Chris’ Weight Loss Journey with the Nicholson Clinic: A Transformation Story


Life before surgery was becoming increasingly difficult for Chris. He found himself spending most of his time sitting in a recliner in front of the TV. His then 3-year-old son would ask him to come outside and play, but Chris often felt too tired or too embarrassed about his weight to join in. Even simple tasks like walking up a flight of stairs left him breathless. Health issues were starting to mount as well: his blood pressure was on the rise, and he had been diagnosed with sleep apnea.

Years of dieting had led to an exasperating cycle of losing and regaining weight, often ending up heavier than before. Chris was getting frustrated continually needing larger clothing sizes and not being able to maintain any weight loss. Conversations with family members who had successfully undergone weight loss surgery prompted Chris to consider a surgical solution. He decided to have weight loss surgery after recognizing that his health and quality of life were at stake.

Choosing the Nicholson Clinic

Chris chose the Gastric Sleeve procedure with the Nicholson Clinic, influenced by a family member who had been a patient there and spoke highly of the clinic. Researching further on the clinic’s website and social media, Chris was impressed by the success stories and testimonials. Despite the clinic being farther from his home than other options, he was convinced it was the right choice.

Time was of the essence for Chris, as he aimed to have the surgery during a scheduled vacation to avoid taking additional time off work. Dr. Long saw Chris for his initial consultation and was able to get him in quickly for surgery.

The Nicholson Clinic Experience

“The process with the Nicholson Clinic was very quick and easy, and I was able to use my insurance which was great!”

Chris needed to get insurance approval quickly to fit the surgery into his vacation schedule. The clinic’s insurance staff submitted and received approval in less than a week. He swiftly completed the necessary consultations with the clinic-recommended nutritionist and psychologist, ensuring he met all the requirements in time.

Chris praised the Nicholson Clinic for making the insurance process straightforward and stress-free. This efficiency allowed him to schedule his surgery date perfectly within his planned time off, starting his pre-op diet promptly.

Recovery and Results

I was able to walk out of the surgery center on my own within a few hours after my surgery!”

Chris’s concerns about recovery were quickly alleviated. Just hours after surgery, he was able to walk out of the surgery center on his own. The recovery process was mostly pain-free and complication-free, thanks to the clear instructions provided by the clinic.

Being a pilot, Chris expected a significant delay before returning to work. However, Dr. Long cleared him to resume flying just two weeks post-op, a testament to the smooth recovery process.

Life After Surgery:  A New Beginning

“Losing over 100 pounds in 8 months has been great!”

Eight months after surgery and over 100 pounds lighter, Chris’s life has transformed. He no longer hesitates when his son asks him to play outside or get on the floor. Physically, he can do much more without the aches and pains that plagued him before. His sleep has improved significantly, and he anticipates being able to stop using his CPAP machine after another sleep study.

Chris’s health has improved dramatically. His blood pressure is now within the normal range, and a liver biopsy performed during the surgery revealed fatty liver disease, which has since shown signs of reversal. His liver doctor believes his liver has healed, pending confirmation from upcoming tests.

Emotionally, Chris feels better about himself and is more comfortable in public. He and his family recently purchased almost seven acres of property, a decision driven by his newfound energy and ability to maintain it. Chris also enjoys training his German Shepherd, Ziva, which involves lots of walking—something that was once a struggle but is now a breeze.

Maintaining Success

To maintain his weight loss, Chris continues to attend follow-up appointments and adhere to the dietary guidelines provided by Dr. Long and his team. He enjoys family walks and is considering starting running.

Chris’s journey with the Nicholson Clinic and Dr. Long has been a life-changing experience. From struggling with daily activities and health issues to enjoying an active and fulfilling life, his story is a testament to the profound impact of weight loss surgery when supported by a dedicated medical team.

Meet Tanya, she gifted herself weight loss surgery for her 48th birthday, and it was the best present she could have ever received! She decided to take control of her life and health by undergoing gastric sleeve surgery with Dr. Roshek at the Nicholson Clinic. Here’s her inspiring story of transformation.

Life Before Surgery:  Tanya’s life before surgery was filled with challenges. “Life was miserable,” Tanya says. At 5’5 and 370 lbs, she was up to a 5x in clothes and on 12 medications. She struggled with mobility issues and deteriorating mental health and self-esteem. Simple tasks like walking were painful, and she felt trapped in a cycle of hopelessness.

Decision to Undergo Surgery:  After years of unsuccessful attempts of yo-yo dieting, losing weight and regaining weight, and several health scares, Tanya stumbled upon a bariatric group on Facebook where she found inspiration in a fellow member’s before and after photos. Encouraged by the positive experience shared, she chose the Nicholson Clinic for her journey to better health.

 

Working with the Nicholson Clinic:  Tanya’s experience with the Nicholson Clinic was nothing short of exceptional. From the support of her dedicated Patient Care Advocate to the professionalism of the medical staff, she felt guided and cared for every step of the way. “I had so much support; it was really incredible during a very vulnerable time”, Tanya shares.

 

Despite initial setbacks with insurance, Tanya opted for self-pay and took out a loan—an investment she now considers invaluable. Tanya explains, “initially I was going to go through insurance and about 2 weeks into pre-op appointments I received a letter from my insurance company stating my approval was denied due to a contractual exclusion. I was devastated! I chose to take out a personal loan and it was the best $10k I’ve ever spent in my life. I’ve spent that and more over the years becoming obese.”

 

Life Now:  Fast forward to today, and Tanya is living a life she never thought possible. Life NOW is how I wish it had been for the last 20 years. It’s a brand-new life!” From 370 lbs to 266, a significant weight loss of 104 lbs, she exudes newfound energy and positivity. Emotionally, she’s undergoing therapy to address her relationship with food and past traumas, while physically, she’s embraced a more active lifestyle, participating in virtual walking challenges, in-person 5ks, and even discovering a love for pickleball. Tanya is happy to report, “I’ve gone from being a couch potato to my own version of being an athlete, lol! I am SO grateful for my new lease on life.”

Maintaining Weight Loss:  Tanya attributes her continued success to a strong support system of family and friends, managing her mental health, and staying active. While she doesn’t adhere strictly to a specific diet, she makes intentional food choices, practices portion control, and listens to her body’s cues. Most importantly, she’s learned to cherish her second chance at life and refuses to let food dictate her happiness.

 

Tanya’s journey serves as a beacon of hope for anyone struggling with obesity and its associated health issues. Through determination, support, and the right medical intervention, she’s reclaimed her health and happiness, proving that it’s never too late to rewrite your story.

If you’re considering weight loss surgery, take inspiration from Tanya’s story and reach out to the Nicholson Clinic for expert guidance on your own transformative journey.

How much weight have you lost overall?

137lbs from my highest weight and 117 from my surgery date

Brief overview of what life was like before surgery, and why you decided to have weight loss surgery?
Before deciding to have the gastric sleeve life was an uphill battle daily physically and mentally. I was trapped in my body and felt frustrated and defeated daily. I tried everything you could imagine. Programs , non-stimulant diet pills , shakes , exercise. For 16 yrs the weight wouldn’t budge. My I wasn’t always obese , I was very thin , athletic and full of energy. My obesity was due to poor coping skills and food addiction. Once I realized this was the root of the issue I wanted help and found Nicholson Clinic in addition to a behavioral therapist to prepare me for the right coping skills so I would not self-sabotage after surgery!

What was the process like working with the Nicholson Clinic, pre-op and post-op? Anything specific you want to say about your doctor and/or staff?
The process was seamless and easier than I imagined. The staff made you feel like a person. I loved how Dr long would sit back in his chair and prop his leg over his other one lol it was as if he were at home and soaking in your story and concerns. I never felt rushed or a number!

What is life like now? What’s different physically and emotionally?
Life after surgery is so beautiful! My life before was beautiful however now it’s as if a veil has been lifted and things are in color! God has used this tool to give me new found joys in life and freedom! I am healed from food addiction by his grace and now have a tool to help me succeed in my health! No more Hypertension no more Shortness of breath no more joint pain no more stress inconstance better sleep. I can do things with my children and be an example as a nurse to my own patients. I’ve been more adventurous and food is savored now instead of gulped down. Eating is no longer a chore or addiction it is a part of living. Eating is no longer an addiction but a choice of freedom! Since my surgery I have chosen to be 100% Keto. For me the addiction to sugar was not something I was willing to risk. My husband and family were a huge support and never gave up on me!

Any advice for someone considering weight loss surgery?

Do it! Prepare yourself. Do the ground work and study. This is a tool and tool trust. Know what to expect and weigh those expectations against your own. For me the risk of not having the surgery were far greater than the risk that came with the surgery. My post op recovery was so great. The Nicholson team were there every step of the way. Be willing to make personal changes and grow and watch the joys unfold!! “

Bariatric surgery continues to play a major role in obesity management despite the emergence of potent new weight-loss medications, according to two experts who spoke at an Endocrine Society science writers briefing.

“Bariatric surgery is safe, effective, and unfortunately underutilized for treating obesity and its complications,” said Jaime Almandoz, MD, medical director of the Weight Wellness Program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.

Added Almandoz, who is triple board-certified in internal medicine, endocrinology, and obesity medicine, “Sometimes this gets presented in a linear fashion. ‘We’ll try lifestyle first and if that doesn’t work, we’ll try medications and if that doesn’t work, we’ll try surgery.’ But sometimes we might need to go straight to surgery instead of going through medications first, because it may be the most effective and evidence-based treatment for the person in the office in front of you.”

Moreover, he pointed out that currently, Medicare and many private insurers don’t cover antiobesity medications but do cover bariatric surgery.

Indeed, Srividya Kidambi, MD, professor and chief of endocrinology and molecular medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin/Froedtert Hospital, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, said there are certain types of patients for whom she might consider bariatric surgery first. One would be a person with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 kg/m2 or with a BMI greater than 35 kg/m2 and severe comorbidities.

Another, she said, would be young, relatively healthy people with obesity who have no comorbid conditions. “We know that if we stop the medication, the weight comes back. So, if I see a 20- to 25-year-old, am I really to commit them to lifelong therapy, or is bariatric surgery a better option in these cases? These drugs have not been around that long…so I tend to recommend bariatric surgery in some patients.”

During the recent briefing, Almandoz summarized the evidence base for the benefits of bariatric surgery beyond weight loss, which include remission of type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease, reduction of the risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and increased life expectancy.

“Everyone seems to be talking about GLP-1s for facilitating weight loss and treating obesity…. What I want to do is provide a counterpoint to accessible therapies that are covered by more insurance plans and that may, in fact, have a better evidence base for treating obesity and its related complications,” he said in his introduction.

Bariatric surgery has been used for decades, and many centers of excellence perform it, with greatly reduced complication rates seen today than in the past. “It’s comparable to having a gallbladder surgery in terms of perioperative risk,” he noted.

Medicare and private insurers generally cover bariatric surgery for people with BMI greater than 40 kg/m2 or 35–39 kg/m2 and at least one weight-related comorbidity, including type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, hypertension, atherosclerotic disease, hyperlipidemia, and fatty liver disease.

Data suggest that weight reduction of about 3% can lead to meaningful reductions in blood glucose and triglyceride levels, but weight loss of 15% or greater is associated with reductions in cardiovascular events and type 2 diabetes remission. Lifestyle modification typically produces about 5% weight loss, compared to 20% to 35% with bariatric surgery with sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass.

Older weight loss medications produced weight loss of 5% to 10%; only the newer medications, semaglutide 2.4 mg and tirzepatide, come close to that. Weight loss with semaglutide is about 15%, while tirzepatide can produce weight loss of up to 22%. But, there are still issues with affordability, access, and lack of coverage, Almandoz noted.

One recent randomized trial of more than 400 individuals showed that bariatric surgery was more effective than lifestyle and medical therapies for treating metabolic-associated steatohepatitis (MASH) without worsening of fibrosis.

Another showed that the surgery was associated with fewer major adverse liver outcomes among people who already had MASH. That same study showed a 70% reduction in cardiovascular events with bariatric surgery.

For patients with type 2 diabetes, numerous trials have demonstrated long-term remission and reduced A1c at 5 years and 10 years post surgery, along with reductions in microvascular and macrovascular complications.

Other data suggest that a shorter history of type 2 diabetes is among the factors predicting remission with bariatric surgery. “Oftentimes, both patients and providers will wait until the diabetes is quite advanced before they even have the conversation about weight loss or even bariatric surgery. This suggests that if we intervene earlier in the course of disease, when it is less severe and less advanced, we have a higher rate of causing remission in the diabetes,” Almandoz said.

The American Diabetes Association’s Standards of Care incorporate bariatric surgery as either “recommended” or “may be considered” to treat type 2 diabetes, depending on BMI level, for those who don’t achieve durable weight loss with nonsurgical methods, he noted.

retrospective cohort study showed significant reductions in cardiovascular outcomes with bariatric surgery among people with baseline cardiovascular disease. “This is not just about bariatric surgery to cause weight loss. This is about the multitude of effects that happen when we treat obesity as a disease with highly effective therapies such as surgery,” he said.

Even cancer risk and cancer-related mortality were significantly reduced with bariatric surgery, another study found.

And in the long-term Swedish Obese Subjects Study, among people with obesity, bariatric surgery was associated with a 3-year increase in life expectancy compared with not undergoing surgery.

However, Almandoz also pointed out that some patients may benefit from both weight-loss medication and bariatric surgery. “Once someone has undergone pharmacotherapy, there may still be a role for bariatric procedures in helping to optimize body weight and control body weight long term. And likewise for those who have undergone bariatric surgery, there’s also a role for pharmacotherapy in terms of treating insufficient weight loss or weight recurrence after bariatric surgery…. So I think there’s clearly a role for integration of therapies.”

Almandoz serves as consultant/advisory board member for Novo Nordisk, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Eli Lilly. Kidambi is director of TOPS Center for Metabolic Research Supported by TOPS Inc and is medical editor of TOPS Magazine, for which her institution receives an honorarium.

Miriam E. Tucker is a freelance journalist based in the Washington DC area. She is a regular contributor to Medscape, with other work appearing in the Washington Post, NPR’s Shots blog, and Diabetes Forecast magazine. She is on X (formerly Twitter) @MiriamETucker.

When it comes to losing weight, many people turn to short-term methods that do not work or are very costly.

When it comes to losing weight, many people turn to short-term methods that do not work or are very costly. Before looking into any quick fix solutions for weight loss, consider weight loss surgery as an option; it’s a more effective way to achieve your goals. With the right amount of research and guidance from an experienced medical team, you can find a solution that works best for you.

Many people waste time and money trying ineffective methods to lose weight. These methods may include crash diets or expensive supplements that promise quick results but fail to deliver. Not only are these methods often ineffective in the long run, but they can also be costly and take up valuable time that could be better spent on healthier activities. Additionally, some of these products may even contain unhealthy ingredients or have side effects that can be harmful to your health in the long run.

Weight loss surgery offers the most effective long-term solution for those who struggle with obesity-related health issues or have had difficulty losing weight through diet and exercise alone. The Nicholson Clinic for Weight Loss Surgery provides comprehensive care for patients considering any type of weight loss surgery with experienced surgeons who specialize in bariatric surgery procedures such as gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, duodenal switch, and revision surgeries for patients who have had previous unsuccessful bariatric surgeries  The clinic offers individualized care plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs including pre-operative evaluations and post-operative follow-up care with nutritionists who provide education on healthy eating habits after surgery. The Nicholson Clinic also offers support groups where patients can connect with others who have undergone similar procedures.

Weight loss surgery should not be a last resort; it should be considered prior to spending money on ineffective, short-term solutions. With proper research into available options such as gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, duodenal switch, or revision surgeries, you may find a solution that works best for you. Experienced medical teams such as those at Nicholson Clinic for Weight Loss Surgery provide comprehensive care throughout your journey towards improving your health.

About Nicholson Clinic
One of the most experienced weight loss surgeons in the country – Dr. Nick Nicholson – along with a full staff of surgeons, physician assistants, and other experienced clinicians, help patients reverse obesity with Sleeve Gastrectomy, Gastric Bypass, Duodenal Switch, Gastric Balloon, LAP-BAND removal and Revisions.

Ten years ago, Mandy had gastric sleeve surgery. After experiencing weight regain, she made the decision to have sleeve-to-bypass revision surgery with Dr. Long. She has already lost 111 pounds in 4 1/2 months. This is her story.

Life Before Surgery

Managing our weight is directly tied to how we manage our emotions around food. If you’re in a bad relationship with stress eating, we’ve got six tips to help you break the cycle.

Cool off in the summer heat with this crisp and refreshing snack. This tasty recipe also makes a great side dish for your next cookout!

La cirugía bariátrica es una forma segura y efectiva de lograr una pérdida de peso significativa y sostenida. Ha existido durante muchos años, y actualmente es la solución más efectiva y probada a largo plazo para una pérdida de peso significativa. Si está considerando la cirugía bariátrica, es posible que se pregunte si es la opción correcta para usted.

Los médicos consideran el índice de masa corporal (IMC) y otras enfermedades relacionadas con la obesidad (comorbilidades) como un criterio importante para determinar si la cirugía de pérdida de peso es una opción adecuada o no. En términos generales, la cirugía bariátrica se considera apropiada para personas con un IMC mayor de 40 o con un IMC mayor de 35 y una o más comorbilidades relacionadas con la obesidad. En ciertas circunstancias, los pacientes con un IMC más bajo, 30-34.9, también pueden ser candidatos adecuados.

La cirugía de pérdida de peso puede iniciar su camino hacia una vida más saludable, más larga y más satisfactoria. En muchos casos, los pacientes pueden experimentar los beneficios inmediatamente después de la cirugía. Ejemplos de beneficios comunes de la cirugía bariátrica son:

  • Reducción del 89% en la mortalidad a 5 años
  • 82% de remisión de la diabetes tipo
  • 82% el asma mejoró o se resolvió
  • 82% de reducción del riesgo de enfermedades cardiovasculares
  • 72%-98% de alivio de la apnea del sueño

¿Cirugía de pérdida de peso o medicamentos para bajar de peso?

Es un momento emocionante en el campo de la pérdida de peso con nuevos medicamentos para perder peso disponibles para el público. Sin embargo, los medicamentos para bajar de peso pueden costar a los pacientes más de USD $ 1,000 al mes y vienen con resultados mixtos de pérdida de peso y efectos secundarios. Costos comunes asociados con estas dos opciones, respectivamente:

  • USD $1,000 mensual* Medicamentos para bajar de peso – 15-17% Promedio de pérdida de peso corporal total con Wegovy
  • USD $10,000 Total* Manga gástrica – 32% Pérdida promedio de peso corporal total con cirugía bariátrica

En Nicholson Clinic for Weight Loss Surgery, entendemos que decidir si la cirugía bariátrica es adecuada para usted puede ser abrumador. Al final, depende de usted decidir qué se adapta mejor a sus necesidades y condiciones, por lo que le recomendamos programar una consulta para discutir todas las opciones posibles para ayudarlo a tomar una decisión informada sobre su salud. ¡Nuestro personal está dedicado a caminar con usted en cada paso del camino y ayudarlo a lograr un éxito sostenible!  ¡Contáctenos hoy!

1 Christou NV, Sampalis JS, Liberman M, et al. Surgery decreases long term mortality, morbidity, and health care use in morbidly obese patients. Ann Surg 2004; 240:416–423; discussion 423–424. 2 Schauer PR, Ikramuddin S, Gourash W, Ramanathan R, Luketich J. Outcomes after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass for morbid obesity. Ann Surg 2000; 232:515–529. 3 DeMaria EJ, Sugerman HJ, Kellum JM, Meador JG, Wolfe LG. Results of 281consecutive total laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypasses to treat morbid obesity. Ann Surg 2002; 235:640–645; discussion 645–647 4 https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2023/02/19/anti-obesity-medications-cost/11069886002/ 5 Villela R, Correa R. 2019. Semaglutide 2.4 Mg (2022): The Latest GLP-1RA Approved for Obesity. Journal of Investigative Medicine 6 Rijswijk AS, et al, 2021. What Is Weight Loss After Bariatric Surgery Expressed in Percentage Total Weight Loss (%TWL)? A Systematic Review


Bariatric surgery is a safe and effective way to achieve significant and sustained weight loss. It has been around for many years, and is currently the most effective, proven long term solution for significant weight loss. If you’re considering bariatric surgery, you may be wondering if it’s the right choice for you.

Doctors look at Body Mass Index (BMI) and other obesity-related diseases (comorbidities) as an important criteria to determine whether weight loss surgery is a suitable option or not. Generally speaking, bariatric surgery is considered appropriate for people with a BMI greater than 40 or with a BMI greater than 35 and one or more obesity-related comorbidity. In certain circumstances, patients with a lower BMI, 30-34.9, may also be suitable candidates.

Weight loss surgery can kick-start your path to a healthier, longer, and more fulfilling life. Patients can in many cases experience the benefits immediately after surgery. Examples of common benefits from bariatric surgery are:

  • 89% Reduction In 5-year Mortality
  • 82% Type 2 Diabetes Remission
  • 82% Asthma Improved or Resolved
  • 82% Cardiovascular Diseases Risk Reduction
  • 72%-98% Sleep Apnea Relief

Weight loss surgery or weight loss medication?

It is an exciting time in the weight loss field with new weight loss medication available to the public. However, weight loss medication can cost patients more than USD $1,000 a month and comes with mixed weight loss results and side effects. Common costs associated with these two options respectively:

  • USD $1,000 Monthly* Weight Loss Meds – 15-17% Average total body weight loss with Wegovy
  • USD $10,000 Total* Gastric Sleeve – 32% Average total body weight loss with bariatric surgery

At Nicholson Clinic for Weight Loss Surgery, we understand that deciding whether bariatric surgery is right for you can be overwhelming. In the end, it is up to you to decide what suits your needs and conditions best, so we recommend scheduling a consultation to discuss all possible options to help you make an informed decision about your health. Our staff are dedicated to walking with you each step of the way and helping you achieve sustainable success!  Contact us today!

1 Christou NV, Sampalis JS, Liberman M, et al. Surgery decreases long term mortality, morbidity, and health care use in morbidly obese patients. Ann Surg 2004; 240:416–423; discussion 423–424. 2 Schauer PR, Ikramuddin S, Gourash W, Ramanathan R, Luketich J. Outcomes after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass for morbid obesity. Ann Surg 2000; 232:515–529. 3 DeMaria EJ, Sugerman HJ, Kellum JM, Meador JG, Wolfe LG. Results of 281consecutive total laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypasses to treat morbid obesity. Ann Surg 2002; 235:640–645; discussion 645–647 4 https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2023/02/19/anti-obesity-medications-cost/11069886002/ 5 Villela R, Correa R. 2019. Semaglutide 2.4 Mg (2022): The Latest GLP-1RA Approved for Obesity. Journal of Investigative Medicine 6 Rijswijk AS, et al, 2021. What Is Weight Loss After Bariatric Surgery Expressed in Percentage Total Weight Loss (%TWL)? A Systematic Review