Before and After VSG with Desiree

Before and After VSG with Desiree, down 157 pounds!

May 25, 2021

Why I decided to have WLS

I was overweight much of my life, with obesity taking over little by little until finally, I was considered morbidly obese. I had dieted since I was a little girl. I was never able to wear smaller clothing as others could. There were brief times in my adult life that I was fairly thin such as on my wedding day 36 years ago. However, those times were few and far between.

I’d tried many different diets and weight loss programs, ranging from counting calories, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Keto, and everything in between. I would lose a bit of weight, but each time, I’d wind up gaining it all back and then some. It definitely took a toll on me. I dressed in dark colors often, thinking that would make me look smaller. The sizes gradually went up until I wore a size 22/24, and at that size, choices are limited to dress stylishly.

I was short of breath walking distances, and overall just felt uncomfortable in my clothing, and at times, in my own skin. I knew I needed to change my life. I was getting older and didn’t want disease and pain in my body to take over.

As a Registered Nurse for many years at Good Samaritan Hospital, I have been blessed to meet some of the finest physicians to choose from. Dr. Edward Cussatti, NYBG, is truly one of the best that I've ever known. I had the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy on 12/10/18.

Before my surgery, I had to complete six months of appointments with various physicians. I was required to see a pulmonologist, who also performed sleep apnea testing, a cardiologist, and a gastrointestinal physician.

I was required to have an endoscopy to make sure my stomach lining was healthy before the surgery; a nutritionist to help me learn what proper portions postoperative would look like; a psychiatrist to make sure my decision to have this life-altering surgery were for the right reasons; my primary care physician as well as pre-op classes with the director of bariatrics. I was also required to attend the bariatric support group that my hospital provided. 

Before and After VSG with Desiree

Name: Desiree
Weight Loss Total: 157 pounds
Surgery Type: VSG
Surgery Date: 12/10/2018
Surgeon: Dr. Edward Cussatti

My Surgery and Post-Op Life

10 days before the surgery, I was required to go on a liquid diet to help shrink my liver. Most obese patients have a fatty liver. If the diet is not followed, the surgery has to be canceled. I had some trepidation starting the liquid diet, but by day four, I was no longer hungry and kept my eye on the prize, so to speak.

I spent 24 hours in the hospital, and my recovery was relatively uneventful. I was required to continue liquids only for two weeks, followed by puréed, soft, and gradually a regular diet. It took about 5 weeks to get to that point, but each stage is for a purpose. Your new stomach is still healing, and you never want to rush through the stages. I felt pretty well and did not have any complications.

Before and After VSG with Desiree

Dr. Cussatti was there for me every step of my journey. I have lost 157 lbs and have a brand new lease on life. I was hypertensive and had just found out that I was diabetic prior to surgery. I had a lot of joint pain, back issues, and pain in my knees that made exercise difficult.

By March of 2018, I was off blood pressure medication, and my AIC was normal! I hit my target goal in 11 months and lost even more after that.

Before and After VSG with Desiree: Special Milestones

Today, I'm grateful, happier and healthier than I have been in years.

  • I can walk 12 miles with ease and exercise religiously.
  • I shop in any store now and wear a small/medium, and a size 6/8. I love clothes and take pleasure knowing that I don’t have to hide in black or dark clothing anymore! I dress in color and feel amazing!
  • My wedding rings are 2.5 sizes smaller now. They’d literally fall off my finger.
  • I love cooking and love finding new ways to make my meals interesting while following my surgeon’s keys to success. 
  • Food is no longer my comfort vice. It's merely to fuel my body.
  • At 59 years of age, I'm proud of my ability to be focused and go after my goals.

I had a severe case of COVID 19 last April, and every physician that cared for me told me that if had I did not lose the weight, I likely would not have survived.

This was truly the best thing I ever did for myself, and I only wish I had done it sooner! Dr. Cussatti has given me the tools for success, and I'm infinitely grateful to him every day. 

I have learned that nothing is impossible with the right tools and mindset, regardless of age. My heartfelt thanks to the wonderful team at NYBG and Good Samaritan Hospital. Their support is unparalleled, and I highly recommend them!

Before and After VSG with Desiree

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.