Pregnancy wreaks havoc on a woman’s body and over a period of five years, Nancy Steman-Federle welcomed four wonderful sons into the world. Six days after the birth of her son in 2000, Steman-Federle suffered a heart attack and underwent emergency surgery. Four months later, she lost her mother.
“I was dealing with so much stress and anxiety it took a toll on my physical and mental health,” recalls Steman-Federle, now 47, of Hilliard, Ohio. “When I’m stressed or unhappy, I eat. I’m only 5 feet 2 inches tall. At my heaviest, I was as big around as I am tall.”
In 2003, she underwent gastric bypass surgery at a community hospital. Initially, she did well—losing 100 pounds. The weight loss wasn’t sustained, though, and within three years she had regained 65 pounds.
She sought the advice of UC Health bariatric surgeon Brad Watkins, MD, who performed a corrective procedure known as ROSE (Restorative Obesity Surgery, Endoluminal) to adjust her stomach to its original post-bypass surgery proportions, limiting food intake.
“This kept the weight at bay for a while, but my weight slowly began creeping up again. It wasn’t a long-term solution that worked for me,” says Steman-Federle.
In April 2009, she asked Watkins about different options for maintaining weight loss.
“I didn’t want to be the fat mom. I wanted to feel good about myself again and fit into cute clothes,” Steman-Federle says about her decision to get a gastric band, an adjustable implanted device that reduces the physical size of the stomach. Within eight months, she had reached her goal weight of 126 pounds and has maintained it for three years.