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A Bariatric Success Story: Lisa Sacco’s Commitment and Follow-Up Helps Her Maintain Weight Loss 4 Years Out

January 11, 2021

My decision to take control of my health came shortly after I met the love of my life. I realized that I wasn’t heading in a good direction, and I didn’t want to die young. I wanted to live a long, healthy, and happy life for my boyfriend and for myself.

I was struggling with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, thyroid problems – you name it, I had it. On top of this, I was having trouble moving, walking, and breathing.

I confided in my mom about what I was going through, and I told her I was considering bariatric surgery. She accompanied me to our local library for a Jefferson Health – New Jersey bariatric seminar, where we met Dr. Marc Neff, who ended up being my surgeon, and Cheri Leahy, who ended up being my dietitian.

I had gastric sleeve surgery in January 2017. I lost 102 pounds, and I’m proud to say that I’ve been able to keep the weight off for four years!


Lisa Sacco day of surgery.

The approval process before surgery took me around six months, and it was intense. I, unfortunately, had a couple of scares, including needing a heart catheterization after my stress test showed an abnormality. I made it through though, and it was worth it.

It’s easy to say you can change, but it’s a lot harder to actually commit to it. You have to WANT it each and every day, and I WANTED it. You have to live a new and improved lifestyle and say goodbye to your old habits.

Now, my entire life is different. I do everything I can to keep my body strong. I food prep; I eat right; I exercise almost daily; I take all of my vitamins; I get my check-up bloodwork done every 3-4 months; and my stomach is just as small as the day Dr. Neff operated. You need all the components to make it work.

Exercise is probably my favorite part. If I can’t get to the gym, I exercise at home, even after a long day at work. There are tons of free and simple dance videos you can find online!

I’m no longer diabetic, but do struggle with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). There’s good and bad to everything. Knowing what I know now, I still would’ve made the same choice.

I feel so good in my own skin. Just being able to wear comfortable, attractive clothing – and not feeling like I have to hide away – is huge.

It sounds silly, but one of my biggest motivators is watching the show My 600-Lb. Life; it’s just a constant reminder of a life I don’t want to live.

I want to thank my parents, Sherry and Mel, and my boyfriend, Rick for their never-ending support during this never ending-journey!


Shown, from left: Cristin Polizzi, Bariatric Wellness Program Coordinator; Dr. Marc Neff, Medical Director; Lisa; and Cheri Leahy, Lead Bariatric Dietitian

Of course, following up with the Jefferson NJ bariatric team has also been a key factor in my success. Recently, my vitamin-A levels came back high, so I’m going to meet with Cheri again to see how I can properly adjust my diet. You can’t be afraid to follow up and ask questions. In fact, ask as many questions as you can, before, during, and after! No question is stupid, and I honestly wish I had asked more.

The Jefferson team ROCKS. Dr. Neff is the ultimate. He saved my life, and I am forever grateful.

To learn more about Bariatric Surgery at Jefferson Health - New Jersey, click HERE