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Meet Deena

Weight Lost: 129 Lbs
Estimated Weight loss %: 102%
Procedure: Da Vinci Gastric Sleeve

Hi, My name is Deena. I had a gastric sleeve 18 months ago. I lost 130 pounds - almost 50 percent of my body weight.

I find Dr. Ganta comforting because he seems so confident and knowledgeable. And if I'm going to put a part of my anatomy in someone else’s hands, that's really what I want.

I've struggled with my weight my whole life. As a kid, I was on a lot of steroids for asthma - they didn't really have effective medications like they do now.

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But I was never incredibly overweight until I was in college. Then I lost a lot of weight before I got married a few years ago and I was the smallest I’d ever been. I started rapidly gaining weight after we were married because I was working in the food industry, which is not a good industry for me to work in. And then I got pregnant and even though I was working out, when I was around seven months pregnant I stopped being able to do the kind of workouts that I like to do, primarily kickboxing. Then I started having third term labor issues and packed on the pounds. I was the biggest that I'd ever been when I gave birth, and I just couldn't get the weight off. My insurance covered weight loss surgery so I started looking into it and I went to a couple of different consultations and then I of course went to Doctor Ganta. I never really took it seriously during the supervised diet - I thought, “oh I'll just do this on my own.”

So I knew I just needed some help like and thought I’d go through the requirements to see, and I did the research because that's the type of person that I am. I had originally come in thinking that I would get the lap band, but the more research I did on the lap band statistics it just didn't seem like what I really wanted to do. I had never heard of the sleeve but I started researching it and but I still didn't really take it seriously.

Then it was about maybe two months before the end of my six-month supervised weight loss, and I just kind of felt trapped. I was miserable, was still not really losing weight and I just I felt so defeated. I'd lost weight before and then I'd put it back on - I'm sure you hear the same story all the time.

In looking at my options, I thought, why not go with something that's permanent? This is obviously a permanent problem. So I did it and I was terrified the day that I went in for surgery and I almost ran out of the hospital in my gown with my butt in the wind!

But I went through with it and I never look back, and it’s probably the best thing that I've ever done for myself.

It is definitely an adjustment. When you're making the decision to have this type of surgery I think you need to be prepared to change your life. I don't agree that it's about being moderate or any of that - I think if you get yourself into the position that you have weight loss surgery because you're morbidly obese, then you need to be prepared to change your life - otherwise you just shouldn't have the surgery.

After surgery you have to go through some changes - clear liquids, then full liquids and then purees and all of that - it's basically like re-learning to eat because you have - I mean, I think my stomach is maybe the size of a toddler's.

I've always really been active so that wasn't a problem, and I know a lot about nutrition. So eating healthy wasn't a problem - it was mainly just that you eat a lot less. I had some food intolerances but now I can eat anything which is both a blessing and a curse.

There are a lot of non-scale victories along the way, like being able to wrap your towel all the way around your body. Now my towels are enormous. Being able to wear my husband's jeans, and they're actually enormous (and he's very thin; 5 foot 10 and 155 pounds. Being able to run after my toddler all over the playground, sitting down slides with no problem. Mainly it's just confidence. I've always had a lot of confidence in myself and my intelligence and my personality. But I've struggled with what I look like my whole life and I don't anymore. I feel good about myself. I did this surgery primarily because I wanted to be the best mother that I could be to my daughter. And I didn't want her to grow up with someone who was miserable and defeated because that's not who I am. I wanted to show her strength and determination and courage and confidence.  I want her to be happy and secure in herself and that starts with me. And I think that I'm doing as good as I possibly can.

I'm on Obesity Help, which is a forum, and we talk a lot about the sleeve as a tool and that's what it is. It's nice. You still have to make the choices but this makes its moments easier and makes it easier in terms that you can't eat as much, and you’re not as hungry. It's the most effective tool in your arsenal of maintaining your weight and losing your weight. I've always been able to lose weight but I've never been able to keep it off. And this enables me to keep it off. It's not that I don't fall down. It's not that I don't make bad choices because everybody does. I'm human. But it's easier to get back up on the horse so to speak and to continue on having the sleep. I don't regret it at all. I think it's an amazingly effective tool. I'm glad that I found out about it before I had surgery. I'm glad that it exists.  I would recommend it to anybody who you know needs to have weight loss surgery and is ready to change their life. I'm a huge advocate of it.

I chose Dr. Ganta because he explained to all of the surgeries that I could possibly have and would never give me an opinion on what I should do. It was all in my hands. Even when I asked him straight up for an opinion he was asking me, why? I like that he was so thorough talking about the different surgeries and what the different statistics were for each surgery. He’s not exactly warm and cuddly, but I find that comforting because he seems so confident and knowledgeable. And if I'm going to put a part of my anatomy in someone else’s hands, that's really what I want. I felt secure, which I think is I think a huge thing when you're allowing someone to take out a huge portion of your very healthy anatomy. So that's why I chose him over other people. I had a good gut feeling.