Woman Loses 100 Pounds with Lap Band Surgery, Gains Confidence to Earn College Degree

Marie Silbaugh pictured after her bariatric surgery
Marie Silbaugh after her bariatric surgery

Marie Silbaugh said she had dreamed of being thin her entire life, but she just could not lose weight and keep it off. The 46-year-old had tried most of the popular diets — low-carb, low fat, pre-prepared and portion controlled. Unfortunately, none of these diets helped Marie maintain her weight loss once she reached her goal weight. Then one day, she heard colleagues talking about weight loss surgery at University Hospitals and she decided to investigate.

Marie had a full medical, psychological and dietary evaluation at University Hospitals Digestive Health Institute Nutritional Health & Bariatric Surgery Center. In November 2008, Marie chose to have a laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (Lap Band®) placed around her stomach.

“I weighed 260 pounds before the surgery. At 5 feet 4 inches tall, that was too much weight to be active or healthy,” said Marie. “About one year later, I weighed 176 pounds and went from a size 24 to a size 12-14.”

With laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, or Lap Band surgery, an adjustable band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach, much like placing a wrist watch around the wrist. The band creates a small pouch that holds less food so patients feel full more quickly. The band is easily adjusted in the physician’s office if the patient needs more or less restriction on the stomach.

Marie Silbaugh pictured before her bariatric surgery
Marie Silbaugh before her bariatric surgery

“I had my surgery right before Thanksgiving and was only able to eat a spoonful of mashed potatoes with bit of turkey baby food before I was stuffed,” said Marie.

Marie said that before her Lap Band surgery, she had developed some potentially serious health problems such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea and high cholesterol. Marie is proud to say that all of that changed after weight loss surgery.

“I used to take several medications each morning to manage these conditions; now I am healthy, and all I take is a vitamin,” she said.

Along with losing 100 pounds, Marie tells of another proud accomplishment: “I had always wanted to get my college degree. When I dropped the weight, I enrolled in college and finished my Associates degree.”

Now at a healthy weight and with a college degree, Marie is inspiring others to make the commitment to take charge of their lives too, as she praises the benefits of weight loss surgery at University Hospitals.