Nicole Thompson struggled with weight issues most of her life.
“I’m an only child,” she explains. “When my parents weren’t home, I just watched TV and ate.”
When she had her second child at 40, she put on more pounds and tried the fitness center. “I had some knee problems, so that didn’t work.”
At 5′4″ and nearing 300 pounds, Thompson had been considering gastric bypass surgery. Then, when a Facebook acquaintance had the surgery, Thompson attended a seminar by bariatric surgeon Dr. Brian Lahmann.
Through BMI Surgery, Dr. Lahmann and Dr. Christopher Joyce have performed over 7,000 procedures at Silver Cross. The hospital’s program is the only one in Will County that is both a MBSAQIP accredited center – Comprehensive and Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery.
“I went in nervous,” Thompson said. “But I liked Dr. Lahmann’s way of explaining the different types of bariatric surgeries. By the time I got home, I knew I was going to get it done.”
Dr. Lahmann said there is a lot of misconception about obesity, even among the medical community.
“Some might say, ‘eat less and exercise more.’ But there are people who eat small and exercise, and still gain 10 pounds a year,” he said.
Thompson passed the required pre-operative medical and psychological tests and scheduled her surgery for June 2019. The weeks before the surgery were tough because patients are required to go on the same strict diet they’ll follow for weeks after the procedure.
“There were certain foods I wasn’t going to be able to eat right away,” she said. “It was basically all protein.”
“We suggest protein shakes. And they have to stay hydrated; 64 ounces of liquid a day,” Lahmann said.
Thompson said there is also pain following surgery and restrictions on lifting.
“This is far from an easy procedure,” Lahmann said. But this gives them a tool to change their way of life. But like any tool, you have to use it right.”
When she returned to school last fall, teachers and staff who didn’t know about her surgery noticed she had lost weight.
“They were asking me what diet I was on. So, I posted a story of what I did.”
“She’s doing great,” Lahmann said. “It is amazing to see someone get their life back.”
Slowly, Thompson was able to reintroduce more into her diet. Now, she is able to eat just about anything in moderation.
The surgery resulted in Thompson dropping 150 pounds. “I’m a Size 6. I’ve never been a Size 6 in my life,” she says proudly.
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was 28, Thompson blamed some of her health issues on that. But the leg stiffness and numbness in her digits are gone now. “And I’m running! I uploaded a ‘Couch to 5K’ app and breezed through it!”
Thompson said her husband is happy with her outcome.
“He’s doing the pre-testing for his own surgery now!”
For more information about weight-loss surgery at Silver Cross, visit www.bmisurgery.org
Silver Cross Hospital
1900 Silver Cross Blvd
New Lenox, IL 60541