Wendy's Story

After struggling with her weight for years, Laketown Township resident Wendy said she “reached a point where diets weren’t working … and neither was my body.” At more than 100 pounds overweight, she took daily blood pressure medication for hypertension, was diagnosed with sleep apnea and was at high risk for type 2 diabetes.

The mother of six, Wendy didn’t exercise, couldn’t walk up stairs without being winded and was embarrassed by her weight. Weighing more than 260 pounds with significant health issues, Wendy made a decision that not only changed her life—it may have saved it.

A patient account representative at Ridgeview Chaska Clinic, Wendy chose to have bariatric surgery. She knew a few people who had the procedure and, while they “look great, more important, they told me how their health and quality of life had improved after their surgery.”

When Wendy learned that the same surgeons who performed laparoscopic gastric bypass at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis—Edmund Chute, MD, FACS, and Raymond Drew, MD, FACS—were hosting weight loss surgery information sessions at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, she signed up to learn more.

“I was very impressed that there were so many resources available to me on this journey,” she said. “I knew surgery wasn’t a cure-all and it definitely wouldn’t be a quick fix, but I couldn’t live the way I was.”

On Dec. 14, 2010—after months of research, consultations with her family physician and Dr. Chute, visits with a dietitian, insurance evaluations, emotional considerations and a two-week liquid diet to prepare her body for the surgery —Wendy had gastric bypass. During the procedure, Dr. Chute created a new, smaller stomach and bypassed the largest portion of the stomach to reduce her body’s appetite.

Wendy returned home one day after her procedure and now, four months later, the physical and mental changes are significant. Down 66 pounds since surgery, she no longer takes blood pressure medication and “feels great—inside and out—with lots of energy. I changed my eating habits and how I think about food. I take vitamins, exercise daily and am more comfortable in my own skin.

“This is a lifelong commitment requiring major lifestyle changes and not without risks, but there is no doubt—surgical weight loss was the right choice for me,” she added.