“I feel like I can enjoy my life again.”

April 12, 2024 Swedish Weight Loss Team


In this article:

  • Swedish patient Lindsey Washington shares how bariatric surgery changed her life.

  • Swedish Weight Loss Services is a comprehensive program that provides patients with the tools they need to make healthy choices.

  • Learn more about how Swedish Weight Loss Services can help you. 

Bariatric surgery at Swedish changed Lindsey Washington’s life

Lindsey Washington didn’t have an issue with her weight until she was in her mid-20s. She was naturally thin and didn’t give much thought to diet or exercise. However, once she quit smoking and had her daughter, she gained weight. As her weight climbed, her self-confidence waned. 

“I spent most of my adult life avoiding pictures and social gatherings,” Washington says. “I hated the way I looked and felt. Looking back, I have very few pictures of myself with my daughter. That’s probably my biggest regret.”

Washington also was plagued by health issues because of her weight. She had diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and arthritis. But a trip to Disneyland finally convinced her she needed to make a change.

“I had to have a scooter to get around at Disney because I couldn’t walk that much. I remember the feeling of everyone staring at me, and I was so embarrassed. When I came home from that trip, I started looking into bariatric surgery,” Washington says.

The Swedish Weight Loss Services difference

Washington’s primary care provider referred her to Anirban Gupta, M.D., medical director for bariatric surgery at Providence Swedish. Because she had a body mass index (BMI) over 40, she believed she would be a candidate for bariatric surgery.

Dr. Gupta explained that surgery was only part of the solution. He outlined how the Swedish Weight Loss Services comprehensive program would set her up for success. The program’s goal is to teach the importance of nutrition and fitness.

Washington saw a dietitian and therapist twice as part of the program. She began a high-protein diet and learned how to make healthier choices. In six months, she lost 50 pounds and was ready for surgery.

“I think the hardest part was waiting. I used to have dreams that I was thin, and I would wake up disappointed. But it just made me more determined,” Washington says.

Surgical success

After discussing the options with Dr. Gupta, she chose to have the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Roux-en-Y is a minimally invasive procedure that limits food intake by making a small pouch at the top of the stomach. The pouch is connected to a portion of the small intestine, which allows food to bypass the lower stomach.

Washington stayed one night in the hospital and says she was well prepared for her recovery.

“Dr. Gupta had gone over everything in detail, so I knew I was going to be on a liquid diet for several weeks then move on to soft foods. That was the most difficult part of the recovery, but it was a short amount of time,” she says.

After the surgery, Washington still felt the support of the entire team at Swedish Weight Loss Services.

“Everyone was great. I always felt comfortable calling and asking questions. I didn’t feel like I was going through the process alone,” Washington says.

Life after bariatric surgery

Washington has lost more than 105 pounds since she began her weight-loss journey at Swedish Health. Many of her weight-related health issues also disappeared. She no longer has sleep apnea, diabetes or heartburn. Washington says bariatric surgery changed her life.

“I am so much more comfortable now. I don’t avoid getting my picture taken. I spend time getting ready in the morning. I even wear dresses now and not just sweats. I feel like I can enjoy my life again,” Washington says.

Since beginning the program, Washington is more aware of what she eats. Because her stomach is smaller since surgery, she can’t eat as much. Her main goal is to get the nutrients she needs.

“I eat proteins first, then fruits and vegetables and then carbs. I don’t miss carbs as much as I used to. I don’t crave them,” she says.

When people ask about bariatric surgery, she recommends Dr. Gupta and encourages them to take the first step.

“I wish I had bariatric surgery sooner. I missed out on so much because of my weight. Now, I feel like I am making up for lost time,” Washington says.

Learn more and find a provider

If you have questions about how Swedish Weight Loss Services can help you, visit our website or call 206-215-2090. 

Whether you require an in-person visit or want to consult a doctor virtually, you have options. Contact Swedish Primary Care to schedule an appointment with a primary care provider. You can also connect virtually with your provider to review your symptoms, provide instruction and follow up as needed. And with Swedish ExpressCare Virtual you can receive treatment in minutes for common conditions such as colds, flu, urinary tract infections, and more. You can use our provider directory to find a specialist or primary care physician near you.

Information for patients and visitors

Related resources

Swedish's medical weight loss program offers more options for a healthier future

Reduce your weight to increase your health

Are you a candidate for weight loss surgery?

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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About the Author

The Swedish Weight Loss team is dedicated to helping you find the right care you need to achieve the weight goals you desire. Whether it's surgical or non-surgical solutions, BMI check-ins or nutritional advice, our team is here to provide the expert tips and insights to help you find your optimal weight.

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