Yesenia Jimenez, a busy mother of three and a Covenant Health employee for 13 years, was diagnosed with high blood pressure caused by obesity. The otherwise healthy 32-year-old mother suddenly found herself worried about her future.
"When my doctor told me I had high blood pressure and what that could mean, a lot ran through my head," Jimenez said. "I'm a single parent of three and I knew I had to get it under control to be there for my kids."
Jimenez first tried dieting and exercise, but found that her weight loss would plateau. Eventually, she'd fall back into old habits. After three months on blood pressure medicine, Jimenez needed to take even more; her physician increased her dosage because her readings were still unstable.
Finding the right dosage wasn't easy, and eventually, Jimenez was referred to Travis Eggl, DO, medical director of the
Covenant Bariatric Services Center.
The Bariatric Services Center at Covenant Health is designed to help those struggling with weight loss take control of a potentially life-threatening issue in their lives. Diet and exercise fail 95 percent of the time when a person is 75 to 100 pounds over their ideal body weight.
Bariatric weight loss surgery may be the next step for people who remain severely obese after trying nonsurgical approaches, or for people who have an obesity-related disease.
"Not only does excess weight affect someone's help – people who suffer with morbid obesity have a shorter life expectancy and are at a much higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and other health problems – but it affects a person's self-esteem, relationships, and overall quality of life," Dr. Eggl said. "The good news is after bariatric surgery, our patients enjoy a higher quality of life and these health challenges are improved or eliminated."
After consulting with Dr. Eggl, Jimenez chose to move forward with a sleeve gastrectomy. In that procedure, a portion of her stomach was removed to limit her food intake.
Now, four months out from surgery, Jimenez has dropped 65 pounds and no longer takes her blood pressure medicine.
"I'm not there yet, but now I feel like I'm moving towards where I want to be," Jimenez said. "After the procedure, I felt like (the weight loss) was something I could actually see. After four months, I feel great and know I can get there."
"I've worked at Covenant for 13 years and I couldn't have imagined having the surgery anywhere else," Jimenez said. "If I'd gone out of town to Dallas I wouldn't have had all of the support from friends and family. This procedure was a great experience for me."
To find out more about bariatric services at Covenant Health, please click here. For more information about Dr. Eggl, click