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Bariatric Testimonials

Patient Testimonials

The testimonials featured below are all real-life stories from patients who have recently undergone bariatric surgery through our award-winning program. To view more testimonials from years past, click HERE.

Bob

Bob's Story

As my wife, Linda, and I entered into retirement, we started to attack a long list of endeavors – many of which involved being physically active. Unfortunately, because of my weight, my knees and back were always aching and holding me back. There were times she had to go on hikes without me, while I sat back in the car.

I finally realized – if I don’t do it (surgery) now, I may never have a chance to. I don’t know what I was so afraid of. I’m so glad I finally went through with it and contacted Dr. Neff.

Prior to surgery, I lost 45 pounds. Since surgery, in November, I’ve lost an additional 42, and I’m eagerly staring down the 100-pound mark.

My life has changed for the better in countless ways. There are so many small things that you do on a daily basis that are so much easier when you lose weight, such as tying your shoes or walking down the stairs.

I’ve also had the energy and motivation to pick up old hobbies – things I lost interest in, as trying to do them was a hassle.

Sharon

Sharon's Story

Before weight-loss surgery, I was heavier than heavy. I just kept buying bigger clothes, and I didn’t see the problem.

One day, I was babysitting my niece and nephews, and I got down on the floor to play with the baby. Before I knew it, I was struggling to get back up. I never felt more embarrassed. 

I stumbled upon Dr. Neff by chance, and I’m glad I did. While I felt overwhelmed and ashamed in the waiting room, my mood instantly changed when I met him. Dr. Neff greeted me with a genuine smile. It was clear he didn’t care about how I looked, he only cared about helping me. 

When I had my surgery, it was the winter 2012. I went from almost 400 pounds, down to 163 (a size 28 to a size 12). Not to mention, I can now wear a two-piece bathing suit – something I never dared to do my entire life.  

I took the weight off, and I’ve managed to keep it off all these years. I’ve never obsessed over the number on the scale; instead, I pay attention to how I feel. I learned a lot about making the right choices and avoiding my bad eating habits. I no longer have trouble breathing and moving. I walk almost every day, and I feel so much better about myself. 

Lynzie

Lynzie's Story

From the first time I met Dr. Adeshola Fakulujo and his staff, they assured me we were all in this together.

I – like many others – opted to have bariatric surgery to ease the burden of weight-related health complications. I no longer felt like myself, and I was struggling to enjoy my life.

In August 2017, I had gastric sleeve surgery. I lost 151 pounds, and my life has changed for the better – physically, emotionally, and socially.

Physically, I’m much more agile and energetic. I can stay on my feet longer, which helps with my career as a phlebotomist. It feels great to be able to get to my patients faster and not have to sit down for breaks in between.

Emotionally and socially, I have so much more self-love and a thirst for adventure! I love to shop and try on clothes, because I love the way I look. I’m more open to going out and having fun in public, because my health and self-esteem don’t hold me back.

Bariatric surgery, hands down, has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made (next to my children, of course)!

If you’re considering having surgery, I highly encourage it. However, you must be fully committed first.

Gregg

Gregg's Story

Before bariatric surgery, I wasn’t living. I was existing.

At 45-years-old, I had just about checked out of life. I was over 500 pounds, and I was not motivated. I didn’t think I was going to make it to age 50, let alone thrive and enjoy life as much as I do now.

My wake-up call came one night while I was lying in bed; I was so hungry, but I didn’t have the energy to get up, get in my car, and drive to the store to get something to eat. I actually started crying. Right then and there, I knew it was time to make a change. I researched bariatric surgeons “near me” all night.

After making a few calls, I ended up at a free bariatric seminar with Dr. Marc Neff. He was genuine and made me feel comfortable; I knew he was the right fit for me.

After getting a referral from my primary care doctor, I started the process with Dr. Neff right away. Because I was so heavy, I needed to lose 80 pounds before surgery. It took around nine months, a ton of hard work, and an incredible amount of support from my mom (who let me move in with her to help me stay on track) and my daughter (who ended up getting the surgery as well and has been my partner throughout this journey).

Finally, in August 2017, I had my gastric bypass. I went from 554 pounds to around 190.

When people ask me what the greatest benefit has been, the answer is simple – health!

My quality of life has improved tenfold. I no longer suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy (which had made me fall asleep behind the wheel a couple of times). I no longer have to pop Advil® and Tylenol® constantly to manage my joint pain. I also no longer have to take breaks to catch my breath when walking normal distances.

Robyn

Robyn's Story

Before bariatric surgery, I was scared, anxiety-ridden, and ashamed of how I looked. Physically, I couldn’t move without experiencing severe pain. I wanted so badly to be healthy, but I knew I needed help.

I had gastric sleeve surgery in September 2019, and it gave me my life back.

I have lost a total of 101 pounds, and I feel so much better. I no longer suffer from high blood pressure; my sugar levels are normal; my hypothyroidism is more manageable; and my anxiety and depression have improved greatly. 

My biggest non-scale victory is being able to walk without pain or needing to take breaks. I can sweep and mop my entire house, now, on my feet! I can walk the whole store. I can stay awake longer. I can feel my knee bones and my ribs, and I can finally cross my legs again.

Every single person on Dr. Neff’s team has been absolutely phenomenal. They’ve all made me feel special and cared for through and through. Dr. Neff, himself, was always kind and funny, and he played a monumental roll in keeping me grounded.

I’ll NEVER forget, before my surgery – when I was completely overwhelmed and crying my eyes out – Dr. Neff took me by the hand, talked me through it, and stayed with me while I was being prepped. Afterwards, he came in on his day off just to see me before I was sent home.

Rebecca

Rebecca's Story

My unhealthy relationship with food started as a kid. I tended to turn to it for comfort. Over time, I gained more and more weight. As an adult, I’ve worked with my primary care provider several times to try and get it under control. 

My defining moment came in summer 2019. I hadn’t been out with my friends in quite some time, but I decided to go out and surprise them. I showed up, eager to take on the night, and they didn’t even recognize me. Later in the night, as I was dancing, I turned and caught a view of myself in the mirror. It made me feel so miserable. I knew I needed to make a change.

I called my doctor the next day and told him I was ready. He referred me to Dr. Marc Neff with the Jefferson Bariatric Surgery Program in New Jersey. 

I had gastric sleeve surgery in December 2019, and I’ve lost 103 pounds. I went from a size 24 down to a size 10. There have been countless physical benefits; more than anything, I’m just not in as much pain as I used to be from carrying around all that extra weight.

The biggest step in fixing my mindset was finding my WHY. I had to ask myself why I ate the way I did, and I needed to address the root cause, not just the superficial cause.

Lisa

Lisa's Story

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 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!

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.

Meghan

Meghan's Story

I struggled with my weight for years. I tried dieting, personal trainers, medications – all of which failed. I lost a few pounds here and there, but I never made any significant improvements. I was frustrated, I was sad, and I didn’t like how I saw myself. I felt like I was trapped in a hole.

My doctor finally suggested that I meet with Dr. Marc Neff, with the Jefferson Health Bariatric Surgery Program in New Jersey. 

I was hesitant to sign up right away. My turning point was on a vacation with my friend. We went zip lining, and as we were trying to climb up the mountain, I had to stop for so many breaks. I couldn’t catch my breath. 

I knew then, I just wanted to be able to live and enjoy my life without being uncomfortable. I attended a bariatric surgery seminar, and it gave me so much excitement and hope. That’s when it clicked – there was a way for me to do this!

A short three months later, in February 2019, I had gastric sleeve surgery. I have lost a total of 130 pounds!

My life has completely changed in the best ways possible. I can finally do things that I’ve wanted to do for years. I have confidence in myself again. I can go out and feel comfortable in my clothes – even in a bikini! I’m no longer ashamed or sad. I’m no longer hiding away in that hole.

Kate

Kate's Story

I used to be the person who thought weight-loss surgery was the easy way out. Then, one day, I stumbled across a magazine article that pointed out something eye-opening: if you’d have surgery to fix any other health complication, why not do it for your weight?

I’ve always been big. My entire family runs a high risk of heart attack and stroke, so I’ve always tried to reduce my own risk. My efforts included countless failed diets and, eventually, I had gastric sleeve surgery. I was able to lose about 100 pounds, but I couldn’t lose anymore.

It wasn’t until I entered the doors of Jefferson Health – New Jersey and met Dr. Marc Neff that I learned it wasn’t anything I was doing wrong, rather, my body just processes things different than most people. He advised that the gastric bypass would be much more effective for me, and so I underwent surgery again on July 6, 2020.

I started my weight-loss journey at 350 pounds; now, I am 213. I am incredibly excited for the New Year, because when I hit 208, it’ll be the first time since middle school that I won’t be considered medically obese. Also, when I hit 200, I will have officially lost 150 pounds!

Nicole

Nicole's Story

When I was at my highest weight – which was around 459 pounds – I was emotionally and physically drained. I felt like I couldn’t do anything; when I wasn’t working, I just sat around. None of the diet programs I tried were sustainable. I was unmotivated, and I was at my wit’s end.

I knew I needed to make a change. More than anything, I wanted to get healthier for my kids – to be able to play with them and keep up with them again.

I had my surgery in July 2018, and I’ve lost nearly 200 pounds so far. My state of mind has been completely different ever since. I’m constantly trying to stay active, hydrated, and properly nourished. 

Every single day, I set goals for myself. Some days, I have stricter expectations, and on other days, I allow myself to cheat. Weight-loss isn’t about deprivation, it’s about moderation. If you’re not realistic and kind to yourself, you won’t succeed.

It’s also important to have a strong support system; in addition to my daughter, my sons, Dominick and Robert, my mom, Anna, and my niece, Amber, have all been so encouraging and helpful.

 

Cindy

Cindy's Story

I’ve been overweight most of my life. Even though I was generally healthy, I tried to lose weight, time and time again. Nothing worked long-term.

I watched as family members struggled with their weight and faced countless complications, such as shortness of breath and joint pain, that disrupted their quality of life. I knew I didn’t want that to be my future.

It was around seven years ago that I made the decision to have weight-loss surgery, under the care of Dr. Louis Balsama, and I’ve never looked back since. He and his team have been wonderful and caring every step of the way.

I’ve maintained a 95-pound loss and have accomplished many personal goals. I attribute two key factors to my success: activity and accountability.

I’ve taken major physical leaps that I would’ve never imagined doing before. I’ve walked 5Ks; hiked up mountains in the Adirondacks; gone on 20+ mile bike rides; gone ziplining; and tried aerial yoga (hanging upside down).

William

William's Story

When you visit your doctor, being told you might not make it to age 50 is the last thing you want to hear. Saying this was my wake-up-call is an understatement; there aren’t words to truly describe how I felt.

Before I knew it, I met with Dr. Adeshola Fakulujo, and I was on the road to taking back my life. I had my surgery in January 2020, and I’ve lost a total of 177 pounds since my pre-op process began.

I know it sounds corny, but I really did get my life back. I’m a new man. I’m doing things I’ve never done before. I don’t know why it took my this long to make the decision, but I do know that it’s been life-changing!

 

Barbara

Barbara's Story

Ten years ago, Dr. Adam S. Goldstein performed lap band surgery on me. I was 39 years old, weighed nearly 300 pounds, and was suffering from sleep apnea and at risk for hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. 

Just three months after surgery, I no longer needed my CPAP machine. By 18 months, I had dropped nearly 80 pounds. I stuck to my new diet, and I frequented the gym five days a week.

I’m currently at my lowest weight ever (as an adult) at 175, but, more importantly, I feel great!

I have experienced countless non-scale victories, the most paramount being the progressive improvement of my physical health. I also love being able to walk into any clothing store and find clothes that fit and complement my figure.

 

Julie

Julie's Story

Since I had my gastric sleeve done by Dr. Marc Neff in August 2019, I’ve felt so much better about myself. I haven’t had an asthma attack. My legs no longer hurt after a day of work. My energy has improved drastically; I actually look forward to working out almost every day. When I play with my kids – who are in their preteen and teenage years – I can sometimes outlast them!

While the non-scale victories truly have made all of the effort worthwhile, I am proud to say that I’ve lost 104 pounds since the start of my pre-op journey. Also, I’ve dropped from a size 28 to a size 16 (and in some brands – even a 14)!

Samantha

Samantha's Story

For the past 10 years, I have struggled with being overweight. I tried every diet in the book, but nothing seemed to work. Last summer was when I truly recognized I was at my worst and needed to make a change fast if I wanted to live a long life.

Going through with the surgery was the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. My only regret was not doing it earlier; I know many people say this, but it’s because it’s the truth. So far, I’ve gone down 8 pant sizes and I’ve lost 140 pounds; I plan on losing more. I’m doing stuff now that my weight used to prohibit me from doing before. 

Stephanie

Stephanie's Story

I had weight-loss surgery with Dr. Louis Balsama in March 2016, and my life has completely changed since. Before surgery, my weight impacted me physically and emotionally. I felt depressed and fatigued, and I just couldn’t deal with the weight anymore.

I’ve lost a total of 115 pounds, and I haven’t gained any weight back in the four years since my surgery. I feel amazing. I have a lot more energy now, and my confidence is higher than ever. My greatest non-scale victory has been consciously sticking to this new lifestyle. I’ve been able to stay consistent with my diet and exercise changes – with the help of Dr. Balsama and his team – which is something I struggled with before.

Tricia

Tricia's Story

People think bariatric surgery is the easy way out. It’s simply untrue. From the beginning to the end, it’s a long process that involves a lot of hard work and lifestyle changes.

Almost three years ago, I underwent bariatric surgery with Dr. Louis Balsama. He and his team made the experience one that I’ll never forget.

I have lost more than 100 pounds! I typically fluctuate between 125 and 130, but I’ve learned not to let the number on the scale bother me. Exercise is so much easier now, and I can be on my feet a lot more, because my stamina has improved so much.

Tara

Tara's Story

I work as a nurse, and I constantly tell patients how to take care of themselves, but I couldn’t model the behavior myself. I knew I had to make a change. 

I met with Dr. Marc Neff for the first time in August 2019. From then on, he and his team helped me change my life for the better. That December, I had gastric sleeve surgery. I couldn’t have given myself a better Christmas present! 

Now, at 8-months post-op, I have officially lost 100 pounds. But it’s not just about the number. I am much more active and healthier, to the point where even my 8-year-old daughter wants to work out and eat healthier with me.

 

Jackie

Jackie's Story

I’ve always struggled with my weight, partially because I live with a lot of autoimmune complications. I’ve always known I would have to make a change, I just didn’t know how, until I met Dr. Louis Balsama. 

The biggest “push” behind my decision to have weight-loss surgery was my son. I have two young sons, the eldest of which has autism. I know I’m going to need to be there for him as he grows older. In order to do that, I had to start making healthier choices.

As soon as I attended Dr. Balsama’s information seminar, I knew it was a good fit. It’s been around three years since I had my surgery, and I’ve lost a total of 110 pounds! My life has changed tremendously. My biggest victory, however, is being there for my kids.

Mike

Mike's Story

In 2015, a weight-related allergic reaction almost killed me. I couldn’t keep up with our oldest daughter. It was like the worst rollercoaster ride I’ve ever been on, and it peaked when I hit 434 pounds in 2018. I felt like I had no plan and no options, on top of fighting depression.

For years, I was “that guy” who thought surgery was the easy way out – until I met Dr. Marc Neff. Dr. Neff and his team made me hopeful again. I learned how wrong my viewpoint had been; bariatric surgery takes a ton of hard work, mentally and physically. Your surgery day is only one finish line in a lifelong race.

Now, a little more than a year after my surgery, I have more energy and a zest for life. I eat healthier, and I get better sleep. I look forward to breaking a sweat, rather than fearing it. Most importantly, I’m able to keep up with both of our girls.

Anthony

Anthony's Story

For the past 10 years, I’ve battled being overweight. I have tried every diet you can think of, and nothing worked.

I spoke with my family doctor, and he recommended that I have gastric sleeve surgery with Dr. Marc Neff. It was the best decision I ever made; I wish I did it earlier!

I’ve lost a total of 121 pounds, but I still have more to go. I know I will hit my goal.

Mark

Mark's Story

Last spring, I underwent weight-loss surgery after spending more than a year preparing. At nearly 360 pounds, I had reached the point in my life where my weight impacted how I felt and functioned. 

Now, with a year’s worth of newfound, healthy lifestyle habits under my belt, I’m down to 180 pounds. I went from wearing a size 4X to an XL. I feel so much better than before. I’m eating much less, and I’m staying active — not just for myself, but for my four kids.

One of my greatest non-scale victories so far has been getting back on the ice. By that, I mean the ice hockey rink. I spent nearly 20 years unable to play because of my weight, but I recently joined a men’s league and my kids have been up in the stands cheering me on.

 

Stacey

Stacey's Story

Back in June 2018, my daughter and I were boarding a rollercoaster at an amusement park – her face gleamed with excitement, while mine was stricken with embarrassment from struggling to fit in the seat. It didn’t take much reflection to realize that I needed to make a serious change if I wanted to be active with my family for years to come.

I called Jefferson NJ’s bariatric team, and they scheduled me for a seminar with Dr. Adeshola Fakulujo. It took me around four months to complete all the testing, and then on March 11, I had my surgery. 

Since the surgery, I have dropped from a size 18 to a size 8! I love shopping for clothes now. I have also gone on vacations, swam with dolphins, and, with my newfound confidence, I have even started dating and wearing cute bathing suits!

 

Kristen

Kristen's Story

Growing up as an obese child, my doctors would constantly ask my parents about my eating and exercise habits, and encourage me to lose weight. I tried nearly everything, and nothing ever seemed to work.

I knew I had to make a change, but struggled while trying to balance my life as a young adult. 

On July 11, 2018 – 11 days before my 28th birthday – I had gastric bypass surgery done by Dr. Louis Balsama. Post-op recovery was harder than I expected, and I started to doubt my decision, but with unconditional love and support from my family, friends, and the Jefferson Health NJ bariatric team, I have lost more than 200 pounds!