Success Stories

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The Center for Bariatric Surgery & Metabolic Medicine at PMC has helped people lose significant amounts of weight to get them back to a healthier and happier quality of life. Read just a few of our weight loss surgery success stories below.

Melissa’s and Maureen’s Story

Melissa and Maureen

At her heaviest, Melissa was 310 pounds. She had sleep apnea and asthma. Her clothes didn’t fit, and she couldn’t reach her toes to paint her nails. Melissa knew it was time to make a change.

Her mom, Maureen, also struggled with her weight for years, and at her heaviest was 240 pounds. She had chronic back and knee pain, and used an inhaler to climb the stairs.

After years of yo-yo dieting, hypnosis, and pre-packaged meal plans, Melissa and Maureen decided to commit to long-term, sustainable weight loss — together.

At the Center for Bariatric Surgery & Metabolic Medicine at Princeton Medical Center, Melissa and Maureen got ready for weight-loss surgery with a bariatrics team in their corner.

In the months leading up their surgeries, they worked with expert surgeons, registered dietitians, and clinical psychologists. They underwent medical and surgical evaluations, participated in support groups, and had nutrition counseling to learn the lifestyle changes they would need for sustained success.

They also met with Donna Post, Metabolic and Bariatric Clinical Coordinator & Reviewer, who had bariatric surgery herself in 2015. Post guided them through the preparation process, answering their questions and addressing their concerns with information that merged her clinical expertise and her own experiences.

Then, on Feb. 1, 2017, Melissa and Maureen each had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy. Since then, the pair have lost nearly 200 pounds combined.

But surgery alone doesn’t account for their success.

Melissa and Maureen fully adhered to the bariatrics program. They stayed in contact with their clinical team, followed nutrition plans, and attended support groups. Their hard work and continued support from each other and their team has paid off beyond the falling number of the scale. Mother and daughter achieved better health while building confidence and self-esteem.

Now they’re exercising regularly, shopping for fun, and enjoying time at the beach.

Melissa’s sleep apnea is gone and her asthma is under control. She can now paint her toenails and breathe comfortably at the same time.

Maureen is off her inhaler. Her back and knee pain has subsided, and she’s even completed a 5K.

Their only regret about weight-loss surgery is that they didn’t do it sooner.

“I want to tell the world,” Maureen said. “It made such a difference!” Melissa echoed her mom: “110 percent yes! I wish I would have done it sooner.”

Phyllis’ Story

Cynthia’s Story

In high school, Cynthia Meekins weighed 110 pounds. But in her early 30s, her sedentary lifestyle began weighing on her, literally. By her mid 40s, she'd gained 137 pounds, and the weight was taking a toll on her 5'2" frame.

Read Cynthia's story >

Melissa’s Story

Last fall, Melissa Hurst discovered the thrill of being able to pick up her son at her mother's house a block away without help. Small, daily victories like the joy of running show how dramatically her life has changed since undergoing bariatric surgery in May 2014. She bolts up stairs. She doesn't feel tired or irritable.

Read Melissa's story >

Edie’s Story

Edie Pannone used to avoid having her photograph taken with her two children. Dangerously obese, a condition that led to her developing diabetes, she was always tired and struggled to keep up with work and family demands.

Read Edie's story >

Phyllis’ Story

In October, Phyllis Oppenheimer ran her first half-marathon, crossing the finish line in Atlantic City after running 13.1 miles in just over three hours. "Running a marathon was a goal I set for myself, and I was determined to reach it," says the Lawrenceville woman, who has lost nearly 100 pounds since having LAP-BAND® (gastric banding) surgery in 2008.

Read Phyllis' story >

Angelica’s Story

It was Angelica D'Ambrisi's 23rd birthday, and her life was at an all-time low. At 5'2", she weighed 262 pounds, and felt terrible. Her weight was affecting her self-esteem and keeping her from socializing. Then a family member recommended Princeton Medical Center's Center for Bariatric Surgey & Metabolic Medicine.

Read Angelica's story >

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