Patient Testimonials

The PrimeCare Surgical Weight Loss Program has helped people live healthier lifestyles through medical and surgical treatment of obesity. These weight loss surgery success stories from our patients tell how they achieved long-term weight loss and are taking control of their lives. Click any of the links below to read their remarkable and life-changing weight loss surgery stories.

Mike's Weight Loss Journey


“I began my journey actually in 1999. I looked into numerous surgeons and just never felt comfortable. My weight was always an issue. I was like most people trying dieting and a nationally recognized program. When I met you guys, I knew instantly that I wanted to do it through the PrimeCare Surgical Weight Loss Program. I was treated more as a friend and you guys took personal interest in me. That has continued post op from over 1,000 miles away!

Mike Before Mike After
Mike After

The entire process was amazing. I was lucky for sure. I was the first round acceptance. Jean (Bariatric Clinical Coordinator) and I discussed options and scheduled me for January 15, 2014. I was by myself the morning of the surgery. Your staff was amazing all the way, from check in to check out. I hate to say this but the process was FUN. The nurses were amazing and kept me laughing and again took personal interest. Not just in me but the well-being of my fiancée, Melanie, as well. This meant the world to me.

So for stats, I had been as high as 452 pounds. I am now 197.2 pounds and I guess maintaining. I am happy at this weight. My blood pressure went from borderline high to an average of 100/67. My pulse rate at rest went from 120 beats per minute to 52. My sugar went from a fasting 108 to 78.

As for lifestyle, Jessica (Bariatric Service Line Coordinator) and I have discussed many things. Shopping for clothing is awesome, except I never have enough money. When clothes look good, you want EVERYTHING. I bought my first wool pea coat this year. I wear jeans almost all the time now. Outdoor activities are something I love. I had quit doing most but now am back doing them at a higher level than ever. My energy levels are through the roof. I am living for the first time ever!”

Mike’s keys to success after weight loss surgery:

Water – “This is huge! I was a massive Mountain Dew drinker. I have read on many sites that proper hydration also helps the skin rebound. I bought a 24 ounce thermos hydration bottle that keeps ice cold for 14 hours. I found I drink more water if I keep it cold.”

Exercise – “I am not saying to sprint marathons or become a world class weight lifter, but to get up and move. Walk around and enjoy life. Take up golfing or another hobby that encourages movement and flexibility. Change your habits now!”

Portions – “After 14 months I still measure my food. It is my control thing but I do it. Don’t do anything that the staff says could stretch your pouch. I compare it to this: If you bought any tool of this value how would you treat it? Would you stretch it and beat it or try to break it before the new was off of it? No, you would protect it and value it. I love my pouch and treat it as such.

Thank you
“Thank you to all. I could not imagine having better results or being happier. This is a lifestyle at this point that I LOVE! Dr. Helbling, I personally thank you. You personally have made my life worth living again. You gave me this amazing tool. Every day it goes through my head not to disappoint you or your amazing staff. The care I was shown during the entire process was amazing. I cannot wait to see you again.”

Best Friends Get Weight Loss Surgery Together


Weight Loss SurgeryScales don't lie and neither does a true friendship. So seven months ago, when Lisa Reynolds and Dianne Pearson decided it was time to get serious about weight loss.

"Just one flight of steps, I'd be so out of breath that I couldn't even talk by the time I got up there," says weight loss surgery patient, Lisa Haman. The dynamic duo decided to get bariatric surgery done together.

"We ate together. That was something we did - a lot. We went out to eat. We would eat lots and drink lots. So this was something we decided to do together," says Haman.

"I would eat when I was bored, I would eat when I was stressed, I would eat when I was sad, I would eat when I was happy, I would eat when I was celebrating," says weight loss surgery patient, Diane Pierson. So when the two finally decided it was time, there was plenty of pre-procedure work they needed to go through.

"This is an operation to help you get healthy," says Dr. Brandon Helbling, CHI St. Alexius Health. "Being thin doesn't always mean that you're healthy. Being healthy means a well-balanced diet, exercising and making good lifestyle choices." So how does the surgery actually work? Well surgeons say they remove a big portion of the stomach and they actually resize it to shrink the organ down.

"So instead of the stomach being a big pouch that holds all the food, now we're shrinking it down into a small tube," says Dr. Helbling. By removing that part of the stomach, we're affecting the amount that it can hold so you get full faster, so that's one sensation that we feel. And that's exactly what has happened to Lisa and Dianne.

"We go from eating an appetizer, a huge plate of food, drinking several drinks with it, to we can eat a cup of food at the most in a sitting right now," says Haman.

"It's going to be a lifelong challenge that you have to deal with continually," says Dr. Helbling. And a challenge is right - especially at the beginning.

"You felt like you were full from just a drink of water," says Haman. "So, it's the hardest thing I've ever done."

So how are the two dealing with that challenge seven months out? "I feel much better," says Pierson. "I feel healthier, more active, I'm just happy to be where I'm at right now and when I look back, I don't like what I saw."

So sometimes when it's time for the body to go through something as life changing as weight loss surgery, it's a little easier to make weight with a buddy by your side.

Mark Charter, Reporting


Your initial consultation is free. For more information, contact the Bariatric Nurse Navigator at
530-6330, toll-free 800-472-2113 ext. 6330. We're here to help.

Considering bariatric surgery? Catch a glimpse of our Information Session. Had bariatric surgery?
Attend our support group session.