Working two demanding jobs, caring for a toddler and planning her nuptials didn’t stop a Middlesex County woman from having gastric sleeve weight loss surgery
Fanny Fuentes is a woman who does it all—she’s a special education teacher by day and a paralegal by night, cares for her two-year-old son and is planning her wedding in mid-2023. But two years ago, at age 30, she was diagnosed with hypertension and type 2 diabetes and prescribed medication for both chronic conditions. At the time, she was recently post-partum and weighed just over 200 pounds, too much weight for her petite frame.
“Weight issues run in my family, so I know firsthand what that can lead to,” says Fanny, who noted that other relatives also have high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, which are common chronic diseases often tied to being overweight.
The birth of Fanny’s son inspires her to transform her health
The birth of Fanny’s son served as a wake-up call that she needed to improve her health to be the best mother possible to her child. She also feared that her current health issues might prevent her from fully participating in her son’s life.
“I wanted to make sure that I would be here to raise my son
and not be sidelined by sickness.”
A work friend who had undergone successful bariatric weight loss surgery highly recommended her surgeon, Dr. Ayotunde Adeyeri, who is on staff at Hackensack Meridian Health and medical director of the Institute for Weight Loss at Old Bridge Medical Center.
“After she consulted with the doctor at Old Bridge Medical Center, she felt surgical weight loss was the fastest way to safely lose weight and overcome her hypertension health threat.
“Patients are often surprised how quickly weight-related medical conditions can go into remission after weight loss surgery,” Dr. Adeyeri explains. “This can include diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, chronic pain and high blood pressure.”
“Dr. Adeyeri was great from day one,” notes Fanny. “Based upon my age and overall health, he recommended the gastric sleeve operation for me.” In April 2022, Fanny had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) operation with no complications and a quick recovery. In fact, she felt so well that she returned to her students ahead of schedule, avoiding any type of lifting.
Losing 80 pounds puts diabetes and hypertension into remission
Now six months since her weight loss surgery, Fanny, who is 5’2”, has lost an impressive 80 pounds and weighs 123 pounds. “I was extremely motivated to lose weight as quickly as possible,” she notes. “I had no problem telling people I had weight loss surgery to be healthy and fit for my son.”
Her blood pressure is now normal and she is no longer diabetic,
alleviating the need and expense of medications.
In addition to following her nutrition plan provided by Sterling Surgicare bariatric dietitian Lori Skurbe, she boosted her metabolism even further by carving out 45-60 minutes five days a week to work-out (cardio and weight training) at her local fitness center. She also drinks up to 65 ounces of water daily and does not snack between meals.
Since her 80-pound weight loss, her clothing size has dropped from a 12-14 to a size 2, making wedding dress shopping a delight.
A safer solution to rapid and sustained weight loss
“I researched the fastest and safest way to lose a lot of weight and there is no question that gastric surgery was the solution,” Fanny notes. “I knew once the extra weight started to come off, I would be even more motivated to reach goal weight.”
Fanny also credits Dr. Adeyeri and his bariatric team for supporting her mission. “He changed the course of my life by taking the time to get to know me and my health goals,” Fanny says. “Dr. Adeyeri doesn’t preach—he takes the time to explain the process, which alleviates any stress or worry.”
In just six months, Fanny’s weight puts her in the ‘normal’ range on the BMI chart. Understandably, friends and family are stunned by her rapid weight loss but not surprised by her success. “When I put my mind to something, I’m going to get it done,” she says with a smile.