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For Registered Nurse, Bariatric Surgery Was the Start of a New Life

June 18, 2020
Pamela Foy

En Espanol

Today, Pamela Foy routinely does 155 squats as part of her daily exercise regimen. Yet she hasn’t always been this fit.

“If I did 20, my knees would creak,” she recalled. “They’d kill me. I couldn’t’ breathe.”

But that was just over one year and 100 pounds ago, before bariatric surgery completely changed her life.

At 37, Pam, a registered nurse and mother of two girls, ages 8 and 6, had spent years yo-yo dieting, losing weight only to gain it right back. While she knew she needed to lose weight, she didn’t think she qualified for bariatric surgery. Finally a co-worker suggested that Pam attend a bariatric surgery information session sponsored by the Good Samaritan Hospital Center for Weight Loss Management. That meeting was the start of Pam’s new life.

“Having the surgery was life altering,” Pam said. “I’m able to do things I never could before. I wish I had done it sooner.”

Her surgeon, Edward Cussatti, MD, FACS, FASMBS, Medical Director of the Center and Director of Bariatric Surgery at Good Sam, says that Pam was the ideal candidate for sleeve gastrectomy, a technique that involves stapling off and removing up to 85% of the stomach. This procedure works by limiting the amount of food that can be eaten and the number of calories that can be absorbed. Additionally, sleeve gastrectomy reduces the secretion of the hormone ghrelin, which plays a role in stimulating hunger.

“Pam was a young woman who was looking for a safe, effective weight loss option,” said Dr. Cussatti. “She was the perfect candidate for the sleeve and she has done phenomenal.”

Prior to her surgery, Pam hadn’t yet developed serious health problems related to her weight, but she was being monitored for pre-diabetes and a cholesterol level that was borderline high. That along with her family history led her to believe that she was likely to develop serious health issues in the future.

“My parents and brother are all type 2 insulin dependent diabetics because of their weight,” she said. “I realized that I needed to do something and do it now.”

Since her surgery she has lost more than 100 pounds and feels fantastic. Significantly, her health has improved as well.

“My lab work has been fabulous,” she noted. “I’m healthier in all respects.”

Good Samaritan Hospital’s Center for Weight Loss Management is Accredited by the Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. This national recognition attests to the excellent outcomes and comprehensive array of services provided by Dr. Cussatti and his colleagues at Good Samaritan.

“We perform all major surgical weight loss procedures and revisions of previously failed surgeries with minimally invasive and robotic options including the sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass and lap band procedures,” said Dr. Cussatti. “Our results on par with highest standards nationwide.”

Roseann DeLuca, MSN, RN, CBN, Bariatric Administrative Director, is responsible for monitoring the program’s standards of excellence. She also works directly with patients through the hospital’s Bariatric Surgery Support Group, which Pam credits with helping her overcome some of the challenges she faced in the days and weeks following her surgery.

“At the beginning, it was hard mentally and physically,” she admits. “There are still days that are challenging. Some days you want to eat or do something and you can’t.”

“The Support Group allows patients to see results from other people and learn from others’ experiences,” Dr. Cussatti agreed. “It’s a good resource for them to be able to bounce things off people who have already been through it.”

Despite the early challenges, Pam has no regrets about her surgery.

“It is definitely the best ‘life changing’ diet I’ve ever done,” she said. “I’m able to do more with my kids, and I see the difference in my body. I’ve never had any results as I’ve had with this.”

The Center for Weight Loss Management accepts most insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare, and features a bilingual staff, including Dr. Cussatti who is fluent in Spanish. For additional information, to schedule an appointment or to attend an upcoming weight loss surgery seminar, please call (631) 376-4000 or click here.