Looking in the mirror at age 46, Heather Kamis knew she wasn’t living her best life. She had been carrying 40 to 50 pounds of excess weight since her freshman year of college, and Heather was tired of the weight loss roller coaster. For years, she endured an endless cycle of yo-yo dieting and experimentation with different weight loss plans. At just under five feet tall, Heather felt like five pounds on her looked more like 20 pounds, and she wasn’t feeling good about herself. When it came to going out for dinner or preparing meals, the constant stress over what to eat was exhausting. Socially, she stopped enjoying simple things, like seeing old friends, going shopping, and taking walks with her husband. As a full-time IT business analyst and mother of two teenage daughters, Heather needed a real, but flexible, solution.
“I was determined to find a way to lose the extra weight without surgery and its side effects. I was also fed up with short-term solutions like diet pills and popular diet plans,” explained Heather. “When I started researching different weight loss surgeries online, I finally discovered the AspireAssist®.”
The AspireAssist is a non-surgical, weight loss option that allows patients to aspirate excess food and calories after they have been digested. Heather scheduled a consult with Dr. Christopher McGowan and learned that a small device could be implanted in her stomach during an outpatient procedure that would ultimately help her gain control over her weight. There would be no limits on what she could eat or drink, and she could use the tool at her own convenience. This control and flexibility, not having to endure a surgery, and the promise of long-term results is what helped Heather make the life-altering decision to move forward. She scheduled her procedure and looked forward to the next phase of her life—without the stress of dieting.
“I was nervous, but really excited,” Heather remembered. “After 20-plus years of struggling to find an answer, I believed this would finally work for me.”
In December 2017, Heather and her husband traveled the three and a half hours from their hometown of Columbia, SC, to Cary, NC, where they met with Dr. McGowan, and Heather’s outpatient procedure was done in a matter of minutes. They traveled home the same day. While Heather described her first days after the procedure as “tough”—including soreness in her stomach area, nausea, and dry mouth—the recovery was fairly quick, and she has never regretted her decision. Heather ultimately lost more than 40 pounds and came down from a size 16/18 to a size 8, a size she continues to maintain years later. Her weight loss led to reduced joint pain, as well as a much more active and social lifestyle. From walking and yoga, to gathering with friends and eating out, Heather now enjoys it all.
“This experience has been completely life-changing for me,” Heather reflected. “Nearly three years later, I’ve kept the weight off without having to modify my lifestyle. I love to cook and eat with my family—Paula Deen style with Southern casseroles and all the fixings. With the AspireAssist, I can still eat and cook the way I choose, and I can finally enjoy meals together with my family. Plus, I never have that feeling of being overly full.”
Heather knows that a large part of her success with the AspireAssist is due to her continual commitment to the process. While trying to lose the weight, Heather aspirated three times per day without fail, whether at home, at work, or at another public location. Aspiration requires about five to ten minutes in the restroom after eating a meal. The lapse of time after a meal can range from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the type and amount of food consumed as well as a person’s digestive system.
Now in the maintenance phase of her weight loss journey, Heather aspirates one to three times per day, for less than an hour total per day, and the practice has become second nature to her. She even embraces her time in the restroom as “time away for herself” and is able to enjoy watching an iPad or reading while aspirating. Heather also credits her success with the AspireAssist to Dr. McGowan, whom she sees for an in-person visit about once every six months.
“Dr. McGowan is awesome,” said Heather. “He has been super helpful and understanding, and also very accommodating with my schedule. I’m grateful to him for putting me on this path toward long-term weight loss. With the AspireAssist, the weight comes off, and you can keep it off. It’s now so much easier to live my life.”
*All testimonials reflect individual customer experiences, and your results may vary.