Big Dreams, Less Weight

Lane's dreams were on hold -- travel, exercise, and hobbies were impossible due to her excess weight.

Years of diet and lifestyle changes failed to provide the weight loss she needed to reclaim her health. Bariatric surgery was her life-changing solution.

Before the surgery, Lane had been on a frustrating merry-go-round of trying to lose weight for years -- but her best efforts yielded minimal, temporary results.

Lane thought about weight loss surgery but didn't consider it seriously until a friend had the procedure with great success.

"I watched my friend's journey and saw how well it went. I'd tried everything else, so I thought 'maybe I should try this.' I did additional research and decided it was the right path for me," Lane said.

She scheduled a consultation with Steven Hodgett, MD, with North Florida Surgeons, who performs weight loss surgery at Baptist Health. Dr. Hodgett said Lane would be a good candidate for a sleeve gastrectomy.

Bariatrics patient Lane, before and after weight loss surgery

With this procedure, the stomach size is reduced by about 80 percent, leaving a banana-shaped sleeve. It reduces the amount of food you can eat and affects hormones in the gut that can help you feel less hungry.

To qualify for weight loss surgery, patients must have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40, or higher than 35 with weight-related medical issues. Attempted weight loss through behavioral modification or medical treatment and a commitment to long-term lifestyle changes are also requirements.

Lane was up and walking around within a few hours after her surgery and went home the next day.

"Dr. Hodgett and his team are amazing," Lane said. "They fully prepared me for the surgery and have been so supportive. I am also part of a Facebook support group, where I can connect with others who had weight loss surgery at Baptist Health. We help each other a lot."

Seven months after surgery, Lane is down 112 pounds and says she has never felt better. She no longer has to use a CPAP machine for sleep apnea, has joined a high-intensity workout group, and she has resumed one of her favorite hobbies -- baking.

"I never enjoyed working out before, but now I actually look forward to it. I have so much energy — I don't know what to do with it sometimes," Lane said. "And it's so nice to be able to stand in my kitchen and bake. I missed it so much."

Lane has signed up for her first mud run and will be traveling to Europe with her son for his senior trip. Lane is seriously considering submitting an application to The Amazing Race, an adventure reality game show where teams of two people race around the world in competition with other teams.

"Overall, I'm so much happier since the surgery. My relationships with my family and my partner are better, and every area of my life has been positively impacted," she said.