It's not what you lose... it's what you gain!

Read about and watch what some of our patients have to say about their Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery experience.


Procedure: Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy
Doctor: Dr. Frank Chae
Facility: Sky Ridge Medical Center

Shelli before surgery

"I decided to talk to a doctor about the procedure so I continued to research until I came across Dr. Chae. He had the most experience in sleeves and I couldn’t find any negative reviews. I went in for my consultation in October and it was a whirlwind from there. My insurance required that I meet with a nutritionist, exercise consultant and psychologist for three months before the surgery. Fortunately, Dr. Chae has an incredible team that walked me through those three months. I learned a lot of things that I would have to do after the surgery that I thought were going to be impossible (like giving up soda as I was a raging Diet Coke addict) and only eating ¼ of a cup of food for the first few weeks). What I learned after the surgery was that I didn’t even want soda and I couldn’t eat more than ¼ cup without feeling full.

This has been the most amazing thing I have ever done for myself. I have lost more than 100 pounds in a year and it was so easy. I still have to work on getting my head on straight because, unlike bypass or lap band, there are no dietary restrictions with this surgery other than carbonated beverages. I am still tempted to solve my problems by eating, but I just remind myself where that got me before. Sometimes I slip, but I have had so much success that it is really easy to get right back on the horse.

Shelli after surgery

I know surgery can be scary and it seems odd to remove a part of your body that is functioning properly – but I think that if you are obese that is an indicator that it isn’t functioning properly. Truth be told, my only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner. I cannot say enough about how happy I am. Dr. Chae is like a firefighter – he pulled me out of a burning building and literally saved my life. I am still not at my ideal weight, but I have learned through this process to accept myself. I used to say that I wish I was as thin as I was when I thought I was fat. Well I am not that thin, but I feel thinner because I can finally say, after 43 years, that I like myself and how I look. That is a gift that is priceless."


Procedure: Gastric bypass surgery
Doctor: Dr. Michael Snyder
Facility: Rose Medical Center

"I have struggled with weight all my life. I went through years of ups and downs of extreme dieting and exercise, and it got to the point where I felt frustrated and had basically given up on weight loss success. When I finally reached about 280 pounds, I knew I needed something permanent and effective, so I started looking in to bariatric surgery. I discussed this option with my primary care physician, and with her help, I chose Dr. Michael Snyder at Rose Medical Center.

I had gastric bypass surgery in February 2010, and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve lost more than 125 pounds, and I feel great! I had always been active and athletic, but now I’m able to do so much more. I’ve participated in sprint triathlons, half and full marathons, and my new goal is to complete an Ironman competition before I turn 50!

I enjoy telling others about my weight loss journey, because I know that choosing surgery it’s a very difficult and personal decision to make. If I had it all to do over again, I would have the surgery in a heartbeat. I feel as though I’ve regained my life, and I’m so happy to be able to do even more with my kids and husband."


Procedure: Lap-band Surgery
Doctor: Dr. Richard Tillquist
Facility: Swedish Medical Center

Patty before surgery

Patty Fredericks is no longer hiding behind the struggles of weight loss after turning 50 this past year she decided it was time to do something. “I want to tell people to come out of hiding. I did and it’s the best choice I’ve ever made in my life” explains Fredericks. After years of spending money on diets and trainers, nothing seemed to work. “I’ve tried it all and as the years went by my weight continued to go up along with my blood pressure,” says Fredericks. Feeling hopeless towards getting her health and life back, Fredericks turned to medical help and was referred to Dr. Richard Tillquist at Swedish. “I had a family member who did a lap-band surgery and she lost a lot of weight. I figured if it worked for her than it could work for me too,” explains Fredericks.

After meeting with Tillquist, Fredericks was excited and ready to make the choice. “Dr. Tillquist was great. He really explained everything to me and made sure I understood it all,” Fredericks says. She was the perfect candidate for the lap-band surgery but she would receive it robotically. “I thought how cool a robot! It looked like a bionicle or something,” explains Fredericks.

Tillquist is the first surgeon in Colorado to perform the lap-band surgery using the da Vinci robot. “Doing a lap-band surgery with the da Vinci allows me to more easily work on sections in the abdomen because of the motion of the robot,” explains Tillquist.

Patty after surgery

During surgery Tillquist has full control of the robot and uses 3D imaging and magnification for more precise placement of the lap-band. He says it’s also safer and allows the patient to recover quicker with less pain. Fredericks was back to work in just days and on vacation within a week. “Everything with the surgery went really well and I can remember waking up afterwards and it felt like Christmas. It was the best present I could’ve gotten,” says Fredericks.

She is down 30 pounds since her surgery and continues to do monthly check-ups with Tillquist. “It’s great to see Patty doing so well. She’s so motivated now,” says Tillquist. She is on a portion controlled diet and exercises daily. Her goal is to lose another 100 pounds and run the Bolder Boulder race in May which she is currently training for. “I can’t wait to run across that finish line and meet all the goals I have, “says Fredericks.


Procedure: Lap-band Surgery
Doctor: Dr. Doru Georgescu
Facility: North Suburban Medical Center

Chad before surgery

"I have struggled with my weight most of my adult life. I could lose a little weight by I always gained it back. I felt my weight was robbing me of the life I used to have. My health became affected by my weight and I had high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, difficulty sleeping and lack of energy. I did a lot of research into the Lap Band surgery and struggled with the choice for a year but after meeting Dr. Georgescu and his staff, they put me at ease and I was comfortable with my decision and the entire process.

Chad after surgery

Dr. Georgescu and his staff spend time listening, following up, questioning and then with my input, pursuing a course of action with no pressure at any point during the whole process. Since my surgery I have lost over 130 pounds and I am in control of my diet and exercise. I will be running my first marathon which is something I thought I would never be able to do. I feel so grateful and feel like I have a second chance at life now. I will n ever go back to the way I was but only look forward to the long healthy life I now have with my family."