Three Years After Weight Loss Surgery, Family Physician Still Going Strong
As a doctor herself, Kelly DeBoer, 47, knew that gastric bypass surgery was not something you enter into lightly. The family medicine physician took a long time to come to the decision, but three years after her surgery, she wishes she had done it sooner.
“I did a lot of research online, and I researched bariatric surgeons and found BMI Surgery,” Dr. DeBoer said. “There was just something about their website that struck me. I didn’t know anyone who had gone there before, but I just did a lot of research.”
Before long she attended a free informational session that BMI hosts every Wednesday, and in October 2014 Dr. Christopher Joyce performed the weight loss surgery. Dr. DeBoer said she ultimately decided to go through with the surgery not only for herself, but for her husband, Scott, and two daughters Jordan and Hope.
“My husband was worried about my weight and survival. He was very instrumental in supporting me for my surgery. Really, I wanted to be around for my kids,” she said.
Exercising Every Day
Weight had always been a struggle for the LaSalle, Ill. resident. On the day of her surgery she weighed 323 pounds. She remembers she was scared going into pre-op, but Dr. Joyce came in and reassured her.
“We were able to do a lot of ‘doctor talk.’ I know that’s not how it normally goes, but that made me a lot more comfortable,” she said. “And the pre-op nurses were phenomenal. They were just so understanding and kind.”
Today, Dr. DeBoer is down to 167 pounds – a 156 pound loss. Her lowest weight after her surgery was 136, but her goal is to maintain her weight at 150 pounds. One of the biggest changes she’s made is working out every day.
“I was in the Army full time after medical school, and I didn’t want to exercise every day back then,” she laughed. “I haven’t missed a day exercising since Nov. 2014. That’s been the most significant change.”
She also said her diet has changed significantly. Now she’s a lot more cognizant of what she puts into her body. It started with writing down everything she eats every day. She began the food journal back in May of 2014 even before her surgery, and she’s kept it going ever since.
“Some of my patients will tell me that their diet is good, and I know for a fact if they aren’t writing it down then it’s probably not as good as they think. And I know they aren’t because I didn’t know and I was the biggest offender.”
Shopping has also taken on a whole new joy. Before she lost weight, shopping was embarrassing and she hated going to the store. Today she said she has clothes that she enjoys wearing every day.
The support from her patients, neighbors, and family has helped her maintain the weight loss for so long.
“My husband has been my rock and Godsend. When I first had the surgery, he would plan meals on what I could or couldn’t have. Everyone has been amazing.”
She’s not shy about sharing her story with anyone who asks. She’s referred multiple patients of hers to BMI Surgery. And in fact, one of her patients had surgery on the same day she did.
“I tell them that if you’re thinking about it to go to the website and do your own research. If they want to do it, I will send a referral right away for them,” she said. “I think it was the best decision that I ever made, and I wish I had done it sooner. But I just had to be ready.”
BMI Surgery has changed the lives of nearly 6,000 patients with life-changing surgeries including laparoscopic gastric bypass, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, ReShape, and Lap-Band® and REALIZE® gastric band systems at Silver Cross Hospital. Board certified laparoscopic and bariatric surgeons Brian Lahmann, M.D., and Christopher Joyce, M.D., are dedicated to helping patients win their personal battles with obesity and enjoy healthier lives. Their office is located on the Silver Cross Hospital campus at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. BMI Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital has been named a MBSAQIP accredited center – Comprehensive. BMI Surgery is also a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery.
To find out more about the bariatric surgery program at Silver Cross Hospital, attend a free informational session on both traditional and laparoscopic surgery on any Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. at BMI Surgery at 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., Suite 260, New Lenox.