Amanda’s Story

Enjoying Life to the Fullest after Weight Loss Surgery

Born and raised in Ohio, Amanda McGowan was a normal, healthy child of average weight for the first decade of her life. But, when she was eleven, life took a sad turn. She lost both her father and her grandmother in one year, leaving Amanda and her mom on their own.

Amanda McGowan: before gastric bypass surgery

Soon after that, Amanda entered sixth grade and began to notice that she was larger than most of the other girls. That was when her struggle to maintain a healthy weight began and continued until she was in her early forties. “I would lose significant amounts of weight and then gain it all right back,” she says. “I used to joke that I expanded and contracted more than cement during a Geauga County winter.”

For years, Amanda tried just about everything to lose weight including hypnosis, Weight Watchers, Medifast and the Atkins diet. She cut carbs and fats from her diet and, yes, she lost weight. But, it always came back and she found herself on the proverbial weight-loss roller coaster. She was already experiencing weight-related health problems like high blood pressure, depression and sleep apnea, and knew that she was at risk for developing joint problems, diabetes and heart disease if her weight remained unchecked.

Amanda McGowan: after gastric bypass surgery

“I decided that I needed to make a permanent change while I was still relatively young and healthy so I began to consider the option of weight loss surgery.”

Four months later, after much research into weight loss procedures and with the enthusiastic support of her family, friends and church, Amanda made the decision to put her health into the expert hands of the surgeons at the UH Nutritional Health & Bariatric Surgery Center. “I had heard so many good things about the program, I knew I wanted to have my procedure done at University Hospitals.”

On April 21, 2016, Leena Khaitan, MD, Director of the Center and her team performed gastric bypass surgery on Amanda and changed her life forever.

Thirteen months later and 85 pounds lighter, 45 year old Amanda was living life like never before. Running marathons, skydiving, paddle boarding and yoga are just a few of the activities she now enjoys. “I can do so many things I couldn’t do before and no longer plan my life around eating. I feel so free now!”

When asked about her experience with UH and the bariatric surgery team, Amanda said, “My care was fabulous. My room was clean and relaxing, the nurses were responsive and kind, and Dr. Khaitan’s expertise and professionalism put me at ease. The whole experience was phenomenal and I know I made the right choice by going to University Hospitals for my surgery.”

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