Before & After VSG and Plastic Surgery with Vanessa, losing 160 lbs!October 9, 2018
Why I Decided to Have WLS
My struggle with weight started after the birth of my second child in 1994 at the age of 23. I had not had an issue with weight in the past and I felt like something was off. I remember going to my primary doctor and told him that he needed to find something either physically or mentally wrong. After having multiple tests performed, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. On top of having issues with my thyroid, I started using Depo-Provera for birth control. BIG MISTAKE! It contributed to my weight gain of 100 pounds in just a year.
Fast forward to 2014, I was at my highest weight of 308 pounds. I had let time pass me by without taking the much-needed steps to win my weight battle.
I allowed my weight to control my life. It controlled my activities, my job, my job advancements, my health, my time spent with family and friends.
I had to take back control, so I spoke to my PCP regarding weight loss surgery and was referred to Dr. Hamilton Le. I attended his seminar and learned about the different types of bariatric surgery in May of 2014. His explanation of each surgery was so informative. I had gone into this process with my mind set on having a Gastric Band; however, after listening to all of the pros and cons of each weight loss surgery procedure, I decided on the Vertical Gastric Sleeve.
Before & After VSG and Plastic Surgery with Vanessa
My Surgery and Post-Op Life
Prior to the surgery, I was required to lose 30 pounds; however, I lost 60 pounds. A few members of my family and friends asked me why I was still going through with the surgery since I had been so successful in losing weight on my own. I explained that the weight loss surgery was like a relay race. The surgery was the first leg and I was the anchor. Having surgery wasn’t the end, it was just the beginning. I also explained the surgery was like a spotter or tool, to be there and help me with my weight loss.
My surgery was performed in October of 2014 and was one of the best decisions I’ve made. To date, I have lost a total of 160 pounds and have maintained my weight for three years. One of the ways to be successful in maintaining, you must think of it as a lifestyle, not a diet. You’ll lose weight in the first year, after surgery, but if you don’t change your eating habits and lifestyle you WILL gain it back.
Getting Plastic Surgery
Even before reaching my goal, I knew plastic surgery would be needed. In February of 2015, there was a seminar regarding plastic surgery after extreme weight loss. It was at the hospital where I had my surgery and conducted by Dr. Jayesh Panchal. I wasn’t ready at that time to start plastics but wanted to research doctors and different procedures. Throughout the next few years, I continued to research. I even talked to my GYN and was given a list of plastic surgeons that she recommended and Dr. Panchal was on that list.
A year later when talking to my GYN, she asked if I had decided on a surgeon and I had not. She gave me another list and some of the names changed, but Dr. Panchal was still on that list. My first consult visit for plastic surgery was not with Dr. Panchal. The first doctor I saw was extremely nice, professional and knowledgeable. He also promised me the sun, moon, and stars.
I knew a 46-year-old woman who had birthed 2 children (1 C-section, 1 vaginal) and who had lost 160 pounds, was not going to have the body of a 20-year-old. No matter how many surgeries, I knew the reality. I was getting frustrated because I was mentally and physically ready for surgeries but couldn’t find "the one" good fit for me.
I was talking to my mom because prior to retirement she had worked with many doctors as a circulating RN in multiple types of surgeries. I asked about all the doctors I had consulted to get her opinion. To my surprise, she had worked with Dr. Panchal many times and spoke very highly of him! It was finally time to follow the signs that kept pointing to Dr. Panchal.
My first consult was in November of 2017. I knew the moment I met Dr. Panchal and his staff that he was the one! Not only was he extremely knowledgeable and thorough with his explanations to my questions, but he was also REALISTIC. He helped me understand the limitations, but also expanded my expectations to what could be achieved.
My first set of surgeries were done in December of 2017: Brachioplasty, Mastopexy and Medial Thigh Lift. My second set of surgeries were done in June of 2018: Lower Body Lift with Fat Transfer to Buttocks and Upper Back Lift. There is one word that can sum up Dr. Panchal... ARTIST! I could never thank him enough for the confidence he has restored. His compassion, professionalism, knowledge, and skill were everything I was looking for in a plastic surgeon. I don’t consider him my Plastic Surgeon... he is my Artistic Surgeon.
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