part of this journey is how I feel. Not only healthier but psychological. When I walk, I feel good. When I am talking to people I not longer feel fat. I remember a joke in which the punch line was, you shouldn't weigh more than your refrigerator. While I don’t know the weight of my refrigerator, I am confidant I weight less. I walk an average of 2-3 miles a day instead of the 5 houses before surgery. I have taken up kayaking, I have always enjoyed bird photography, but was restricted to basically shooting from my truck. Now I get out and walk trails. Now when I go out to dinner with friends with the full intention of pigging out, I have to ask for a to-go box. I no longer guard my food and encourage friends to scarf off my plate.×
We all may have heard the following sayings: “There are starving children in China”, “Finish your plate before you can… go play, talk on the telephone, or ‘whatever’”, “If you don’t eat all your food, there will be no dessert”, “I slaved over a hot stove all afternoon making this great dinner for y’all, so I expect you all to eat everything on your plate”. Do you find yourself believing these remarks that may have been ingrained into your way of thinking as a child? Well, I sure did. When my children didn’t eat everything on their plates, I didn’t make them sit at the table until they did, I just finished it for them, because G-d forbid it should go to waste in the trash can. And so my story started; and so we all had some form of “eating” disorder. Mine: “just eat everything!” My sisters not only got the good “skinny” genes, but moreover they were “smart” enough to purge or to just starve themselves. So, I just ended up, well “UP”. Being from a Jewish ethnic group, food is the ultimate family foundation, friend, and fiend. Some religions even prescribe what foods you have to have for what occasion. When someone is born you bring food and eat a meal for the family, some sweets for the siblings. When someone dies you bring food and eat. For those of the Jewish faith, we must have eggs. For my husband’s Greek family, you must have fish. For a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, there must be mounds of tuna, gallons of cream cheese covered by a metric ton of lox (smoked salmon), and more gluten than should be consumed in a month, from which you must not only sample one of each, but you are obligated to sneak a cookie or two out the door in a napkin! And so it goes…. Or so it went. For 55 years. When I went to live with my Dad and Stepmom at age 8, the first thing she did was put me on a diet, even though I was only a little chunky. My stepbrother used to tease me that my arm was as big around as his leg, but to me, he had pretty skinny legs! I had to drink “Metrical” for dinner every night for about 3 months or so. Of course, I snuck things here and there, because you know you can’t keep even a young foodie down. As I grew older, I would “chunk-up”, then grow a little and “slim down”, then “chunk-up”. For the first 2 years I was going out with my future husband in college, I’d gain about 20 lbs and then when we’d break up, I’d lose them. At the time of our August 26, 1979 wedding, I was fairly stable at a size 12 Wedding Dress, and was so happy that my “Going Away” outfit, was still a size 10! Fast forward 32 wonderful years of marriage, 3 wonderful children, a successful career, and a life that moved daily through sitting in a chair for 10 to 12 hours, night meetings every night, and eating dinner most nights well after 8 pm or even at 10 pm. While running after 3 children was some exercise, I was never an exercise buff. Friends rode bikes, went to the gym, played tennis, and while for a brief 3 month period (maybe) I worked with a dear friend who was a personal trainer, my life style and love of food kept a strong hold. My stepmother always said: “the Gift of Ge-a-gi-ya, to see ourselves as others see ya”. I truly lived in Egypt on “De-NILE”, because despite my love of dancing, I just didn’t see myself as the “fat ballerina”, or in this case “Fat” Ballroom dancer. I believed I was heavy and overweight maybe, but not rotund or obese. But, I happened upon a friend who had always been much heavier than I and she looked “MAAAAVELOUS!” I mean “A-MAAAZING!” Lapband and Dr. Fusco she said. We had lunch and she told me about it, but my personal mirror and schedule hindered me from going to any of the sessions for much. Besides, I wasn’t that heavy remember! July 4, 2010, I was at the river with friends and was suddenly struck by the image in the picture—OMG, that cannot be me, but OMG it is. I finally had the gift of G-d to see myself, and OMG, I just didn’t like it. I might have mentioned having tried all the things along the way, like Atkins, Weight Watchers, Grapefruit, Soup, Liquids, Slim Fast, Lean Cuisine, Diet Pills, more Diet Pills, so when I finally saw myself as others must be seeing me, I made the decision right then and there—I had only one choice to save my life and be around for my husband, my kids, my grandkids, my dancing, and my life. I knew this was my last resort and last chance. If I couldn’t succeed with this, I was doomed to die young, riddled with heart disease, diabetes, and whatever else came along with obesity. Yes, I could finally admit—my name is Rochelle, I’m a food-aholic, and I am (was) Obese. Things happened fast thanks to a supportive husband, terrific Dr. and his staff, and my will, which while I’ve always been stubborn or “head-strong” as my grandparents liked to say, was never used for controlling my food addiction. But, now, I was determined. Within 3 weeks, I had seen everyone I needed to see: my primary, a therapist, the nutritionist, the fitness instructor, the doctor, the insurance was there, all systems “GO!”. We went to our 3rd year of Ballroom Vermont, a dance camp for adults where you’re dancing for 10 hours a day and having a wonderful time with newly made friends. I lost 10 pounds at dance camp, which started me getting ready for the procedure, which was scheduled within days of our return. August 8, 2011 is my new birthday! The surgery was a breeze and my new journey had started. By October/November, people started saying “umm, are you losing weight?” By December, it was getting more noticeable, as our friends who came for New Years were so complimentary and in disbelief. When we went on vacation in April with two couples from Ballroom Vermont, my husband teased “let me introduce you to my new wife”, and their mouths dropped to the ground. It just keeps getting better and as I come upon my one year anniversary, I’m down almost 70 pounds from my worst, and more than 50 pounds from my surgery!!! I must say that at first, I did not tell people about my surgery and Lapband, because I had failed so many times that I couldn’t bear the thought of having gotten this “tool” and not succeed. Here’s what has been so miraculous for me: I NOW HAVE A FULL BUTTON. I never had a full button—you know the one that says, “whoa Nelly, you’ve had enough, no more, nothing else will fit!!!”! Now, only so much will fit and I can feel it. It feels great. I also am committed obsessively to exercise—no more excuses of no time, a meeting, have work to do, don’t feel like it. Now, if I don’t do Zumba, dance, Yoga, Body Sculpt, and whatever else 5-6 days a week, I’m miserable and feel fat. Yes, how the dicken’s can I feel fat now, with my ‘little’ love handles on the size 10 or 12 body that I have now, and didn’t feel fat on the size 20 body that I had a year ago. We tried to teach our children that life is all about choices. That’s the whole thing behind the Lapband system. See you can choose to have 4 ounces of fudge or 4 ounces of good nutrition. Am I perfect with this—absolutely not! Most days, I’m really good, but Sunday is my eat whatever I want day. If I want a piece of French baguette with butter and need a gluten fix, I do it. If I make cookies for my grandkids when they all come over for Sunday dinner, I have 1 or 2, or even sometimes 3 or 4. But come Monday, I’m back at dance, zumba, yoga or whatever is on the schedule, and 4 oz’s of protein! So, how does this relate to you? I don’t know, but hopefully you’ve found something in my story that touches you, reflects your history or circumstance, or perhaps “resembles” your own story. I can only tell you that I see the world differently now, and I’m never, ever going back. This has been a lifesaving tool for me, and I’m so grateful for Dr. Fusco and the gifts he has, the staff he’s put together, my family and friends who have been supportive and are helping me along the way. It really is all about choices and seeing ourselves in a new light. My choice will hopefully be to always stay in light.×
I have always been heavy. Even as a child. I remember how painful it was growing up because kids can be so cruel. I couldn't wear "regular" girls clothing; I could only fit into "Pretty Plus" from Sears, and I can tell you that there is nothing "pretty" about that. I was constantly picked on because of my weight and that affected my self esteem immensely, even to this day. All throughout my life I have tried multiple diets; you name it, I have been on it. I have been on Atkins to Weight Watchers, including everything in between. I would see some successes, but always fell back into the same patterns with eating. I was always hungry! If you saw me, chances are I was hungry. It was a constant battle that I fought, and one I thought that would never end. In 2009 I hit my lowest point; my highest weight ever. I could telI not only by my appearance that I had gained weight, but also by the way I felt in general. Every year my fiance and I go to Halloween Horror Nights and Howl 'O Scream. This year I could hardly make it through the theme parks because I was in so much pain and was getting winded. This had never happened to me before. I was so embarrassed, ashamed, and miserable that we had to leave one of the events early. How horrible to feel this way, especially at such a young age! That was the final straw. I knew I had to do something different as everything else I had tried in the past obviously did not work for me. When we returned home I immediately went to my family doctor to discuss Lap Band. I always stayed away from my doctor because I knew I would have to get on that dreaded scale. I would not go in for physicals, and would only make appointments when I was so sick I couldn't stand it anymore. This appointment just finalized my decision that I was going to go forward with Lap Band surgery. I got on the scale and saw a number staring back at me that I prayed I would never see. I was 407 pounds. How horrible! However, in a way I guess I needed to face it because it helped me make up my mind that I had to do something now for my health and my future. I was only 26 years old and had my whole life in front of me. There were so many things that I wanted to do but couldn't because of my weight. I was done with letting my size inhibit me any longer . Of course my family doctor was on board with me getting Lap Band and this started my journey. Within weeks of this appointment I had attended the seminar, had my pre-op with Dr. Fusco, gone through all of the pre-op testing, and had the band placed. It all happened so quickly, but I needed it to. My life depended on it. I was fortunate to not have any of the health issues that typically go hand in hand with obesity, but I realize that I was just a ticking time bomb. Had I continued down the path I was on I am certain I would be facing diabetes, heart disease, and many other life threatening conditions. My Lap Band surgery was November 30th, 2009. Since being under Dr. Fusco's care, so much has changed in my life. I have lost 118 pounds with LifeShape and the Lap Band(129 pounds since that appointment with my primary physician), I am working out on a regular basis, I can't keep up with trying to find smaller clothes (a good problem to have), my blood pressure is now "optimal" instead of slightly elevated, my hunger is finally under control, I have so much more energy, I have so much more self confidence; the list just goes on and on. I know that I still have a ways to go, but I am so confident in my journey. This is because I am not alone. I have the best team with me every step of the way. Dr. Fusco, Christie, Donna, Maria, and all who make Lifeshape possible have changed my life so drastically for the better. I am so excited to continue on this weight loss journey that they have made possible for me. I look forward to finally doing all of the things that I could only dream of before. Now I can make them all my reality!×
My name is Frank and I had my surgery in June 2006. I was suffering from all the weight related health issues. I had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, back pain, leg and feet problems, and I was eating between 2 and 4 antacid tablets a day. I never knew how much I weighed because I either couldn’t find a scale to weigh me or I didn’t really want to know. When I made the decision to look into LAPBAND surgery and found out that Dr. Fusco did the procedure right here in Melbourne, I was shocked to find out how much I truly weighed. I weighed in at 400.5 pounds prior to surgery. How could I have gotten this big, I didn’t think I ate that much, I even skipped meals, and never ate breakfast. Looking back, I guess I made up for it when I finally did eat my meals. It seemed that after every meal I felt terrible. I was stuffed and very uncomfortable. Then I became diabetic and knew that if I didn’t do something I was in for real trouble. I loathed going to the doctor because I would always hear that I was overweight and really needed to lose weight. No Kidding! I knew that, I’m not stupid…I just needed help! I attended the informational seminar and had my questions and concerns put to rest. Dr. Fusco and his staff were wonderful. They really care about their patients and are committed to their success. I decided to “git ‘er done”. The worst part of the entire process for me was the clear liquid phase of the diet. I will never eat another cup of broth in my life! Looking back, if that was my only problem, I guess it is a great testimony on my experience. I was down to 300 pounds by November 2006, just 5 months removed from my surgery and down 100 pounds already! Today I am 18 months out from my surgery and have lost 179 pounds! I feel better than I have in 30 years. I am no longer diabetic, my cholesterol and blood pressure are much improved and I haven’t had an antacid tablet in 18 months! I would recommend this procedure to anyone considering weight loss surgery. Dr. Fusco, Donna, Ginger and all the supporting staff are the best health care professionals I have ever experienced. They are very supportive and the network of patients couldn’t be more encouraging. Change your life today and visit Lifeshape Advanced Bariatrics Center of Florida!×
At the time of my LapBand procedure on Feb 10, 2009, I weighted ~269 lbs, BMI near 40. I have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure (heart muscle damage, enlarged heart and clogged arteries), high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I have struggled with weight since I was about 10 years old. I needed help with my health. At my last weigh in I weighed ~ 218 lbs. I have lost ~ 50 lbs since Feb 09. I feel the LapBand procedure helped me to overcome the hunger part of my problem and the LapBand support group helps me with the other issues I have. The support group with Donna, Christie, Kerry and others works to help each patient with their individual problems. The support group meetings provide a great deal of helpful information and contacts with professionals that can help with different individual issues. I am grateful to Donna and Christie for setting up and leading the 1/2 marathon group to help us exercise and get healthy. With their encouragement I have been able to run/walk 13.33 miles twice in ~ 3 hrs and 15 min. I may be slow but I made it. I appreciate Dr Fusco and the LapBand staff for all their help.×
For most of my adult life I have had a weight problem. I had tried every diet out there, I would lose weight and keep it off for a while and then start to regain the weight I lost and more. I was a yo-yo dieter. As I got older my weight started to effect my health. I was on high blood pressure medication, cholesterol medication, my back, knees and feet hurt. I was tired all the time. I knew I had to do something. I went to one of Dr. Fuscos seminars in June 2009 and listened to him explain the lapband procedure. I liked that it was reversible and not a permanent procedure. It was done laparoscopically so recovery would be quicker. I knew Dr. Fusco was an excellent surgeon and I had a lot of faith in him. I had my surgery in August 2009. It was the best decision I have ever made. Recovery was easy with no complications. The lapband has been the best weight lost tool. You have a lot of support from the Lifeshape team, they are there for you and give you support and help along your weight lost journey.×
I was raised on a farm and ate very well. We had fresh everything: milk, cheese, butter and of course all the vegetable and fruits that one could want. We raised and hunted out source of meat. After 23 years of farm life and only weighing 98 pounds, I got married and that is when my weight challenge began. After 2 years of marriage, I weighed 120 pounds. After 5 years, I weighed 215. Then after 3 kids, I weighed between 230 and 235 pounds. So of course, I started dieting and dieting and more dieting. I did everything; diet books, quick diets, and even pills from stuff on the market. Of course my weight went up and down and with all said and done, I gained even more. Every year, sometimes twice a year, I did a diet. I even went to doctors and did Phen-Phen. That was in 1993. After Phen-Phen was taken off the market, I went to the Transformation program and the did the shots. I weighed 240 pounds and nothing seemed to work. I said “forget it”. Then one day my daughter, Tina, said she was going to get the LapBand. She was having similar weight and medical problems as I was. We did all the diets which were out on the market, together. On August 20, 2007, weighing 228 at age 28, Tina got her LapBand. Two years later, Tina now weighs only 118 pounds. And to this day she is able to keep it off! The Lapband is working well for her. Soon after Tina’s success my husband said, “You should get the LapBand done. Tina did well with it”. Little did he know that Tina and I had been discussing it already. I had asked her to tell her dad about it for me. On April 13, 2009, my husband and I decided I would get the LapBand as well. At that point in time, I weighed 265 pounds (I was a size 28 dress and tops, and a size 48 pants). Making that decision is the best thing that I have ever done for myself. Before the LapBand, I was getting high blood pressure and border line diabetes. I had trouble breathing and I also had my gallbladder out, kidney stones and my sinuses often gave me problems. When the doctors asked me to be on blood pressure medicine, I knew it was time for me to take action. After the Lapband surgery, my husband said I was a new person and I truly am. I am not on blood pressure medicine. I can breathe normally. I can go for long walks. I can play with my grandchildren. I can run and hike. I kayak and love camping; I love getting outdoors again! I love my life; I love the Lapband. I got my life back and it is WONDERFUL! After 2 years with the Lapband, I am now in a size 4-6 skirt, 6-8 dress and size 10 pants.
Ps. my daughter Tina got her life back too!×
Hi, I'm Sandy, and here's my story. It's not one of those immediate life and death emergencies that we hear about -- at least not yet... But, I was 55 years old, 5' tall and 243 pounds. I had been struggling to lose weight all my life, and had been over 200 lbs since my late twenties. I had tried all the diets and programs that came along. I would lose 30 or 40 pounds and stall, and eventually regain the weight plus some. I had diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, and an assortment of aches and pains. My hips and knees hurt all the time. I was tired all the time, exercising was painful. I was so out of shape that I couldn't climb a single flight of stairs without stopping to rest. I was on 8 medications, and I was about to go on insulin, which for me would be the point of no return. I saw an article in a diabetes magazine that talked about how effects of diabetes are severely reduced or even resolve with bariatric surgeries. I had seen ads for the Lap-Band with Lifeshape Bariatrics, so, in February 2008, I went to Dr. Fusco's seminar in Melbourne. I was inspired by the testimonials – people losing weight and getting their lives back, and I was impressed with the statistics on health improvements. My family encouraged me to do it, and I never looked back. My surgery was on August 18, 2008. Life-changing doesn’t begin to describe it. Lifeshape Bariatric team and Dr. Fusco were professional, efficient and caring. I had their support all along the way to make sure I understood what I needed to do, and I had a group of friends in staff and the patients to cheer me on and help me through the journey. I watched my weight come off steadily, but at a reasonable rate. I watched my body change; and my health improved so quickly that, by December, I was off of all of my diabetes and hypertension meds and down to one med for cholesterol. In August 2009, on the anniversary of my surgery, I had lost 92 pounds, and went on to lose a total of 110 pounds after 18 months. I’m now maintaining this new body and loving my new life. The surgery isn’t a magic bullet – I still have to eat the right foods, follow the rules, and exercise. But, for the first time in my life, I have control over food. For the first time in almost 30 years, I don’t have the problems with diabetes that would cause the wild swings in my blood sugar. My joints don’t ache, and I can be as active as I want to be. It’s great to have a medical option to help with a permanent weight loss solution, but it’s even better when you have a great team like Dr. Fusco and the Lifeshape Bariatric team to help you be successful. Sandra Deems×
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