Meet Our Patients
Support is a critical element throughout this process. Reading about the progress of others can bring comfort during trying times. Read what some of our patients have to say about their experiences.
My name is Yvette Ulibarri, I’m 28 years old and have struggled with my weight my entire life. I decided to get the surgery when I finally realized that no matter what I did or tried, I couldn’t fight this battle alone. I was tired of being limited to the things I could do in life. Life has changed in so many positive ways since my surgery. I can now walk into any store and shop for clothes. Ask anyone and they will tell you the Mall is my favorite place. I look at life differently now, being healthy is my number one goal. The surgery was a very small price to pay for a whole new life!
My life before surgery wasn’t actually that bad, I had lost a lot of weight on my own, it wasn’t until I gained 100lbs and made it to 300lbs that I realized I had a problem. I looked in the mirror and I was a linebacker. I gained a majority of my weight when my twin sister Traci had her surgery. I think the hardest part before surgery was not fitting into seats at theaters and on airplanes it was humiliating and very uncomfortable. I knew surgery was right for me when I couldn’t fit into my 3x scrubs at work and I was so uncomfortable just standing up. I knew that it was time to do something about it. I am the one who scheduled our initial seminar to start the process. My life has changed so much since surgery, I have my dream job as an OR nurse which I would not have been able to do that job. I also feel better and my energy is sky high. This was the best thing I have every done and would definitely do it again. The shopping is not bad either.
I have battled my weight since middle school. While all my friends were comfortable taking their shirt off, I avoided it at all costs. For 4 years I suffered from uncontrollable Central and Obstructive Sleep Apnea and used multiple breathing machines and oxygen at night, I was in and out of the Emergency Room with High Blood Pressure and swelling in my legs, and starting have problems with my blood sugar, all at the age of 30. I would come home from business travel and not be able to breath at our home which sat at 9997 feet above sea level. I did not want to miss out on the opportunities of life any longer.
My primary care doctor told me I had to lose weight and move from living at higher altitudes. At the time I lived in Crested Butte, Colorado and could not participate in all the hiking, climbing, snowboarding, biking, etc that people did in Crested Butte, and all of Colorado. I went back to my doctor and told him that I had lost 10 pounds, he told me that was not good enough. He gave me Dr. Snyder’s business card and I made an appointment to attend his seminar. I raised my hand in the seminar and told him my story. He asked me to email him, which I did as soon as I got home. That night I received his reply and had an appointment later that week to see him personally in his office. We got the ball rolling and in less than 60 days I had my surgery. I knew it was right because of the customer service and personal attention to you as a person, and not just a patient, that Dr. Snyder and his staff offers you.
I am now able to do things that I only watched others do. I have completed 3 full marathons, finally getting a personal record and finishing the New Orleans Marathon in under 4 hours. I am now training to compete in my first Ironman Competition (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and 13.1 mile run) in September and the New York Marathon in November. I can hike 14ers, mountain bike, swim a mile a day, and do anything that I used to sit back and watch my friends do! I know longer suffer from hypertension, sleep apnea, or issues related to my blood sugar. I have completely changed my diet and eating behavior and I have never felt better and would recommend having this done to anyone thinking about making a life change for the better!
Before my surgery I had reached 370lbs. As a 25 year old I had every obesity related disorder you could have from high cholesterol to sleep apnea etc. I had very low self esteem and blamed everything on my weight. I was getting to the point where I didn’t fit in booths, had to ask for seat belt extenders on airplanes, couldn’t walk without getting short of breath. I wanted to live my life and at 370lbs I couldn’t do it. I tried every way to lose weight: weight watchers, diet and exercise, personal training, metabolic weight loss etc. I think the turning point for me was when I was on vacation with my sister in Las Vegas. I wanted to ride the New York, New York roller coaster. I had bought my ticket and everything and when I got on to ride it the safety bar wouldn’t lock into place. I was too big to ride the ride. That was such an embarrassing moment and the straw that broke the camels back. I went to a seminar in October and had my surgery in December. Having the surgery was the best thing I could have ever done. I have lost 170lbs and am a new person. I have no more obesity related diseases and I can now be a 26 year old. I love to go shopping now and am really enjoying the new me. There are some things that losing weight doesn’t fix but I am in the long run a healthier, happier person. I am so thankful to Dr. Snyder and his team and would never have done the surgery with anyone else.
My husband and I had bariatric surgery within a month of each other. If there were one strong message that I would love to convey to someone contemplating weight loss surgery…it would be this: Do not wait until you meet your threshold, as I did. What do I mean? Allow me to explain.
Long before my surgery—I recall wondering how it was possible for anyone to gain so much weight that they were unable to walk, stand, or in worse cases, even sit up. Most of us have watched documentaries about half-ton (or more) men and women. How could something like that happen to people? We wondered. No, it didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen. And, yes…we’re all different, and we all have different thresholds of how much weight our bodies will allow us to tolerate.
The frightening part for me was discovering my own threshold. Suddenly, I felt completely helpless and powerless. What I experienced was such a profound feeling of hopelessness. I knew that I had hit my bottom. At 55 years of age, I was experiencing arthritis, first in one knee, then the other. Fifteen pounds later, my feet started to ache, too. Just walking up and down the stairs in my home was enough to cause that to happen!
My surgical procedure took place on August 12, 2010. I elected to have the LapBand procedure, because it just seemed like the right choice for me. I cannot overstate how wonderful and supportive the doctors and medical staff are, at Denver Center for Bariatric Surgery at Rose Medical Center. Every patient is treated with respect and dignity from the moment they begin their journey, by attending the seminars. Now five months after my surgery, I don’t think twice about going up or down the stairs in my house. Also, I don’t get easily fatigued when I am out and about when shopping or going for brief walks. Every week I notice I have a little more pep in my step. Actually I am surprised at how quickly my overall quality of life has improved in such a short time. As long as I continue to follow the protocol, which is easy to do, I will continue to lose weight.
This is the best investment I have ever made in my life, and I promise this will be the best investment you will ever make in yours! Best wishes for a new beginning, Shirley S.
My story is probably like most people’s stories that have been fighting obesity for so many years. I was a big kid for most of my adolescent life. Later in life, after getting married to an absolutely wonderful cook, I really bulked up. I was so tired from working all day; I refused to exercise when I got home. When I turned 54, I weighed an astounding 398 pounds at 6 feet 2 inches! I couldn’t do most anything anymore like I use to. I couldn’t tie my shoes, so I wore slip-ons. I swore that the shower stall in my house shrunk, because when I showered, I constantly kept bumping into the walls or shower door. I suffered from hypertension, terrible lower back and joint pain, and borderline type 2 diabetes. I developed a severe case of sleep apnea, and had double pneumonia which nearly killed me (I had a bad case of indigestion while in bed, and had excess stomach acid ooze into my lungs). One would think after this near death scare, I would have seen the light, but not the case. Whenever I dropped anything, I would have to kick it over to a desk or chair so I could support myself, as I picked up the object! I was simply too heavy, and my knees and joints would just not allow me to stand back up! The last straw was, when I dropped a pencil at work and couldn’t even bend down to pick it up; a co-worker reached down and grabbed it for me, without hesitation. I was absolutely embarrassed with myself.
My doctor prescribed 5 different kinds of medication to treat all of my ailments and started me on C-PAP therapy for sleep apnea. He, like my mother, pounded me to loose weight. For 6 years, my doctor pushed me to try diet after diet, along with diet pills and exercise, nothing ever worked. He suggested I look into having Bariatric surgery with Dr. Snyder. After researching different surgery alternatives and Dr. Snyder’s background, and other surgeons in the Denver area, my wife and I decided to schedule for one of his seminars.
Dr. Snyder’s staff was great with helping to me to obtain everything I needed to move forward for my surgery. I have never seen or known a more passionate staff of people in a doctor’s office, than those who work at the Denver Center For Bariatric Surgery at Rose Medical Center. It was so obvious while sitting in the waiting room, just to hear other patients’ reactions and demeanors when talking to the staff; I have never seen anything like it before, anywhere! And I’ve been to a few doctors offices!
My surgery was in mid July of 2010. Dr. Snyder provided me with the gift of a lifetime. I consider this time, my “I was born again” time, and I have the “birthmarks” to prove it!
It absolutely changed my life, I never though it could be this good. My LapBand was the one “tool” I desperately needed to have. Dr. Snyder’s staff educated my wife and me on everything we needed to know, to make the best use of my “tool”, as well as the lifestyle change with my eating habits. At first, I thought that it would be the hardest thing I could ever do, but my LapBand made it so easy for me to learn and stay on task. A month after my surgery, my wife had the same surgery. It’s great that we have each other, to support each other with our goals of loosing weight together. And what is even better, we have support from so many resources here in Denver, as well as Dr. Snyder’s team! Dr. Snyder will tell you, “The difference between being full, and being Thanksgiving Day full, is one bite”! He could not have been more correct! With my band being adjusted correctly, 3 to 4 ounces of food is all it takes to fill me up comfortably for about 2 ½ to 3 hours at a time! I don’t feel hungry any more, and I sometimes have to remind myself to eat something! It is so darn easy for me to loose weight, easiest diet I’ve ever done my whole life! I can’t even believe I am saying that! Anyone who knows me will say that I am the biggest skeptic; just ask my wife!
I am half way to my goal, to loose an additional 90 pounds. It is at this point, taking a little longer to loose, but as I loose, I have more energy and the willpower to walk a lot, and my wife and I will be going to the pool soon. What is really great is to be able to walk up a set of stairs or two, without being completely out of breath and getting dizzy or light-headed. When I first had my surgery, my waistline was 56 inches, and since writing this testimonial, I am currently wearing a comfortable 50 inch and about to fit into a pair of 48 inch jeans! My goal is to be able to wear a pair of 36 inch jeans daily, and keep it there. My LapBand will provide me the maintenance I need to continue to maintain my ideal weight! What could be better than that?!
For anyone considering having Bariatric surgery, the one thing I would say is, it will be the best decision you will ever make, and I recommend it whole heartedly! I would do it a thousand times over, just to get to where I am with it today! Good luck with your journey!
My name is Ron and I am 42 years old. I had the Lapband procedure. I am an avid motorcycle rider, hence the stuffed hog in my picture.
The first thing that I would like to make clear is that bariatric surgery is by no means an easy fix! It takes a lot of hard work and determination. So if you are not willing to put forth a 150%, and you think that the fat is just going to melt off, then you might want to just save your money and time and use it for something else.
Prior to surgery, I found myself closing in on 400lbs, 386lbs to be exact. My 6’4” frame was experiencing difficulty carrying the weight. I would have a difficult time standing for more than an hour at a time. Having severe edema in my legs would make walking an unbearable task. Some of my health concerns included being borderline diabetic, high blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels were always well over 200, sleep apnea, and worst of all for me I had closet depression. For the most part I tried to be happy while around others, but I was miserable on the inside. My weight was affecting so many aspects of my life. Being intimate in a relationship became a chore. I can sit and write pages of how I had to change my lifestyle to accommodate my weight, but chances are if you are reading this you are probably going through some of the same things.
Since 2008, under doctor’s orders, I was to loose a considerable amount of weight and work on getting my cholesterol down. After several attempts at different diets and failed exercise regimens, it was difficult to have any hope that I was going to succeed at this getting skinny thing. In March of 2010 my Primary care doctor, after looking at yearly blood work, said it very bluntly to me. He told me that I was a stroke waiting to happen. He was very concerned at how much my health had deteriorated over the last two years. That’s the moment that I decided I needed to “s*%$ or get off the pot”. My doctor referred me to Dr. Snyder. I attended the seminar and had a great feeling that this was the right step for me. Unfortunately that was short lived after finding out that my insurance company would not cover the procedure. At this point I had lost hope again worrying how I could possibly pay for this. My advice here is if you experience a financial road block, don’t give up. There are many financial institutions that you can find on the internet that strictly deal with medical procedures to help patients get financed. Ask your friends, family; try your bank, whatever it takes. Too often we will spend money on material things and easily skimp on spending money on our health. Just don’t give up. If you are determined to better yourself, it will come to you.
It is difficult to put into words how my life has changed. If I had to use one word to sum it all up, it would be “WOW”. I am constantly finding myself being able to do things that I forgot I could do. At times I have to take a timeout and do a reality check because I’m in such disbelief that I performed an act that I haven’t been able to do for years. Just being able to fit into clothes, which I haven’t worn in forever, blows me away. I can go out in public and not feel ashamed. I am not embarrassed anymore when I step out of the shower and look in the mirror. And sexy time is so much more fun now! For the first month or so I was embarrassed to say that I had bariatric surgery. It made me feel as if I had taken the easy way out. Not anymore though. “My name is Ron and I am a Lapband recipient.” Truth is that I am very happy I decided to have surgery. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me. I owe a lot to the support my family and friends have given and continue to give me throughout my journey. If you decide to have surgery, rest assured that you will be in great hands. Dr. Snyder’s staff is comprised of the most wonderful and pleasant professionals that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. They take the time to listen and cater to your needs. I wish you the best of luck in you journey. Just remember that you do not have to be a prisoner in your own body!