Dr. Nilesh A. Patel of Texas Bariatric Specialists (TBS) is pleased to announce that a Gastric Bypass procedure performed on Kathy Baird Crober of Lockhart, Texas, was a success. The surgery was quite complex, in that Ms. Crober had previously undergone a Nissen wrap for heartburn and stomach ulcers, which needed to be removed simultaneously, requiring that Nissen wrap surgeon operate with Dr. Patel.=
Kathy Baird Crober grew up as part of a large, extended family and annual summer family reunions are an important part of her life. She always looked forward to seeing everyone at the event itself, as well as enjoying and sharing the fun pictures afterwards. But looking at the 2009 reunion photos, Kathy found one that pictured her standing in front of her grown nephew – a big guy – and almost completely covering him. That’s when Kathy realized, “I am WAY overweight!” and decided to do something about it!
An active athlete in school, Kathy was always somewhat heavy, but workouts kept her in balance. Once out of school, her activity level decreased, but her caloric and fat intake remained high. A self-described “junk food junkie”, Kathy’s diet consisted mainly of fast food, especially burgers and fries. The “baby weight” she gained during her pregnancies never really came off and alcohol added more pounds.
Kathy’s health began to deteriorate. She developed rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and fibromyalgia, conditions exacerbated by her increasing weight. She underwent a Nissen wrap procedure in 1999 due to heartburn and stomach ulcers as well as a hysterectomy in 2009. Eventually, her health worsened to the point that she was forced to go on disability and quit working. She stayed home, went out less and ate even more. Life was out of control.
The family reunion photo provided the catalyst Kathy needed to take control of her health and her life. She did extensive research and decided that she wanted bariatric surgery. Further research convinced her that Dr. Nilesh Patel of Texas Bariatric Specialists (TBS) was the right doctor for her, based on his experience, reputation and “just a good feeling about him”.
Kathy’s good feeling about Dr. Patel proved to be right. He was cautious about proceeding until he was able to seek out and find a surgeon with Nissen wrap experience to operate with him, as the wrap needed to come out prior to the gastric bypass surgery Kathy would have.
Kathy’s surgery was performed in December 2010 and she got to work immediately afterwards. She took advantage of Texas Bariatric Specialists’ nutritional counseling and completely changed her diet, focusing on protein, vegetables and fruit. Her husband, who was “100% supportive” of her decision, modified his diet along with hers. She began walking on a treadmill and using an exercise bike and the weight began to come off. Though her weight loss has made the symptoms of her health issues easier to deal with, she still struggles with her conditions and the necessary treatments, making her efforts to establish healthy habits that much more challenging.
But Kathy has maintained her current healthy 167 lbs, and is now able to eat almost everything she wants, though in smaller portions than previously. She continues to have a TBS protein shake for breakfast and an occasional lunch, and indulges in sweet snacks such as frozen grapes.
Shopping has even become fun – “I can shop in the regular department!” Kathy tells us. Wearing new clothes, Kathy went to the next family reunions and basked in the praise and compliments from her family. She even recently attended her 30th high school reunion, admitting that she would not have gone if she had not lost the weight.
Vacations to the coast and airline travel – without a seatbelt extension! – are now a part of Kathy’s new life. She is justifiably proud of the results from her hard work, and is sad that her mother did not live long enough to see her change, as Kathy knows her mom would be proud of her as well, telling us “I wish my mother could have seen me!”. Kathy is happy to share her success with others in TBS’s ongoing support groups, encouraging others in their fight to take control of their lives.