“I’ve been struggling with my weight since I was 16,” now 45-year-old Lillian said. “It was hard finding clothes growing up because plus size stores weren’t as popular as they are now.”
The decision to take action came after a routine medical exam in 2008 when her doctor expressed concern about future health complications. “Diabetes and congestive heart failure run in my family,” she said. “I didn’t have those health problems at the time but I was basically a statistic waiting to happen.”
Lillian began to research gastric bypass surgeons near her home in Ft. Riley, Kansas. In preparation for surgery, she attended courses and counseling. “I was all excited and wanted to learn everything,” she said. And after that, I had absolutely no worries at all." Four years after the procedure, she had already lost 130 pounds! The only problem was the massive amount of loose skin left behind.
“I knew I needed to have weight loss skin surgery," Lillian said. "It was scary at first because you hear everything under the sun as far as complications." When Lillian went to a consultation at Dr. Peterson’s office, she was pleasantly surprised. “Dr. Peterson and Mary (patient coordinator) have blessed me from day one,” Lillian said. “I was so nervous but Mary loved on me and I felt safe.”
After making the decision to have tummy tuck surgery, Lillian was thrilled to continue her transformation. “It’s unfortunate because some people fall short after surgery,” Lillian said. “I’ve known people personally who have gained all their weight back after gastric bypass. My mind was made up to change for life,” she said.
Now living in Kentucky, Lillian recovered in an out-patient apartment near Dr. Peterson's office for six weeks after surgery. "I have special needs kids, so that level of care meant a lot to me, Lillian said. “After surgery Mary called me around the clock to make sure I was OK. She would tell me how proud she was of me and that really helped me get through recovery. They’ve seen the failures and I promised myself I wouldn’t let her down! I did everything I needed to do exactly how she said to do it. And I didn’t have any complications at all— I mean none!”
Tummy Tuck surgery propelled Lillian even further toward her goal weight. “They tell you what to eat and what not to eat,” Lillian said. “No more sugar in your life unless you’re prepared to deal with the consequences. You learn to eat a smaller portion and be happy with it. I enjoy my food more now instead of always eating quickly on the go.”
Lillian lost over 150 pounds after gastric bypass and tummy tuck surgery. “After I lost weight I actually had energy for exercise,” she said. “I wasn’t huffing and puffing anymore like a smoker and there was no extra weight holding me down. Once I lost a little weight, my motivation grew to lose more and more.”
Since her tummy tuck, Lillian feels happy and confident. “I used to wear a size 28 and now even an 8 is too big," she said. "I go to stores looking for size 4-6. I can go shopping anywhere I want now. My kids make skinny jokes now, which is still weird to me!”
“I wouldn’t trade what I did for anything in the world,” Lillian said. “I would tell anyone who is serious about a lifestyle change to see Dr. Peterson. They are a great team and Mary is one of a kind. I wish I could get the world to go to Dr. Peterson!”