Bariatric Surgery Offers a New Lease on Life
Ella Newsum had struggled with her weight for many years.
“I was successful at dieting, but not at keeping off the weight I had lost,” said the 54-year-old Somerset resident.
By the time Ella reached 330 pounds, she had high blood pressure and a negative self-image. A friend, who had successful gastric bypass surgery at Overlook prompted Ella to consult with Dr. Ajay Goyal, medical director of Overlook’s Center for Advanced Bariatric Surgery.
“I wasn’t looking for miracles overnight,” said Ella. “I wanted a permanent, long-term solution to my weight problem and I knew that it would require a lifelong commitment.
“When I met Dr. Goyal, I immediately felt I was in good hands,” recalled Ella. “He wanted me to be a partner in this process and left the decision up to me between a more invasive gastric bypass with quicker results and a less-invasive lap-band procedure with slower results.”
After a considerable amount of independent research and consultation with Dr. Goyal, Ella opted for Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band (Lap-Band) surgery, designed to reduce the amount of food that can be consumed at one time. During the one-hour laparoscopic surgery, a silicone ring filled with saline solution is placed around the upper part of the stomach, creating a smaller stomach pouch and narrow passageway that limits the amount of food that can pass through. Patients feel fuller faster and, as a result, eat less and lose weight. Band adjustments occur over the next weeks, months and years by adding or removing saline from the ring.
When Ella had lap-band surgery, her goal was to lose 100 pounds. A year later, she has surpassed her goal and today maintains a consistent weight in the neighborhood of 185 pounds.
“I feel wonderful,” Ella proclaimed. “I have more energy. My blood pressure is at normal levels. People tell me I look younger, and I’ve got a much more positive image of myself. I went from a size 28 to a size 14, and I can walk right past the plus-size section now.”
Ella said she is committed to keeping the weight off by attending weekly Weight Watchers meetings, exercising regularly, and paying more attention to the quality and quantity of food she consumes.
“I feel like a more normal person now,” she observed. “I have a new and improved outlook. Life is good!”