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Sansum Clinic Bariatric Surgery Center Patient Stories

Celebrating Our Patients

Christina Rios, Santa Barbara, CA - Starting Weight: 296 - Current Weight: 156*

Successfully lost weight
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, Santa Barbara, CA - Starting weight: 265 - Current weight: 185*

Bariatric surgery success
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.  

Deanna Power, Santa Barbara, CALost 124 pounds*

Before losing 124 pounds with gastric bypass surgery Lost 124 pounds after gastric bypass surgery
Gastric bypass surgery is by far one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I realized that all the joint pain, high blood pressure, asthma and exhaustion didn’t leave me with the quality of life I wanted to have. I am so happy with my progress and so grateful to Dr. Zerey for his expertise, and in fact, I am grateful to the whole bariatric surgery team! I owe my great success in a major way to all of them and their support along the way.

As Dr. Zerey says at every orientation group meeting, this is a tool and he will give you the best procedure he is capable of doing, but the rest is up to you. I would say the most important post-op suggestion I can give to anyone considering this surgery is to be prepared and follow the rules. Also attending the monthly support group meetings, which I still do every month, is very important. The encouragement and support we give each other is very powerful.

This is a lifetime journey; the surgery is only the first step. To be successful, you need to be willing to follow the plans set forth by Dr. Zerey and the team as well as work at maintaining your new lifestyle. It’s worth every effort you put forth and I would encourage everyone who is thinking about doing this surgery to discuss it with your doctor.

Michelle Greer, Santa Barbara, CA - Lost over 200 pounds*

Lost over 200 poundsLost over 200 pounds
Before the surgery, I had tried every single diet in the book with always the same experience: short lived success, a never ending plateau, and finally failure as the weight came back. I eventually just started to think I would never lose the weight. I’m not sure what changed when I decided to do the surgery. I think for me, the level of commitment was higher.

As I attended doctor visits and went through the pre-requisites to get the surgery, I think I started to realize for the first time how unhealthy my life was and that it needed to change. Once I started researching and found Dr. Zerey at Sansum Clinic, I never looked back. The moment I fully dedicated myself, there was nothing easier than following the guidelines prescribed by the bariatrics team. The number one tip I can give to anyone considering weight loss surgery is to simply follow the rules. I followed the detailed guidelines of what to eat, how to eat and even when to eat. I was dedicated to the change in lifestyle.

I’ve lost over 200 pounds since the surgery in 2013. I always thought I didn’t enjoy physical activity, but it turns out what I didn’t enjoy was having to carry the extra weight with me everywhere I went. Now I enjoy hikes, bike riding and just a general increase of activity. I no longer have to consider if I will be able to enjoy something before I say yes, the answer is almost instantaneous!

I always considered myself a confident person but the level of comfort in my body has extended to a level of comfort in many more social areas. It’s simply easier to be the best possible version of myself when it’s easier to move, breathe and live unencumbered by so much weight!

Results may vary from patient to patient. Rapid weight loss may be associated with certain medical conditions and should only be considered by those who are medically appropriate.

Find out if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery to help you lose weight.