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Sharon's Life Changing Surgery

January 19, 2021
Sharon's Life Changing Surgery

Following her gastric bypass surgery, Sharon McGinnis lost 240 pounds and has said goodbye to her physical and mental weight. At 50, Sharon feels younger, happier and healthier than she has in her entire life.

“I spent most of my time at home. In 2011, my medical issues, though not weight related, were made worse by the excess weight and caused me to be unable to work,” Sharon says. “As time went on, I did less and less. I did not go out with friends - unless I knew I would be able to sit down. I did little to no traveling, even though it’s something I enjoy doing. Just doing household chores was difficult.”

Steps to a new life

In early 2016 Sharon started taking the steps to take control of her life. “I had started to try to increase my activity level, like doing a “Sit and Be Fit” program on a local TV station and walking, with mobility assistance, to the mailboxes in my apartment complex,” Sharon explains.

In September 2016, after a few conversations with a friend, she realized that if she wanted to change and improve her life, she needed medical assistance to lose weight. “I could not do it alone. After looking at my options, I chose to schedule a consultation for weight loss surgery, though I wasn’t completely certain it was what I wanted to do,” Sharon says.

Choosing weight-loss surgery

Sharon knew she wanted to go through the TriHealth Weight Management program due to the continuity of care. “TriHealth as an organization has been wonderful to me for many years,” Sharon says.

In April 2017, George Kerlakian, MD, a surgeon with TriHealth Weight Management, performed gastric bypass surgery. “The Weight Management team was a great support to me throughout my whole entire journey. The monthly support group had speakers who addressed issues relevant to those who had had surgery already rather than only focusing on those who hadn’t had surgery yet,” Sharen explains.

Life after surgery

Today, Sharon feels she is truly living her life. “My life has dramatically changed. I went from struggling to walk 100 feet to being able to walk a 5K. I am engaged with my community, doing things that I enjoy - like going to amusement parks, and concerts. I’m trying new things like hiking, kayaking and just being active” Sharon says.

And, Sharon’s advice to those considering weight-loss surgery, “Weight-loss surgery is a tool that when used wisely can be beneficial. It is not a magic wand. Take seriously the instructions given and do what is advised – do not wait until the day before surgery to do it.”