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Sixteen months out from bariatric surgery, Castle Rock, Colorado, resident Pam Lundeen is feeling much lighter–100 pounds to be exact–and healthier.
Denver Center for Bariatric Surgery surgeon Dr. Matthew Metz performed gastric sleeve surgery on Pam at Rose in November 2018 at Rose Medical Center. At the time of surgery, Pam, now age 54, was in poor health; she’d recently undergone a total knee replacement and she had terrible joint pain due to systemic lupus. While Pam struggled with her weight most of her life, the steroids she had to take led to her gaining 20 pounds a year, and as a result of her obesity, she was on oxygen for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
“I had five wonderful grandkids (now she has seven) who wanted to spend time with me but I couldn’t function. I couldn’t play with them,” said Pam, who tried “every diet out there.” She scheduled an appointment with Dr. Metz, a former work colleague she trusted. At one of their first appointments, he shared a statistic that really resonated.
“The data is clear: if someone is struggling with their weight and has a body mass index over 40, they really only have a 30 percent chance of living to age 65,” Dr. Metz said.
Prior to surgery, Pam underwent a psychological evaluation and met with dieticians for six months. It was a year from when she started to think about having bariatric surgery to getting having the gastric sleeve performed. After surgery, Pam lost 20 pounds in two weeks and continued to lose weight. Aside from struggling with kidney stones (a common side effect for people who lose weight rapidly) she calls her recovery “phenomenal.”
“The nurses at Rose were amazing. The support of the bariatric team has been tremendous. Dr. Metz is so upbeat; he wants so badly for your success, not for him but for you,” she said.
To date, Pam has lost nearly 100 pounds in total. She’s no longer on oxygen and feels like a new happier, more confident person. And she’s much more active: camping, hiking and spending time with her family. “I have no regrets; I have my life back.”
Hear Pam Discuss Her Journey with Dr. Metz at the one-year anniversary of her life-changing procedure