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Patient Stories

Comprehensive Treatment Transforms a Life
By Healthy Life 2006 Spring/Summer

Sometimes, when they're out shopping together, Elaine Brown's husband walks right by without recognizing her. That's because the 61-year-old Methuen resident has lost 118 pounds since having laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery at NSMC Salem Hospital last April.

Brown says she struggled with her weight throughout her adolescence and adulthood. When her obesity became a health risk, she researched gastric bypass online and talked to others who had undergone the procedure. Initially, she thought she would have it performed in Boston. But three of her husband's co-workers who had gastric bypass performed by general surgeon Frederick Buckley, Jr. M.D., at NSMC Salem Hospital changed her mind. "They couldn't say enough about Dr. Buckley and about the NSMC weight management program," says Brown. "I realized that NSMC offered the most comprehensive care in the area, and that was what I wanted."

Distinguishing NSMC's care plan from others, patients are asked to commit to a year-long follow-up program that includes counseling, nutrition and lifestyle education, supervised exercise and instruction in cardiovascular risk reduction. NSMC also offers monthly support groups for prospective patients and those who have had surgery. Today, Brown's blood pressure and cholesterol have improved, she's no longer bordering on developing diabetes and she feels more energetic than ever. In addition, she says, her self-esteem has soared. And though she still enjoys food, she no longer desires the sweets she used to crave.