At the age of 56, Lisa had been seriously struggling with her weight for about five years. Like many women her age, her weight problems came on after years of putting others before herself. Just a few years prior, Lisa retired from her very physically demanding job and she soon found herself traveling all over the country and world to care for ill family members. Her lack of movement and high stress levels combined with the tragedy of watching her sisters and father lose their battles with cancer led to significant weight gain and declining health.
“With sick family members in Germany, Philadelphia, and Virginia—I found myself running all over the place, not taking care of myself, eating on the go, not getting enough sleep, and eating for reasons other than being hungry,” Lisa explains.
Lisa’s hectic lifestyle caught up with her pretty quickly. She picked up nearly 75 pounds of additional weight, and her cholesterol, blood glucose, and liver enzymes were all far outside the healthy range. Her doctor put her on a whole range of medications to try to improve her health with minimal success. Shortly thereafter, Lisa began to struggle with back and neck pain as well as knee problems—all of which she knew were aggravated by her excess weight.
Lisa knew it was time to do something, so she quit smoking and tried numerous diet and nutrition programs. While her efforts helped her lose a little weight, she still couldn’t lose the last 50+ pounds needed in order to get back on the path to good health.
After numerous unsuccessful attempts to change the course of her declining health, Lisa felt like her only remaining option was to have bariatric surgery. She scheduled a consultation and learned that due to her reflux, her best option would be to undergo a gastric bypass procedure. While she wasn’t thrilled with the idea, Lisa continued down the surgical path—fulfilling all the pre-surgical requirements including numerous appointments, a psychiatric evaluation, lab work, nutrition consult, etc. When Lisa got to her last pre-op appointment, she started to feel really nervous about the finality and drastic nature of what she was about to do. She asked the bariatric surgeon to put her date on hold while she gave it more consideration. Then, Lisa did what all of us do—she turned to Dr. Google for advice.
Somehow, she stumbled upon a link that led her to learn about the Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG) procedure and came to the True You Weight Loss website. Within a week, Lisa had spoken with Dr. McGowan and Tesha numerous times and had a procedure date scheduled that would take her from Delaware to Cary, North Carolina. She and her husband felt much better about a non-surgical approach.
By this time, Lisa was feeling full of hope and so relieved that she’d found an option that showed great promise. She and her husband felt much better about a non-surgical approach.
Lisa, her husband, and their dog, Cocoa, took an eight-hour road trip from Delaware to Cary where they spent a few days before the procedure exploring the town and stocking up on the supplies and medications she’d need for just after the procedure.
“Dr. McGowan and his team had us prepared for virtually any possible scenario—providing detailed instructions and every medication I might need depending on the symptoms I could experience after the procedure,” Lisa explains.
On September 20, at 215 pounds, Lisa woke up feeling excited and hopeful—she had no fear at all. That’s because Lisa knew she was taking an important step to fight her greatest fears, which included not being able to walk by the age of 60 or needing knee surgery because of her weight.
Lisa walked into Cary Hospital on Friday morning for a procedure that lasted a total of 40 minutes. Shortly thereafter, she went back to the hotel to rest and recover—and spent Friday and Saturday resting and sipping on water and chicken broth. They made the drive home on Sunday and she was back to her regular routine later that same week.
“I couldn’t believe how easy the procedure was—I had absolutely no pain, and very minimal discomfort,” Lisa relates. “I didn’t need any of the pain medication prescribed, nor did I need the IV fluids I’d planned to get the day after the procedure. I had some sensitivity on my side and some twinges here and there, but I was so relieved at how seamless the entire process was. I felt so cared for by Dr. McGowan and his staff from start to finish—I knew I had nothing to worry about. Dr. McGowan provided me his personal cell phone number and responded almost instantly anytime I had a question— it was like having a medical team by my side throughout the entire weekend.”
The weight started coming off for Lisa instantly. At just 3.5 months in, she’s already lost 40 pounds and expects to keep losing. Most patients continue losing weight for 12-18 months and then move into maintenance phase.
What’s even better is that Lisa’s overall health has drastically improved. Her cholesterol, blood glucose, liver enzymes, and CBC all show significant improvements. Lisa’s primary care doctor is amazed by her progress and has taken her off multiple medications, including her daily dosage of Crestor for cholesterol.
She tracks her food, exercise, fluids, and weight on the True You Weight Loss app, which allows Dr. McGowan and his team to monitor her progress. Since Lisa lives out-of-state, she’s been receiving her follow-up care via telephone consultation. She uses Peloton to stay active every day, which is impressive since Lisa admits that even moderate activities like yoga were impossible for her before the ESG procedure.
Today, Lisa is feeling better than she has in years—mentally, physically, and emotionally. “There are times when I go in my closet to get dressed and I feel absolutely giddy,” Lisa explains. “Since losing the weight, I’ve been enjoying traveling, gardening, yard work, walking the dog—I even played volleyball and danced on the beach with my grand-nieces,” she continues. “After losing my sisters, I’m the closest thing to a mother my nieces have, and I take that responsibility very seriously. It’s important to me to be in good health so I can be there for them. The ESG procedure and the True You Weight Loss team has given me the opportunity to do just that—and I am so incredibly grateful.”