Sterling Center Bariatrics affords patients a second chance. For some, it is the chance to start over; for others, it is the chance to save their lives. Marissa Phillips, a 25-year-old accountant from Homerville, Georgia, is one of those success stories.
Phillips underwent a gastric sleeve procedure in June 2017. The procedure works by removing over half of the stomach and then sewing the remaining sides of the stomach together to create a “sleeve” that allows a smaller volume of food to be ingested.
Phillips explained that she has always had problems with her weight and trying to lose it. She realized that she needed to find a solution and began the research that led her to the Sterling Center.
“I can’t even begin to count the many different diets and workout plans that I’ve attempted,” she said. “It wasn’t until about a year-and-a-half ago that I really started to see my weight negatively affecting my life. I was unhappy, embarrassed, tired, and depressed. I had absolutely zero self-confidence. I didn’t even want to leave the house or socialize with friends because I was so disgusted with the way I felt and looked. At that point, I knew there was a lot of life ahead of me, and I refused to continue letting my weight keep me in such a dark place.”
Phillips chose Sterling Center Bariatrics because of the close proximity to her home and all the great things she heard about it.
“They took excellent care of me and always made me feel so comfortable throughout the entire process,” Phillips said.
That process was much quicker than Phillips originally thought it would be. It began with her first consultation in late March of last year, with the surgery performed in June.
“I could have scheduled the procedure earlier than I did, but I wanted to wait until after our family vacation,” she said. “My profession isn’t physically demanding, so thankfully I didn’t have to be out of the office for a long period of time. My surgery was on a Friday, and I was back at work on Tuesday. That Tuesday and Wednesday, I only worked half days just to ensure that I didn’t push myself too far.”
Dr. Amber Holt performed Phillips’ surgery and beforehand explained to Phillips in thorough detail everything about the procedure and the importance of the pre-op process.
“The pre-op process involved meeting with Dr. Holt and her team to go over any questions I may have and other information on the surgery,” Phillips said. “They handled all of my insurance requirement submissions. Once we received my approval from insurance, the Sterling Center scheduled me to meet with a nutritionist and a psychiatrist. The last part of the pre-op process was all on me — the liver shrinking diet. This consisted of a two-week low carb, high protein diet with the last two days being a clear liquid diet. In my opinion, this was the toughest part of pre-op.”
After surgery, Phillips was kept overnight at the hospital. She knew that in order to be successful, it was important for her to follow her diet restrictions, as well as moving as much as physically possible.
“The first week after surgery is clear liquids only,” she said. “It’s tough to make sure you’re getting enough fluids in that first week. The second week, I could move to full liquids/soft foods like yogurts and other things. On the third week, I could slowly transition in normal foods. The key to life post-op is to maintain that low carb, high protein lifestyle. I try to eat my protein first, and then if I’m still hungry, I have a little bit of vegetables.”
Phillips started noticing changes three weeks after her post-op.
“I could see it physically, but most importantly I felt so much better,” she said.
Now, almost 10 months after her surgery, Phillips has lost a total of 96 pounds. Her only regret was that she didn’t do it sooner. She stressed how much her life has changed, physically and emotionally.
“If I could give any advice to someone considering bariatric surgery, I would tell them that you’ve got to do this for you,” she said. “Don’t let the fear of what others will think keep you from taking the leap for a better life.”
Why follow a Pre-Bariatric Surgery Diet?
Help your body get accustomed to the drastic permanent change it will experience with a post-surgery diet.
Improve all surgical outcomes and recovery time.
Reduce body fat around the liver. The proper pre-surgery diet will also shrink the liver itself.
A large liver can interfere with surgery as it can come too close to the stomach, which is being operated on.
Increase protein intake, which promotes muscle and tissue repair.
Basic Pre-Surgery Diet Tips
• Decrease all fatty foods.
• Decrease all sugary foods.
• Avoid alcohol.
• Avoid binge eating or over eating.
Recommended Post-Surgery Foods
• Broth Based Soups
• Flavored Water
• Sugar-Free Beverages
• Hot Cereals
• Low Fat Yogurt
• Slim Fast
• Low Fat Creamed Soups
Written by: Alex Dunn