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Weight-Loss Solution Starts at the Root of the Problem

Melanie, a busy mother of two young boys, used to reward herself after a stressful day by eating. And eating.

"After the kids would go to bed, that's when I had 'me time,'" she says. "And I would eat way more than I needed."

When her weight issues got out of hand, Melanie began researching her options. She had heard about laparoscopic band surgery (LAP-BAND®), and her online searches kept pointing her in one direction: Dr. Brett Cohen and the Memorial Weight-Loss Surgery Program.

"When I researched surgeons for lap bands, Dr. Cohen's name kept coming up," Melanie says. She visited Dr. Cohen's office, and his staff members made her feel welcome and comfortable. One staff member even shared with Melanie that she had her own LAP-BAND® surgery performed by Dr. Cohen.

New Ways to Look at Food

After her LAP-BAND® surgery, Melanie lost 85 pounds.

"I was 220 and a size 20. Now I'm 135 and a size 6," she says.

The LAP-BAND® is a minimally invasive, outpatient, laparoscopic procedure in which the surgeon constricts the upper part of the stomach with an inflatable band. The band helps a patient lose weight by reducing the functional size of the stomach and making the patient feel full after eating a small amount of food.

It's a very effective tool in a patient's weight-loss efforts, but—like all bariatric surgeries—it's only a tool. Surgery is only part of a long-term weight-loss solution that also includes exercise and nutrition.

But the Memorial Weight-Loss Surgery Program, Melanie says, goes even deeper.

"They take a holistic approach to figure out what's going on with you," she says. "Dr. Cohen said, 'You don't get to be 90 pounds overweight because you like pizza too much. Most of the people who come here have some sort of emotional issue with food.'"

Through pre- and post-surgery counseling and support groups, Melanie found a new way to reward herself and enjoy her precious time alone.

"One of the things I learned was that I needed to find something else to do after the kids went to bed," she says. "I needed to find a new way to reward myself and to de-stress. So, I taught myself to sew."

Dr. Cohen, chief of bariatrics, performs surgeries at both Memorial Hospital Pembroke and Memorial Regional Hospital, which has been recognized as a Center of Excellence for Bariatric Surgery. A pioneer in weight-loss surgery in South Florida, Dr. Cohen is dedicated to helping patients lose weight and regain healthy lives.

"Weight-loss surgery does an amazing amount of good for patients," Dr. Cohen says. "They really benefit dramatically from it."

Armed with a new, productive hobby and a new way to look at her relationship with food, Melanie also appreciates the new way she looks.

"My in-laws, at Thanksgiving this year, told me this is the best I've ever looked," she says. "It felt really good to hear that."