Bariatric Surgery Patient says UM Center for Weight Management & Wellness Doctors and Staff “Gave Me My Life Back.”
On September 23, 2013, Katie Phipps underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery performed by Dr. Katherine Lamond, a bariatric surgeon at the University of Maryland Center for Weight Management & Wellness. Before her operation, Katie weighed 334 pounds. She just passed the 9-month mark and is now down to 220 pounds, a loss of 114 pounds. “I have so much more energy now than ever before. I’ve gone from a 5x size dress to a 22 in 6 months. And. I am much more active,” said Katie. Read more about her experience below.
Why did you decide that you needed to undergo bariatric surgery?
I wanted to be able to live a long healthy life. Not only was I overweight but I had sleep apnea and struggled with breathing when walking long distances or up the stairs. I decided to take my life back --- to be able to have children, to see my nieces and nephews grow up, graduate, get married, etc. I wanted to be the Katie I knew I was capable of being. Also, my best friend is getting married October 2014 and I really wanted to look good in my dress!
What was your life like before the surgery?
Life before surgery was sometimes a struggle. In high school I was a cheerleader and always active. Once I graduated it was a lot different. I worked full time and made poor eating decisions. I was the biggest girl out of my friends and family. I hated trying on clothes and absolutely hated bathing suit shopping. Walking was more a chore than it was an activity. At a young age my doctor was telling my family that I was a “walking time bomb.” My siblings all have children and running around with them seemed impossible. I was always running out of breath. The last straw came when I was with my family at Hershey Park and they couldn’t get the bar to close over my stomach on one of the rides. I was embarrassed and heartbroken. I cried for hours. At my largest I was 334 pounds and not proud of the person I had let myself become.
What other weight loss methods did you try?
You name it I’ve tried it -- Atkins, Weight Watchers, Low Carbs, No Carbs, and the South Beach diet.
In 2010, I even attempted the weight loss surgery route through another hospital but my insurance at the time wouldn’t cover it or my classes. I got a gym membership and worked out, but over time they all failed because I wasn’t dedicated enough.
How did you find out about Dr Lamond and what made you decide to /her for a consultation?
A family member’s co-worker had her surgery with Dr. Kligman and told me about UMMC. At the time, the guy I was seeing attended the meeting with me and we saw Dr Lamond’s presentation. Based on her sincere attitude, her honesty and thorough discussion of the pros and cons of the surgeries, I knew this was the person I wanted to meet with and I was right.
How has your life changed since surgery?
I don’t even know where to begin. I can sleep through the night, I can jog! (I’ve never really been able to do that before and I can now). You will learn throughout this journey what your body will and will not allow you to eat. I haven’t really been affected poorly by foods. I’ve tried little bits of different things to see what my pouch will and will not allow me to have. I have so much more energy now than ever before. I’ve gone from a 5x size dress to a 22 in 6 months. I’ve also gone from a size 28/ 30 pants to a 20 and in some brands a 18. I can share clothes with my best friend, who I also happen to have met because of the weight loss surgery.
I am much more active. I’m known as the active aunt -- I am always on the run with my nieces and nephews for sporting events and school trips. Life is more of what I thought it should be like now that I can be the person I knew was hiding in that shell. I even began mentoring pre-op patients and sharing a blog. I love discussing the surgery and all that it entails. It has opened my eyes to something that I see myself doing in life from now on.
How do you feel about the doctors and the rest of the staff at the Center for Weight Management?
I can’t say this enough. I absolutely LOVE everyone that has been with me on this journey. First and foremost, Dr. Lamond is the best doctor I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. This woman has helped change my life and I owe her so much more than I could ever give. While I was in recovery, she checked on me daily, even called my room. She is a class act. Ramona Brown (the patient navigator) answered all of my questions and dealt with me even when I was in a bad mood. She was always at the top of her game and it’s so appreciated and refreshing to have people there for you to talk to and ask questions to. The rest of the staff are just as remarkable. Even my nurses and the other doctors who dealt with me while I was in recovery were phenomenal .
Would you recommend the Center to others and why?
I most certainly recommend UMMC to others because they are the best -- positive attitudes, friendly faces, and helpful staff . They gave me my life back and then some.
If you would like to make an appointment or talk to someone about our services, please call 1-877-866-7348 (patients) or 1-800-373-4111 or 410-328-8940 (physicians).
This page was last updated: June 27, 2014