Dawn and Leon before and after photos from weight loss surgery
Surgical Weight Loss, All Patient Stories

Couple Loses Weight and Regains a Healthier Life Together

For one couple, gaining support from Bayhealth, and each other, in losing weight made for a life-changing experience. Dawn McDonnell had been looking into surgical weight loss, also called bariatric surgery, then convinced her husband, Leon, to join her in the process. A year and a half ago they began Bayhealth’s Bariatric Program, a nationally accredited program which helped guide them through the pathway to surgery that ultimately led them to lose more than 200 pounds between them.

The couple joined a virtual informational seminar, then met with Bayhealth General and Bariatric Surgeon Theodoros Katsichtis, MD, FACS, DABOM, also known as “Dr. Theo”; Program Coordinator Patty Deer, MSM, BSN, RN, CNOR, CBN; and a team of bariatric registered dietitians. They covered every detail of what to expect with the procedure and the continued measures to maintain their weight loss and overall health.

“Dr. Theo explained everything in laymen’s terms so it was very clear, and he really listened to our wishes and concerns,” said Dawn. “He was open about the expectations, and had a great bedside manner too.”

Both Dawn and Leon had a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure performed by Dr. Katsichtis. “It’s done laparoscopically through five small incisions to access the abdomen,” he explained. “It surgically reduces the size of the stomach to a small pouch and reroutes the digestive system to bypass part of the small intestine. This means that post-surgery, the person feels full after eating much less and absorbs fewer fat, calories and nutrients from the food they consume.”

“Gastric bypass is the second most common bariatric procedure after vertical sleeve gastrectomy. It carries a low risk of complications, leads to 70% excess weight loss, and has excellent long-term results,” explained Dr. Katsichtis.

Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus is nationally accredited as a comprehensive bariatric program by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®). It also earned a Blue Distinction® Center for Bariatric Surgery designation as part of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

The McDonnells felt fortunate to be able to access such high-quality bariatric care close to their home in Houston, Delaware. All the legwork and follow up Bayhealth’s team did to make the experience extremely simple and convenient impressed them.

“They took care of everything –from nutrition education to clearance appointments, even setting us up with a program to get vitamins mailed to our home, and communicating with the insurance company to ensure coverage with no surprises regarding billing or out-of-pocket costs,” said Dawn.

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