During her freshman year, she began to gain weight. While she was familiar with the typical “freshman 15,” she was not overeating or indulging excessively. The weight gain was a bit of mystery.
At the end of her freshman year, her physician diagnosed her with polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age.
Common symptoms can include irregular or prolonged periods, or no periods at all. In addition, the ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs, which can make becoming pregnant difficult due to irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate.
Some of Katie’s weight gain was attributed to PCOS. Katie tried everything to lose the weight, even seeing a weight loss hypnotist. With every diet attempt, she would lose up to 20 pounds, but nothing worked long term. Each time, the weight crept back.
Life moved forward and she graduated from college and married her college sweetheart, Brad. The two dreamed of starting a family one day; however, Katie knew that her body was not healthy enough to carry a child. She began looking into weight loss surgery after talking with a friend who had gastric bypass surgery, lost the weight and kept it off.
Katie researched bariatric surgery options and decided that the gastric sleeve procedure was the best option for her. She contacted the UC Health Weight Loss Center, attended the required surgical information seminar, submitted her insurance information and worked on the necessary lifestyle changes.
“When I met Dr. Thompson, I knew that I had made the right choice,” she said. “His experience and knowledge about sleeve gastrectomy and the advanced tools which he made available to me really helped me feel confident and comfortable. The staff in the Weight Loss Center was also so nice and welcoming. I just felt really comfortable with everyone overall. I shared with them that I wanted to have the surgery in order to lose weight, but also I wanted to get pregnant and have a baby.”
Jonathan Thompson, MD, bariatric surgeon at the UC Health Weight Loss Center, performed Katie’s sleeve gastrectomy on Oct. 10, 2017. After surgery, she followed UC Health’s weight loss program guidelines, focusing solely on improving her health through positive lifestyle changes including good nutrition and exercise.
“I had a great support system – my husband, my mom and dad, my sister – everyone was there for me 100%. They all helped me stay on track,” she said.