Published on May 13, 2014
After weighing over 274 pounds for years, Natalie Thompson, a registered nurse, suffered from severe joint pain. Her pain became so unbearable she even went to a Rheumatologist to see if she had an autoimmune disease. "My weight problem hit me right in the face during my appointment with the Rheumatologist," said 35-year-old Natalie Thompson. "I thought she was going to discover that I had some form of arthritis. Instead, the solution was less complicated. She told me that my weight was causing my joint pain and I needed to lose a lot of weight." And now Natalie's joint pain is gone after losing 112 pounds in 14 months as a result of her weight loss surgery at Silver Cross Hospital.
"Not only am I free from any joint pain, I can now keep up with my 6 year-old daughter and 4 year-old son. It means the world to me to more fully enjoy time with my husband, Phil and our children, either playing in our backyard or simply taking a walk around our neighborhood," stated the Minooka resident.
After researching quality weight loss programs, Natalie decided to attend BMI Surgery's free informational session. "I was so impressed with Dr. Brian Lahmann's encouraging presentation. The information was so clear, I knew immediately this was the right choice for me, my family, and my long-term health. Walking out of that seminar, I knew I was ready for weight loss surgery and the program that followed. After talking with Dr. Lahmann and his staff at BMI Surgery, I felt so at ease because they were all so well-informed and honest," states Natalie. With their support, along with encouragement from her family and friends, Natalie committed to the exercise and diet plan and underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy surgery on July 23, 2012.
Patients benefit from a multidisciplinary approach, with the help of many different departments at Silver Cross. "Patients see an exercise physiologist, dietitian, cardiologist, psychologist, pulmonologist, and a bariatric nurse to get them ready for surgery," says Dr. Brian Lahmann. "We screen our patients very carefully to ensure their success and safety."
The key to her success was adhering to the nutrition and exercise plan, as well as finding others who had similar experience maintaining their weight loss. "I now eat healthier, practice portion control and actually enjoy working out -- especially with free weights which I never could have done before weight loss," said Natalie.
"Before I had my surgery, Dr. Lahmann explained that the surgery was merely a tool to lose weight and the real success depended on me making lifestyle and behavioral changes," stated Natalie. "I am the happiest that I ever have been in my life and I owe it all to Dr. Lahmann, his staff and the nurses at Silver Cross Hospital, who were all so supportive and truly thrilled for my success. My only regret is that I didn't have the weight loss surgery sooner."
"Natalie is an excellent example of how bariatric surgery can positively enhance one's life. Her dedication to adhering to the program by eating well and exercising was critical in her ability to lose 112 pounds," says Dr. Lahmann.
The American Society of Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery defines the morbidly obese as those with a body mass of 40 or above, or, for a normal height woman, being more than 100 pounds overweight. Patients with a BMI of 35 and higher, who are suffering the medical consequences of obesity, are often best treated with bariatric surgery as opposed to nonsurgical weight loss. Those who are morbidly obese are at a higher risk of mortality and such extreme obesity puts people at risk for life threatening disease, including heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.
BMI Surgery has changed the lives of over 3,500 patients with life changing surgeries including laparoscopic gastric bypass, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, 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 new Silver Cross Hospital campus at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. Silver Cross has been named a Bariatric Center of Excellence by the American Society of Bariatric Surgery and a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois 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. To attend, visit www.bmisurgery.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).