High blood pressure and obesity were limiting Jackie Brown’s life. At more than 350 pounds, Jackie struggled getting in and out of her car and bending over to tie her shoes. She had bad eating habits and didn’t get out much to enjoy social events, especially since she didn’t like seeing how she looked in photos of herself at parties.
“I tried the Atkins diet and diet pills four times but the weight always came back,” she said. The extra weight she carried was slowing her down and limiting her activity. “I couldn’t play outside with my daughter.”
Not wanting to reach 400 pounds, Jackie decided to take action. “There was no turning back,” she said. She came to Tulane Bariatric Center to discuss her weight-loss goals and see if surgery could be a tool to help her safely achieve them.
Jackie met with a dietician who helped her lower the amount of sugar and carbohydrates she was eating. Jackie lost 20 pounds on her own before surgery.
After six months of preparation, Jackie had a sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric sleeve procedure, performed by Tulane bariatric surgeon Dr. Christopher DuCoin. This procedure created a smaller stomach that is still connected to the intestines, so it limits how much she can eat and possibly decreases appetite due to less gut hormones.
“Everyone was pleasant at the hospital,” Jackie said. “My recovery nurse was wonderful.” She stayed in the hospital for two days after surgery.
Since then, Jackie has lost more than 115 pounds, and she is elated about her success. “I feel wonderful! This is me?! I can’t believe it. I’ve been overweight for so long, since middle and high school. Now, I have more energy to play with my daughter. My blood pressure is lowering and I’m taking less medication,” she said. “I’m loving the new me! My self-esteem is through the roof.”
For others who are on their weight-loss journey after bariatric weight-loss surgery, Jackie suggests to follow the nutrition regiment closely to avoid bad eating habits. Eat small meals and avoid carbohydrates, starches, rice and pasta. Incorporate cardio exercise and weight lifting into your daily routine.
“You have to stick to the plan,” she said. “You still have to do the work after surgery. Now, I have less cravings and I only eat when I’m hungry.”