Tanya McGill: Gastric Bypass Surgery

On November 15, 2004, after months of research and contemplation and almost thirty years of being overweight or morbidly obese, I had Roux en-Y gastric bypass surgery at Emory. After the first seven months I lost 100 pounds. By the very beginning of 2006 I’d lost 153 pounds and my BMI had dropped from its highest of 50.4 to 24.5. Along my weight loss journey I began to encounter small miracles that I'd never experienced before: from being able to sit comfortably in an airplane seat to jogging and running up steps without getting winded. I had a new passion for life because my life was now filled with so much hope. I started keeping a list of fun things I wanted to do but would never have allowed myself to do before, and I began to see the world as my grownup sandbox, and I was ready to play!

I’m so thankful to the deeply caring staff at Emory for treating me as an individual and taking such excellent care of me. Emory's comprehensive approach, such as frequent visits with the nutritionist, bariatrician and obesity psychologist before surgery, was vital to my success. It’s also important to note that weight loss surgery is a tool; the patient has to do the work! This isn’t a magic “fix” or an “easy way out,” as I’ve heard some people say – there’s nothing easy about undergoing a procedure like this. But it can be truly life changing. Anyone who feels they may be a candidate should attend one of their free, online bariatric surgery seminars. If you have surgery, do everything your doctors tell you, by the book! It will be essential to your immediate and long-term success. I also recommend finding a local support group and attending monthly meetings, even before your surgery! Every day I wake up with a renewed appreciation for life and the feeling I can do anything I set my mind to because I no longer have the same roadblocks to success as I did for so many years.