Susan Imanse's Story - Bronson Healthcare

“I have changed major habits in my life and it’s all thanks to Bronson’s program.”


When Susan Imanse’s husband returns home after nearly a year of military service in Afghanistan, he may no longer recognize his wife of 23 years. That’s because Susan, a 51-year-old certified nurse midwife at Bronson and mother of two, has lost more than 100 pounds in the last 10 months thanks to bariatric surgery and major lifestyle changes. Susan credits Bronson’s Bariatric Pre-Surgery Program and the caring staff there for the changes she has finally been able to make after decades of struggling with her weight.

“From the time I was 28, I have probably lost more than 500 pounds by gaining weight, losing it and then gaining it back again,” she says. About three years ago, fed up with diets that didn’t last, Susan started to consider bariatric surgery when she observed some coworkers go through the process and experience life-changing results. Susan was ready to proceed when the Bronson Medical & Surgical Weight Management bariatric surgery program was launched. She was particularly thrilled by the options offered. “I really wanted to have the gastric sleeve surgery, since it was a procedure that offered restriction without malabsorption,” she says.

Susan attended an information session and signed up for the Bronson Bariatric Pre-Surgery Program. Looking at the long list of requirements for surgery, Susan knew she had to get serious about her commitment. “This is a big, lifetime change. The program is set up so you’ll be knowledgeable and prepared for life after surgery. As you go through each step, you learn how to make it through the surgery with the fewest complications so you can have the best weight loss progress.”

The Bariatric Pre-Surgery Program took Susan step by step through everything from proper eating habits to exercise. Patients who already had bariatric surgery shared stories and tips. A trainer and dietician provided expert advice on the proper food and activity following surgery.

Susan lost 20 pounds during the pre-surgery program and scheduled her bariatric surgery, gastric sleeve, for April 2010 with Stuart Verseman, MD. Susan’s surgery was a success, and she continues to lose weight. Working with a trainer through the Bronson Bariatric Pre-Surgery Program, she is on track with exercise and can’t believe how much her life has changed. “I can’t wait for my husband to get home so we can work out together.”

"My dinner last night was so small, you wouldn’t even believe it! I will be able to eat 1,200-1,500 calories a day for the rest of my life. My grocery bill is lower, clothes are more affordable, and when I eat out, I can get two or three meals out of an entree,” she says excitedly. Susan has also been surprised by her new energy level. Even though she didn’t have any major health problems when she weighed close to 300 pounds, she did have heartburn, joint pain and was never able to sleep through the night. “Now, I sleep like a baby!”

While she is celebrating her success and continuing her weight loss, Susan’s 30-year-old niece who had bariatric surgery in Dallas, Texas is not having the same positive outcomes. Susan says her niece didn’t go through a pre-surgery program and has been on her own since having the surgery. “I had no complications and she had lots of complications. She wasn’t sure what to eat or drink after surgery and got sick from eating too much, too fast. She didn’t have the wonderful Bronson program like I did where each step in the process is designed to make your surgery successful.”

Susan’s weight loss goal is 130 pounds, which she says she is on track to meet by her one year “surg-a-versary” in April 2011. She says she is grateful for the Bronson bariatric program staff who are always available by phone to answer her questions and concerns. “They are so caring and attentive.”

When her husband comes home for the holidays and to celebrate their 23rd wedding anniversary in December 2010, she knows that he will be surprised when he hugs a much slimmer version of his wife. Susan said he’ll also be surprised by the lack of sugary treats in the house. “I have changed major habits in my life and it’s all thanks to Bronson’s program.”

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