Swedish Weight Loss Services helps a patient lose over 80 pounds and regain her joy

March 6, 2024 Swedish Weight Loss Team


In this article:

  • Thanks to weight loss surgery, Swedish Health patient Annie Smith has lost more than 80 pounds.

  • Swedish Weight Loss Services provides patients with the tools to make lifestyle changes so they can lose weight and keep it off. 

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

Thanks to Swedish Weight Loss Services, Annie Smith lost weight and gained confidence

Like many people, Annie Smith struggled with her weight. As a child, she was a competitive gymnast. She says the constant activity kept her weight down. Once she quit gymnastics and became an adult, she gained weight.

“I was 209 pounds the night I found out I was pregnant. That was 23 years ago. Since then, I’ve been unable to keep my weight below 200 pounds without gaining it back,” Smith says.

The weight was more than a nuisance. It kept her from activities she enjoyed. Annie was unable to take her dogs on long walks, go for hikes or ski. She was easily tired and had constant joint pain from being on her feet.

Annie knew it was time to seek medical help when she hit 300 pounds. “I thought I would be able to lose weight on my own. But I always told myself that anything over 300 pounds was unacceptable. Once I hit 305 pounds, I decided to see a doctor about weight loss surgery,” Smith says.

Taking charge of her weight loss

Smith is a caregiver at Swedish and is familiar with Swedish Weight Loss Services. She made an appointment with Anirban Gupta, M.D., medical director for bariatric surgery at Providence Swedish, based on his high reviews.

Smith admits she was nervous about her appointment but says Dr. Gupta and his team immediately put her at ease and answered her questions.

“He outlined the entire process for me and put the ball in my court. I knew I was going to have to make some major lifestyle changes, but he never pressured me. He made sure it was my decision and made me feel like I was in control of the process,” Smith says.

Dr. Gupta also made it clear that weight loss surgery is not a quick fix. He told Smith the process would take three to four months. The process includes meeting with a dietitian and a psychologist twice. The goal of Swedish Weight Loss Services is to help patients lose weight by learning how to eat nutritious meals, incorporate more exercise into their lives and make other healthy lifestyle choices. 

Learning healthy habits

Smith didn’t waste time once she decided to have weight loss surgery. She met with the dietitian who worked with her to develop a plan to lose weight before the surgery.

“I was always yo-yo dieting. I tried everything, but it was never sustainable. The dietitian made sure I wasn’t just on a diet. She taught me the importance of eating nutritious meals and developing healthy habits,” Smith says.

Smith’s dietitian recommended a high-protein diet with no more than 100 grams of carbohydrates each day. That meant Smith had to give up her favorite food, pasta. She also had to make some major lifestyle changes.

“I used to stop for a sugary coffee drink every morning and had to give that up. I don’t enjoy cooking, so I had to be more proactive about looking for foods that were already put together. I ate a lot of prepared salads and protein shakes,” Smith says.

After a few months, Smith’s hard work paid off. She lost 30 pounds before surgery and developed healthier eating habits.

Finding the right weight loss surgery

There are two types of weight loss surgery. Smith chose to have sleeve gastrectomy surgery. During the sleeve gastrectomy, the surgeon removes nearly two-thirds of the stomach. This limits how much Smith can eat. There also is a hormonal effect that causes you to feel full longer.

“I have irritable bowel syndrome [IBS], so I discussed the procedures with Dr. Gupta and his team, they felt that the sleeve gastrectomy procedure would be the best fit,” says Smith.

The other weight loss surgery is Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. This procedure is malabsorptive, which means the intestines are made shorter, and fewer calories are absorbed. Smith was concerned that this procedure could have a more profound effect on her IBS.

Losing weight

Smith had weight loss surgery in August 2023 and says she had a great experience. “I was up and walking the night of my surgery and only had to stay one night in the hospital. Overall, it went well,” she says.

Following the surgery, Smith was on a liquid diet for three weeks. After three weeks she was able to add soft foods like eggs, and after a month she was back to a normal diet.

Today she is happy to report she’s lost nearly 80 pounds and is looking forward to losing more weight. She also resumed some activities she enjoys. She walks her dogs frequently and was able to ride on a roller coaster with her daughter for the first time in years. Her goal next year is to ski.

“My only regret is not having weight loss surgery earlier. This procedure gave me my life back and I finally feel free. Dr. Gupta and his entire team were supportive. He put me in charge of my care and made me feel important,” Smith says.

Learn more and find a practitioner

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 health care 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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