Losing weight had always been a challenge for Tracy – she has PCOS, which made it especially difficult. Since she was 18, Tracy tried many different diets but none were successful in the long term, and she couldn’t get her weight consistently under control. After attending several Cone Health seminars and doing tons of research, she decided to have Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.
Bariatric surgery is something that takes much more than just a quick decision – it’s not just physical, but mental and emotional as well. Tracy says she wouldn’t have been able to succeed without the support of her husband and two children, and her Cone Health support groups.
Potential patients should understand that weight loss surgery isn’t just a one and done; you have to constantly work at it. Surgery is just a tool, not a quick fix. You have to work at it each day, but with the support provided by family, friends and the team of doctors, nurses, therapists and other providers at Cone Health, you’ll learn healthy habits that keep you on track. For example, Wesley Long Hospital offers seminars to teach individuals in the community about their weight loss surgery options. Dieticians and psychologists are also part of the program to help patients change their mindset about food, and help them understand what a healthy eating plan looks like day-to-day.
Bariatric surgery is about more than just a number on a scale – it’s about gaining an overall sense of wellbeing, about helping you be able to go out and do the fun things you’ve been wanting to do. Many of Cone Health’s patients say that after surgery, they feel like they’re able to rejoin the world.
Tracy says that since her surgery, she feels like her outside reflects how she’s always felt on the inside.
“I’m so much more confident in myself. I also feel so much better now – my high blood pressure and sleep apnea were both reversed after surgery, so I no longer need my CPAP or blood pressure medication. In the past, I couldn’t keep up with my family while out walking; I was always out of breath and needed to stop and sit down. Now, I feel like I got my life back!”
Laurie Deaton is the bariatric nurse coordinator for Cone Health’s Bariatrics and Wellness Services. Deaton received a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2007, and she is currently enrolled in a graduate program to receive a Master of Science in nursing from UNCG in 2015. Laurie is a certified bariatric and operating room nurse.
Tracy Wall is a local Cone Health bariatric patient.