UNC Health Care

Patient Story: How Weight Loss Surgery Changed My Life and My Diabetes

After an adult life riddled with type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol, Ann Goldman decided it was time for a transformation. At 276 pounds, her health problems were diminishing her quality of life. That is, until she stumbled across an article about weight loss surgery and its impact on patients with type 2 diabetes. In some cases, the surgery cured the diabetes.

‘I spoke to my endocrinologist, and he recommended I look into the surgery,’ said Goldman.

Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die of heart disease or experience a stroke. About 70 percent have high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

At the time, Goldman didn’t know much about weight loss or ‘bariatric’ surgery. Within a month, she attended an informational seminar to learn about the benefits and options available.

‘I felt better knowing I wasn’t alone,’ said Goldman. ‘I learned being overweight wasn’t just a problem of overeating. It has to do with hormones and how the body processes what you eat.’

I learned being overweight wasn’t just a problem of overeating. It has to do with hormones and how the body processes what you eat.’

Goldman’s journey began with a series of appointments to ensure she met the requirements to be a candidate for surgery. From meeting with a cardiologist and dietitian, to being tested for sleep apnea and upper GI problems, doctors had to ensure her health could sustain the almost 4-hour long surgery. Goldman even lost 18 pounds during the pre-surgery process.

When the day finally arrived in September, Dr. Michael Tyner performed Goldman’s gastric bypass surgery at Rex Hospital in Raleigh. Rex’s bariatric program was the first in Wake County to be recognized as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® and a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery®. In fact, more bariatric surgeries are performed at Rex than any other center in Wake County.

‘Along with the doctor and staff, the nurses at Rex were warm and caring,’ explained Goldman. ‘Having that support pushed me in the direction to obtain good health.’

Seven months after surgery, Goldman has lost 100 pounds.

‘Friends don’t recognize me when I walk down the hallway!’ she exclaimed. ‘I have a spring to my step, which I never had before.’

‘Friends don’t recognize me when I walk down the hallway!’ she exclaimed. ‘I have a spring to my step, which I never had before.’

Another huge benefit from the surgery-Goldman’s type 2 diabetes was cured.

‘The diabetes was pretty much gone right away,’ said Goldman.

Goldman’s lifestyle now includes healthy foods and smaller meals. A daily diet may include Greek yogurt and a protein shake for breakfast, a half turkey sandwich with an apple and peanut butter for lunch, and a small plate of meat, vegetables and potatoes for dinner.

‘Having this surgery truly changed my life,’ explained Goldman. ‘If you have health issues and you’ve tried everything, don’t be ashamed to try the surgery. Sometimes you need an extra tool to get your body into the mode of eating what you’re supposed to. I look forward to a longer, healthier life because of my choice.’

To learn more about weight loss surgery, visit rexhealth.com or call (919) 784-SLIM.