When Stephen Weaver, a 34-year-old human resources officer and father of two from Warrenton, Virginia, started thinking about undergoing bariatric weight loss surgery in 2016, he considered a number of factors.
One was his uncontrolled high blood pressure. Another was his mother, who passed away in 2015 from obesity-related complications. She had been diagnosed with diabetes at age 33 — the same age Weaver was when he started researching the surgery.
That year, Weaver attended online webinar sessions and eventually had a one-on-one consultation with Matthew Fitzer, MD, medical director for the bariatric surgery program at Novant Health UVA Health System.
“I decided to go ahead and get it done based on the information from (Dr. Fitzer) and talking to other folks who had good and bad experiences,” Weaver said. “I found out that maybe I should have done this sooner.”
In October 2016, Weaver had his weight loss surgery at Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center, which is a nationally recognized Bariatric Center of Excellence.
Since then, Weaver’s high blood pressure has subsided. He has lost 113 pounds as of June 2017. Weaver credits a lot of his success to receiving individualized treatment.
“I was really impressed with the options they had,” Weaver said. “It seemed like their approach was tailored just to me. I didn’t feel like I was processed through. There was a personal touch to it.”
Weaver received consultations after his surgery to help ensure his success. Patients meet with the bariatric services team at least four times in their first year after their surgery. They meet with a dietitian four to six times.
Weaver attributes his success to following this schedule. While his new diet took some getting used to, it hasn’t restricted his ability to go out and have fun.
“I took my kids on a cruise to the Bahamas and it was a glutton’s paradise,” he says. “I came back and I had lost a pound. And I wasn’t ultra-conservative with what I ate, but it wasn’t a free-for-all either.”
For more information about bariatric weight loss surgery at Haymarket Medical Center, contact Diana Biondi, bariatric program coordinator, at 571-284-3367.
Find support: A support group for patients who have had weight loss surgery meets the third Tuesday of every month, 6 to 8 p.m., at Haymarket Medical Center, community rooms A and B, 15225 Heathcote Blvd., Haymarket. Questions? Call 571-284-3367.