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  • Name: Stephen Shoemake
  • Age: 36
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve and Gallbladder Add On
  • Surgery date: March 21st, 2013
  • Testimonial date: November 16th, 2015
  • Surgeon: Dr. Almanza
I have waited two years to write my experience. I wanted to see how things would work out in the long run. There are plenty of people writing down what they have had experienced months after but not many years after. Lets start out with the numbers I was 5'7" and weighed 280lbs, that's where I started. I am a heavy equipment mechanic even though i was pretty big I had to be pretty physical. I have lost weight before I know how to do it without surgery. I went from 280 to 230 in six months working hard and dieting. Obviously I gained every pound back over the course of two years. I didn't feel that I needed surgery, however I was worried for my sister who was bigger than I was. She is diabetic and has other health problems due to the weight. However I wasn't going to send my sister down to Mexico to have this done without checking it out first. Normally you get what you pay for and I was worried because this surgery was tens of thousands of dollars cheaper than the same procedure in the states. So I took the trip and got this done. At the time of my surgery they where doing the procedure in a stripe mall. I am not kidding the "Hospital" was in-between a cell phone place and a mattress store. I waited in line and I was to be the 12th surgery that day. I have never been so terrified as when I walked into that operating room. 45 min. latter I walked out. I spent the next few days recovering in a very nice hotel room with a nurse who would take care of me. The stay was awesome, the care was satisfactory.
Over the next year I of course lost weight. I am going to be honest here I have food issues, it goes without saying anyone who is looking at this probably has food issues. I did not take care of my nutrition. I ate whatever I wanted and drank soda. Even without taking care of myself I went from 280 to 218. Today more that two years latter I stay around 220. I'm not proud of how I did but I am maintaining a more healthy weight now. Never in my life have I been able to maintain a weight, it was always gaining or losing. I am able to run 10 miles keeping a 9 minute 30 second mile pace. I am just now finally taking car of my nutrition, I haven't weighed myself in a while mostly because I have fitness goals not weight goals now. I would like to get some skin removed and lipo done but I said that would be my reward if I maintain this for three years. After talking to a doctor, skin removal and lipo would probably take me under 200.
I want everyone who is considering this to understand this is NOT an end all be all. This will not fix your food issues all this dose is restrict how much you can take in at one setting. It will be up to you to make the life changes necessary to have a healthier life. I have made drastic changes in my life recently in order to be more healthy. If I had made those changes earlier after the procedure I would have lost much more. Getting this done was one of the best decisions I've made for my health. I still struggle but now when I screw up it is manageable, I have had to stop letting the scale determine my self esteem. When your 30 something years old you think this is the best I'll ever be, and get down on yourself. Not me I am excited about my future, (I'm only getting bettre) not only my future but my kids future. I am now setting a better example to my family. Obesity has a great deal to do with socialization. I am proud to stop this cycle in my family.

Now a few words about my sister. One year after my surgery I brought my sister down to mexico. This time the place they did the surgeries was much nicer. It was much more of an Americana style hospital setting. She has lost nearly 100 pounds. She makes much better choices food wise than I did post op. It has been a year for her and she is no longer diabetic!!!!!! That speaks for it's self but the surgery is a tool she was the one that made the right choices.
    * This is an actual testimonial, however, your results may vary. For more information, please read our Testimonial Disclaimer and Risks of Surgery.

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      * The testimonials, statements, and opinions presented on our website are only applicable to the individuals depicted, and may not be representative of the experience of others. For more information, please read our Testimonial Disclaimer and Risks of Surgery.