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Sansum Clinic Bariatric Surgery Center Patient Stories

Celebrating Our Patients

Christina RiosStarting weight: 296 – Current Weight: 156

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I decided to have weight-loss surgery because I wanted to be healthy and I knew one day I wanted to start a family and couldn’t imagine not being able to run around with them because I was so unhealthy and out of shape. After I attended Dr. Zerey’s orientation, I knew what I wanted and what I needed to do to achieve my goal.

Since the surgery, my life has changed 100% for the better. I married my high school sweetheart and we are now expecting our first child – and I am happy and healthy! I can go on hikes, cross my legs, tie my shoes and sit comfortably in a restaurant booth. Life has definitely changed for the better and I am a much happier person than I was three years ago.

Most of my success comes from my support system. I have an amazing support system that has helped see me through some tough times. All of my family has been extremely supportive; especially my dad. He had weight-loss surgery a year after I had mine, so having him know what I went through has been a lot easier. He helps me with food, working out and going to support meetings with me. He gives me that extra push because he has been down the same road. We help each other out! The other part of my support system is the people in the support group meeting that I attend each month. This is a group of people that have had weight-loss surgery, are thinking about weight-loss surgery. Everyone is there to support one another and to give advice, share recipes and provide general support. The nutritionist, Emily Luxford, is amazing! She knows her stuff and is there for us in the support meetings or any other time we might need her.

If you are looking into weight-loss surgery, make sure it’s something you want to do, and remember that there is so much support from the bariatric department and the support groups. Take some time to think about it, because it is such a big lifestyle change. To those considering weight-loss surgery, I recommend going to orientation and coming to a support meeting to get some answers you might have from people who have had weight-loss surgery themselves.

The Bariatric Surgery department at Sansum Clinic is amazing! I have to thank everyone in this department for making this wonderful journey that much easier and wonderful.


Donny Rippberger Starting weight: 265 - Current weight: 185

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I have been overweight my whole life and began to experience some health issues. My daughter underwent weight-loss surgery a year prior and it had been very successful. I decided it was time to go for it!

Since the surgery, I am no longer pre-diabetic and both my cholesterol and blood pressure are down. My knee pain has decreased and my overall health is much improved. My confidence is up and I find being active is much easier and I enjoy it so much more now that the weight is gone. My self-confidence is up too!

This surgery has been an excellent start to changing my lifestyle (eating habits). It has given me the opportunity to lose the weight and re-educated myself how to eat. Everyone is different at losing weight – don’t set your goals too high, and by all means, don’t get frustrated. You are still going to have to continue educating yourself for the rest of your life to maintain success.

Everyone involved in the bariatric group at Sansum Clinic, from Dr. Zerey and his amazing medical team, to my nutritionist and the support group has all been fantastic. It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.  


Sansum Clinic, Bariatric Surgery Center
Pueblo Multi-Specialty Clinic
317 West Pueblo St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

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