Memorial Comprehensive Weight-Loss Surgery Program
A Multidisciplinary Approach to Serious Weight Loss
Eymie Quinones of Weston started gaining weight in nursing school because she wasn't eating the right foods and studying consumed much of her time. "I thought I could take it off after nursing school but that never happened," she says.
Twelve years later, at 265 pounds, she suffered from joint problems, acid reflux, high cholesterol and shortness of breath. Her blood pressure and blood sugar levels were dangerously high, and hours on her feet as a nurse left her exhausted. She had tried everything from fad diets and exercise to weight-loss pills, only to keep losing and regaining the same 25 pounds. Following the purchase of size 22 jeans, she decided to explore weight-loss surgery.
After learning about Memorial Comprehensive Weight-Loss Surgery Program, Eymie discussed laparoscopic band surgery (LAP-BAND®) with Brett Cohen, MD, bariatric specialist and surgeon on the medical staff at Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Regional Hospital South, Memorial Hospital Miramar and Memorial Hospital Pembroke. "From the day I walked in," she says, "he got to know me and explained every step of the process. He showed me what the band looked like, told me exactly what would happen, and made the whole process very understandable."
Eymie, 32, learned that the reversible procedure involves inserting an inflatable band around the top portion of the stomach to create a smaller pouch that fills more quickly. Once the ring is adjusted — by injecting or removing saline via a port under the skin — optimal weight loss can be achieved. Eymie underwent surgery in March 2005. Within days, she was shopping at the mall.
A New Way of Life
Dr. Cohen tells patients weight-loss surgery is just the first step. "It helps people reduce the amount of food they're eating in a more comfortable way, so they don't feel like they're starving," he says. Maximum results require an ongoing commitment to eating right and exercising. Eymie, who worked with a dietitian before and after surgery, routinely visits the gym and avoids soda and fried foods. She realizes that if she loads up on empty calories, she won't have room for more nutritious choices. "Instead of a milk shake," she says, "I'll have a piece of fish and some vegetables."
Eymie, who lost 101 pounds and is down to size a 12, has inspired her brother and sister to eat healthier and exercise. Her goal is to lose 20 more pounds and buy new clothes and a swimsuit to wear on a Caribbean cruise she's planning. But the real payoff is the health benefits. "Eymie's results are fantastic," Dr. Cohen says. "Her blood pressure is normal, she doesn't have joint problems and the reflux is only an intermittent issue. Her blood sugar and cholesterol levels have returned to normal, and she has more energy than ever."
"I was at a theme park recently with my younger sister and a friend," Eymie says, "and I outran them. I was actually running! I looked back and they were sweating and yelling, 'Don't run!' I thought, 'Oh my. I'm running and I'm not out of breath or anything!'"
Memorial Comprehensive Weight-Loss Surgery Program hosts informative monthly seminars to answer your questions and introduce you to people who have undergone weight-loss surgery. Check our calendar for details.