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Why I Chose Weight-loss Surgery, a Q&A with Valerie Waldrop

| Date Posted: 2/25/2015



Why did you decide to have bariatric surgery?

I’ve always struggled with my weight - even as a child. By the time I decided to have the surgery, I was close to 300 pounds, the heaviest I've been my entire life.

Last year I turned 30 and my biological clock started ticking. I knew I wanted children, however, I also knew pregnancy would push me over the 300 pound mark and it wouldn't be safe for me or my child.

At that time I realized I had to do something and needed assistance to do it. That’s when I looked into bariatric surgery as the additional assistance I needed to reach my goal.


Did you have the sleeve or bypass, and why did you chose your option over other options?

I had the sleeve. To be honest, I chose the sleeve because it was less invasive and the thought of having someone relocate my intestines scared me.


What was life like when you were morbidly obese?

I've always been me - weight loss hasn't changed that. The only difference is that life is a little easier now.

I've always been active, it's just that now I don’t get out of breath as easy.

I've always been the first to volunteer to take on additional responsibilities - now I don’t get as stressed out and my energy level is higher, which means I do more than I did before (which is hard to believe for some people!).


What are some things you are able to do now that you were not able to do before surgery?

As simple and silly as it may sound, being able to cross my legs. Before the surgery, if I would cross my legs - I would lose feeling in them and it was uncomfortable. Now crossing my legs just comes natural.


What impact has losing weight and living with a new diet had on your household or immediate family?

It was difficult at first - especially when I was consuming only liquids. However, I have a great support system at home - my fiance is amazing. Having a great support system makes all the difference, and you make it work!


How has your health improved?

I am full of energy - and my stress level has dramatically decreased which has improved relationships with my friends and family. I am also more prepared mentally and physically to begin a family.


What would you tell someone considering weight-loss surgery?

Research, research, research. You need to understand - it’s not a quick fix, there are going to be ups and downs, there are going to be days you ask yourself "why did I do this to myself," but the more research you do, the more you understand and the better success you will have.


How was your experience with the FirstHealth Bariatric Center?

My experience with the FirstHealth Bariatric Center was great. They provide you with a lot of information and are with you each step of the way before the surgery to make sure you understand the risks and rewards.


Would you recommend the FirstHealth Bariatric Center?

Yes, most definitely!


FirstHealth Bariatric Center

Since it began in 1999, the bariatric surgery program at FirstHealth has helped more than 1,000 patients to lose weight and restore active healthy lives. 

FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital and Pinehurst Surgical have established a comprehensive Bariatric Surgical Program in the mid-Carolinas. The program offers Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, Sleeve Gastrectomy and adjustable gastric band surgical approaches to significant weight loss and maintenance for those suffering from morbid obesity. The FirstHealth Bariatric Center is staffed by an interdisciplinary team who provide quality education and supportbefore and after surgery.  


Surgeries available:

  • Roux-en Y Divided Gastric Bypass
  • Gastric Sleeve
  • Adjustable Gastric Band


Find out if you are a candidate today. 

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