Summer used to be Stacy Tucker’s least favorite season. The Saint Francis Medical Center Emergency Department nurse felt self-conscious in shorts because of her weight, so she sweated in misery all season long.
The summer of 2013 was different. For the first time in years, Stacy was not embarrassed to wear cooler clothing — all because of Weight Loss Solutions, Saint Francis Medical Center’s bariatric surgery program. “Now it does not bother me to go outside and hang out,” says Stacy, 43.
Stacy had struggled with her weight more and more in recent years. She tried many weight loss methods, including prescription pills, but nothing worked. She had heard about Saint Francis’ bariatric surgery program but could not bring herself to seek more information. “As a nurse, it is hard for me to get help,” she says. “I feel like I should be doing it on my own.”
Then, Brenda Hoehn, MSN, BSN, RN, Stacy’s friend and a nurse in the bariatric program, told Stacy she thought the surgery could be a good option for her. “It was easier for me, because she was someone I was comfortable with and knew,” says Stacy.
On Dec. 27, 2012, Stacy underwent the vertical gastric sleeve procedure, in which the surgeon removes about 85 percent of the stomach so it takes the shape of a sleeve. By the time a week passed after the surgery, she felt she had reached a turning point. “It was like my body clicked and said, ‘OK, we got this,’” says Stacy.
She especially appreciated the support she received from Ryan A. LeGrand, MD, the bariatric surgeon who leads Weight Loss Solutions. “The one thing that stuck with me at my first follow-up visit was when he said, ‘More than anything else, I want you to be happy and healthy.’ It meant a lot to me.”
By her eight-month follow-up appointment Stacy lost 76 pounds and she continues to lose weight. “Many of our patients have found much more success with our program than they have found in other places,” says LeGrand.
Stacy agrees. “This surgery has changed my life,” she says.
For more information, call 573-331-3996.