"Without change, there would be no butterflies." – Anonymous

Old habits are hard to break. Or so we've been told. The person who made that proclamation, however, never met Jacki Miron.

Under the expert medical guidance of Dr. Peter Garza and his team at Aurora Medical Center in Summit, Jacki was the first patient to undergo bariatric surgery in Summit. For her, March 22, 2011 was a turning point. While very thin for most of her life, Jacki has battled a thyroid condition and metabolic disorder for the last 10 years that caused a significant weight gain.

"My goal was to lose weight and be healthy. Obesity is a disease that affects your overall health," said Jacki. "Losing weight saved my life and it will prolong my life. Now, I can sleep better and move better. I have more energy."

Jacki was treated with a gastric sleeve resection. This operation removes 85 percent of the stomach, leaving a volume of approximately five ounces. This aids in portion control and can also decrease appetite between meals.

This is normally a laparoscopic procedure that involves only a short hospital stay and recovery period. This operation is the newest of the three bariatric procedures that Dr. Garza performs, yet early studies indicate low complication rates and a 55 to 80 percent loss of excess body weight with a gastric sleeve resection.

In the course of just one year, Jacki has lost more than 85 pounds and dropped 10 dress sizes. She no longer needs blood pressure medicine and her chronic acid reflux has disappeared. She adopted a diet that is high in protein, packed with vegetables and includes daily vitamins.

Guidance from the medical team has been integral to her success, but strong support from her family enabled her to make this commitment. "I've learned to live and eat differently," said Jacki, "thanks to support groups and seminars offered for bariatric patients. It really changed our family in a good way. We are all eating healthier."

According to Jacki, Dr. Garza and his team genuinely care about the success of each patient and celebrate their positive transformations. "I'm starting to see my old self again," she added. "I appreciate everything that they did for me to help me get to where I am today".

The Weight Loss Program, led by Dr. Garza, includes both surgical and non-surgical weight loss options. The decision to begin a weight loss journey is personal and life-changing.

And what a difference one year can make in your quality of life.

For more information about surgical and medical weight loss options at the Aurora Medical Center in Summit, please visit our website.