Before & After VSG & Hernia Repair with Tummy Tuck of Nicole

Before & After VSG & Hernia Repair with Tummy Tuck of Nicole

January 29, 2019

Why I Decided to Have WLS

I struggled with obesity on and off most of my life. I recall as a teenager joining Weight Watchers and never sticking to it, finding it difficult. At 21, I even worked for Nutrisystem selling their program while being on it myself, constantly yo-yo dieting,  losing 40 pounds and slowly but surely gaining it back.

At age 23, I was married and became pregnant. Instead of enjoying the pregnancy, I hated the changes in my growing belly. I never lost the weight and became pregnant again two years later and just got bigger.

At 27, I divorced and became a single parent of two beautiful girls, ages 1 and 4 and they were always my priority. It was hard focusing on myself working crazy hours to provide for my young family. It was a lot of stress and I began to turn to food to soothe my emotions and stress.

Fast forward to 50 years old, I had developed two umbilical hernias at different times and weighed 250 pounds.

As an overweight single mom with an addiction to carbs, I was very unhealthy. I was being treated with prescription medications for type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. I also had a huge umbilical hernia that needed to be repaired and was told by surgeons that I needed to lose weight first. At this time in my life, I was completely miserable and frustrated with my poor quality of life. At 50 years old, I knew I had to make major changes for my health and decided to pursue weight loss surgery.

I met with a bariatric surgeon, Dr. Shawn Garber, and his team of experts at the New York Bariatric Group. After meeting with them, I knew that my life was going to change forever. My life changed when I had Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) on May 24th, 2017. Despite all of my worries and concerns, my weight literally came off daily, weekly and monthly. Dr. Garber saved my life! After one and a half months, I was off all medications. Before I knew it, life was totally happening!

Before & After VSG & Hernia Repair with Tummy Tuck

OH Username: FabNfitAt51
Weight Loss to Date: 95 pounds
Weight Loss Surgery: Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG), May 2017
Bariatric Surgeon: Dr. Shawn Garber
Plastic Surgery Procedures: Hernia Repair with Tummy Tuck, October 2017
Plastic Surgeon: Dr. Kevin Small

Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss

On October 25, 2017, after losing 79 pounds, I then pursued a hernia repair with a tummy tuck at the New York Bariatric Group. Dr. Garber repaired my hernia while Dr. Small performed the tummy tuck. Between my VSG and my tummy tuck, I went from 250 pounds to 156 pounds, a size 16/18 and a 42 DD to a size 4-6 jeans and 6-8 dress and a 36c.

Dr. Kevin Small was so professional with an exceptional bedside manner. My initial consultation with Dr. Small was not only relaxed and professional, but warm and caring, and I trusted him. It was exciting because I felt so comfy as if I knew him for many years.

My healing process was right on point just as Dr. Small had told me it would be. Each visit got more exciting to see my new abdomen through photos that were taken each visit so I was able to see the swelling go down and the scar slowly fade. A cream was suggested to help heal and keep the incision hydrated. I now am able to put a product such as Dermablend makeup to conceal my scar and you’d never even know I had a tummy tuck.

Dr. Small is not only a fantastic surgeon but a family man. He treats me like family at all of my follow up visits. He talks to me in a very down to earth manner as I share any concerns even with diet and exercise. He really cares about his patients. I adore Dr. Small and his staff. I would recommend Dr. Small.

Strong, Healthy, & Confident - A Changed Life

I have learned to eat right and focus on portion control. I love to exercise and my energy level is one of someone half my age. Best of all, I am alive. Not only have I turned my health and life around, but my confidence also grew as well.

I learned to love and respect my body. I realize it is the most precious thing anyone could ever own. I don’t take anything for granted since I was given a second chance in life. I live in it and no longer stand on the sidelines and watch others' happiness.

Before & After VSG & Hernia Repair with Tummy Tuck of Nicole

Life today is beyond words, I’m much lighter on my feet and I feel great. I look like I feel, I’m no longer just a pretty face. I work out six days week with no excuses and I’m in impeccable strong shape. I feel sexy and confident, and I love to shop.

If anyone is out there who struggles with their weight, you are not alone. Have hope, have faith, and make your own destiny. I am living proof that weight loss surgery and skin removal will change your life forever!

Special Milestones & Non-Scale Victories

I’ve had so many milestones and non-scale victories since my surgeries, here are some of my favorites.

  • No longer needing to shop in plus size stores.
  • Fitting into a size 6 jeans.
  • Being featured on TV and on a billboard on I-95 in Connecticut.
  • Fitting into a 2-piece bathing suit and feeling sexy.

The most special milestone was my engagement and being loved by a man who understands and respects the new healthy strong me. My family is proud of me and I’m so happy to be able to see my daughters grow up with families of their own. I’m finally living the life I’ve always wanted. It’s true what they say about the new 50s is the new 30s.

Thank you to Dr. Shawn Garber, Dr. Kevin Small, and the fantastic team of experts at NYBG who truly care about us as people and have changed thousands of lives! Without you, I would not be living the most amazing life as I am today!

Share Your Before & After Success!

Celebrate your own Before & After WLS Success, milestones, non-scale victories, and inspire others! The OH team wants to hear from you to share your weight loss surgery journey. Visit our Before & After Submission page for details.