No more questions. No more wondering “if she could” or “if she should”―because she can! That’s Jennifer’s story today.
In December 2017, Jennifer Schamber, 32 at the time, was happily married, had a home and was employed as a teacher. Things were all set to tackle her next goal: her weight. She’d tried different weight loss programs over the years, but nothing ever clicked. Although she knew people who had undergone open-incision weight loss (bariatric) surgery in years past, she had limited understanding and some concerns. So she began researching. On Lake Health’s Bariatric Surgery page, to her pleasant surprise she learned that the surgery is performed laparoscopically, igniting her hope for a healthier life. The website offered clear and compassionate information, and recommended attending a seminar or webinar offered by weight loss surgeon Aviv Ben-Meir, MD, to learn more. So she did.
Courage and support
Following the seminar, Jennifer courageously decided she was ready to take the next step. She had her first appointment with Dr. Ben-Meir and his dedicated team in January 2018. Over the next several months, they were straightforward with facts, answered her questions, prepared her for surgery and obtained her insurance approval. They offered success-building resources and lifelong support including pre-surgical medical weight loss appointments with a dietitian and primary care physician and long-term follow-up care consisting of nutrition counseling, support groups, educational programs and physical fitness activities, as well as online nutrition and fitness tips and healthy recipes. For Jennifer, the biggest takeaway was Dr. Ben-Meir’s individualized compassion for her.
On May 14, 2018, Dr. Ben-Meir and his surgical team performed Jennifer’s laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy, greatly reducing the size of her stomach to that of a thin banana.
In 27 months, with Dr. Ben-Meir’s staff, program, resources and support, Jennifer has lost 96 percent of her excess weight: 189 pounds!
“Weight loss surgery is a tool that helps patients feel full with a small amount of food,” explains Dr. Ben-Meir. “The patient’s ultimate success is related to how well he or she uses that tool. It’s not a quick fix for losing weight and isn’t for everyone. If a patient meets the criteria for surgery and has been unsuccessful in losing and maintaining the weight loss on their own, weight loss surgery may be right for him or her. Jennifer embraced her decision, envisioned her new life and continues to do all the things she was taught. Her self-discipline and confidence have resulted in her outstanding success.”
“It was the right time, place, program and people, and it’s been epic!” Jennifer says. “I knew it was just a matter of time before my excessive weight would result in significant health issues. But now the weight is gone and it’s liberating! The biggest change is not having the challenges―the mental checklist―about what I do. It’s just, ‘Do I want to do this?’ not ‘Could I do this?’ or ‘Should I do this?’ because I can! This is what active, healthy, happy people do. It’s a process, and until you lose the weight there’s so much you can’t imagine. Amazing things happen! I have so much more joy and confidence.”
You should know:
- Vertical sleeve gastrectomy is the most commonly performed weight loss procedure in the US.
- Dr. Aviv Ben-Meir has performed more than 4,500 weight loss surgeries with one of the lowest complication rates in the nation.
- Is weight loss surgery right for you? Do you want to learn more? Take our free, on-demand webinar.
Meet the doctor
Dr. Aviv Ben-Meir is a board-certified general surgeon who practices at the Lake Health Physician Group Bariatric Surgery Center. He has performed over 4,500 weight loss surgery procedures. If you’re considering weight loss surgery, register for Dr. Ben-Meir’s free on-demand webinar that helps answer common questions about weight loss surgery options and who is a candidate.
Lake West Medical Building
36100 Euclid Avenue, Suite 170
Willoughby, OH 44094