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Mark Lowe

Surgery Date: December 7, 2015
Starting Weight: 332 lbs.
Current Weight: 207 lbs.

Before surgery, stress injuries on Mark’s joints prevented him from exercising. Now he runs over three miles several days a week! He says: “At first I was skeptical that surgery would work for me, but it has given me a new life.”

Before your surgery, what medical conditions were you suffering from? Before having surgery I was suffering from low thyroid issues, I was borderline diabetic and I had horrible cholesterol. My triglycerides were over 1,000 and I just felt terrible. I used to also have a lot of stress injuries on my knees and ankles, which would prevent me from exercising.

Since your vertical sleeve gastrectomy, in which conditions or diseases have you seen a change? All of my medical issues have been reversed. I’m no longer on medications for anything! All I take now is my calcium, B12 and a multivitamin. I have no more stress injury issues on my joints and now I can run and exercise to stay in shape.

What made you decide to have a vertical sleeve gastrectomy? I was at my wits end. I had tried lots of programs over the years, but the programs would either not work, or I’d injure my knees or ankles. Being laid up, I’d pack the weight on again. At first I was skeptical that surgery would work for me, but it has given me a new life.

Besides the external changes you have experienced, how has the surgery altered your outlook on life and your relationships? I find myself having a more positive attitude every day. I feel like I’m a 20-year-old kid again! My family is my rock and vice-versa, so this change has really impacted everyone around me. My kids knew how unhappy I was before losing the weight, so if I’m even considering eating something that’s not on my diet they encourage me to stay on track.

What kinds of things are you able to do now that before the surgery were difficult or impossible? I’ve never been a runner and now I run over three miles several days a week. My daughter and I just
did a 5K in Des Moines and have another one scheduled in a few weeks. I also do CrossFit several days a week. It’s unreal, I have a lot more energy and feel great!

What do you wish you’d known before the surgery? I just wish I’d known about it sooner.

What would you say about Dr. Eibes and the Iowa Weight Loss Specialists team? What a ton of support IWLS offers! They have bent over backwards to be sure I stay on the program.
They are very responsive to questions and are always there encouraging me to stay on track.

What would you tell someone who was considering the surgery? I’ve already referred four people to IWLS who have since had the surgery and are happy with the results. They’ve seen me go through the process and took the step to change their lives as well. I always tell people, surgery is a great tool but it’s just a tool – you have to make behavioral life changes following surgery to really achieve your goals.

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