Katie says her weight-loss surgery has changed more than just her size

Weight-loss surgery options at UI Health System include laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy

I had always thought about weight-loss surgery. I’d been overweight my entire life, but I thought surgery was either really drastic or I wouldn’t qualify.

Then, at an annual checkup, my doctor asked if I’d thought about surgery to lose weight. When I got home, I googled surgery centers and found the Bariatric Surgery Program at UI Health.

My surgeon had so much confidence in me and went through everything with me. We discussed all the options, and we decided the sleeve was right for me. They remove 80–85 percent of your stomach, so the remaining portion is shaped like a sleeve.

I started my supervised weight loss, and six months later I had surgery. My surgery was performed robotically, so I was in and out quickly, and healed really well. I’m not a year out, so I’m still losing and progressing. I’m down 80 pounds from my highest weight of 324.

I feel better. I can move around better. I haven’t taken a blood pressure pill since before my surgery.

There have been some surprising changes, too. I’m maid of honor in a wedding soon, and we went dress shopping recently. I was dreading it because I was still thinking of the 300-pound me. It’s really great to not feel bad trying on clothes!

My son was a big factor in my decision to have surgery. He’s my everything, and I wanted to be there for him. It was just time.