“Food was the center of everything,” said Denine, who grew up in a household where pasta and bread were staples. “I became overweight as a young adult and always struggled with my weight.”
Then in 2016 while poolside, she and three girlfriends decided to celebrate their 40th birthdays the following year with an island vacation.
She remembers comparing herself to “my skinny girlfriends, all size zero to four” and thinking that “I can’t possibly enjoy myself being the heavy one and never feeling comfortable in my own skin. I’m tired of feeling bad for myself.”
That’s when Denine turned to Greenwich Hospital’s bariatric surgery program, which features a multidisciplinary team with board-certified surgeons, a program coordinator, dietitian, psychologist, specially trained nurses and physical therapist. She had a laparoscopic procedure called sleeve gastrectomy. Denine’s surgeon, Anthony Maffei, MD, and the medical team removed roughly 85 percent of her stomach, creating a sleeve-shaped organ about the size of a small banana.
“I was 248 pounds and now weigh 136 pounds,” she said, “and went from a size 26 to size four.”
“As surgeons, we’re excited to help patients put diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and other conditions into remission,” said Anthony Maffei, MD, Denine’s surgeon.
Denine’s quality of life couldn’t be better. She’s happy, healthy and most importantly, she and her girlfriends visited Aruba last November.
“We had the time of our lives,” said Denine, who enjoyed parasailing and beach volleyball. “The old me would never do such things!”