Philadelphia, PA - Rachel Lisner, of Sycamore, had struggled with her weight for most her life, losing some, gaining more. When she reached a high of over 400 pounds and could not keep up with her active 10-year-old son, she said "enough is enough" and elected to undergo bariatric weight loss surgery at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva, Illinois.
Her transformation has been inspiring. Since undergoing a sleeve gastrectomy in September 2016, Lisner has lost 199 pounds. The procedure promotes weight loss by surgically reducing the size of the stomach to reduce the amount of food that can be eaten.
"The surgery has been life changing. I can finally stick to a healthy diet," said Lisner. "Food was my addiction. I turned to it when I was stressed or depressed. After the surgery, I physically can't eat as much, so I learned to find new coping mechanisms. Now I exercise instead."
Matthew Pittman, MD, medical director, Northwestern Medicine Metabolic Health and Surgical Weight Loss Center at Delnor Hospital, notes the key to Lisner's success is her dedication to meaningful diet, physical activity and behavioral changes. He stresses that surgery is just a tool, not the solution.
"Every patient's weight loss journey is unique. Weight can be influenced by medical, lifestyle, genetic and emotional factors," said Dr. Pittman. "Our goal is to provide the resources for optimal wellness. Success isn't a number on the scale. It is adopting a healthy lifestyle."
To better meet the individualized needs of patients, weight management and metabolic disorder services at Delnor Hospital have been fully integrated to form the new Northwestern Medicine Metabolic Health and Surgical Weight Loss Center. Patients at high-risk for complications from their weight, including type 2 diabetes, other metabolic disorders, or worsening weight gain now have a central point of access, conveniently located near the main entrance of Delnor Hospital.
The new center offers medical weight management, nutrition and diet planning, individualized exercise programs, health psychology, diabetes education, and bariatric surgery. The 7,500 square foot clinic features a demonstration kitchen, community conference space, six exam rooms, a treatment room, consultation rooms and physician offices.
"With our team approach, patients receive an individualized care plan designed for long-term success," said Elizabeth Lowden, MD, bariatric endocrinologist at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital. "For some patients that may include medications or meal supplements, while surgery may an option for others. All patients benefit from nutrition, exercise and psychosocial support."
Rachel Lisner credits the comprehensive approach for helping her shed nearly half her weight. She received pre- and post-surgical nutrition and exercise counseling, and now stays on track by referencing her personalized program book and an online support group. The gym is her second home. She now avoids bread, pasta and rice, and has replaced those staples with zucchini pasta and cauliflower rice.