Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery

Tammy's Story

Tammy Shipman has a life now. Her couch is a little lonely, though.

Instead of working all day and then coming home to collapse on the couch, a surge in energy from a more than 170-pound weight loss has reawakened her to all that life has to offer. She doesn't have much time for sitting around.

"And now I have a life," she wrote in an online diary entry about life since her November, 2006, laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery at Genesis Medical Center, Davenport.

Watch highlights of a Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery or watch Tammy's Journey

Improved Health and Energy

Tammy first weighed in at the Genesis Center for Bariatric Surgery at 338 pounds and suffered health consequences ranging from joint pain, gastric reflux and Type 2 diabetes to high cholesterol, sleep apnea and shortness of breath. Since her surgery, the Type 2 diabetes is gone and many of her other symptoms have subsided. "Before my surgery, I was busy, but it was a different type of busy," Tammy said. "I had a lot of things I had to do and those were the only things I really did. It was too much of an effort to want to do anything else. I was just too tired. I did what I had to (which was plenty it seemed), and that was it. Now, I've added things that make life fun and interesting."

From a busy high school basketball and volleyball schedule for her youngest daughter and a dueling piano show in Quincy to trips to the Riverside casino to out-of-town shopping trips and dinner and cards with friends, the nurse supervisor for Great River Home Health Care and Hospice in Burlington is continually amazed by her renewed stamina. People take notice of her weight loss, and for the first time in 20 years, she actually likes some of the photos that have been taken of her.

Significant Weight Loss

"Before, if I worked all day, I was pooped and ready to go home and collapse. I actually have energy left at the end of the day," she said.

Exactly a year after her surgery, she had amazing statistics to report. Her diabetes, sleep apnea and knee pain were gone. Her cholesterol was down to normal. She weighed 190 pounds, just 5 pounds shy of what she weighed at high school graduation. She had lost more than 70 percent of her excess body weight. "I can walk and walk and walk without getting short of breath," she says.

Today, two-and-a-half years post surgery, she weighs 170 pounds and wears a size 6 or 8 -- dramatically down from a size 32 before surgery.

Gastric Bypass at Genesis

Genesis is the only hospital in the Quad Cities to perform the laparoscopic Roux-en-Y procedure. The Genesis Center for Weight Management has earned designation as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Care. The honor recognizes only a select group of programs across the nation meeting stringent standards of quality and patient care. It also has been named a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, a designation that means the Genesis center is an approved center for Medicare patients seeking bariatric surgery.

Tammy said she was drawn to the Genesis program because of its multidisciplinary approach. Patients attend introductory education classes, followed by consultation with the nursing staff, dietitian, psychologist, surgeon, physical therapist, pharmacist and recreational therapist. Only patients who adhere to strict pre-surgical education receive the surgery.

For more information, please email the Genesis Center for Weight Management or call 563-421-8361.

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