Melissa: Gastric Sleeve — Darebin Weight Loss Surgery

Bariatric surgery helps Melissa look and feel her best

As a hairdresser, Melissa Laschanzky’s job is to help other people look and feel their best.

In May 2015, she decided it was her turn.

For most of her adult life, Melissa, 33, had struggled with obesity. She’d try crash diets and exercise, and these efforts worked—but only for a while.

“I just wouldn’t eat, which is not the best way to lose weight,” she says. “I’d lose like 50 pounds, but then I’d gain back 60.”

Melissa’s weight had reached nearly 370 pounds, putting her at a dangerously high risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Following the advice of a friend who’d had success with weight-loss surgery, Melissa researched her options. Ultimately, she chose the Bariatric Surgery Clinic at University of Iowa Hospitals {amp}amp; Clinics.

“I looked into other programs, but they just didn’t feel right,” says Melissa, who lives in Rock Island, Illinois, and works in nearby Davenport, Iowa. “At the University of Iowa, you could tell right away that they really cared about you as a person.”

One of the first steps in Melissa’s treatment program involved learning about the importance of diet and discipline. For six months, she kept a log of everything she ate and followed a nutrition plan developed by dieticians with the UI bariatric surgery program. In those six months, Melissa lost 94 pounds.

“That was one of the best things they did—helping me change my diet,” she says. “I still use the diet plan. It helps me keep track of what, and how much, I eat.”

As part of the UI bariatric program, Melissa also received counseling to help her prepare for the physical changes and emotional challenges she would face.

“They explained how it’s a lifelong commitment, and surgery is not the end,” she says. “It’s also about eating right and being healthy every day moving forward.”

In late December 2015, Melissa underwent Roux-en Y gastric bypass surgery. A laparoscopic (minimally invasive) procedure, this type of weight-loss surgery reduces a patient’s upper stomach to a small pouch, which limits the amount of food the patient can eat before feeling full. The surgical team then connects the pouch to an area of the small intestine known as the Roux limb, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. This minimizes the number of calories that can be absorbed from the food.

Melissa’s surgery team was led by UI bariatric surgeon Jessica Smith, MD. The Roux-en Y procedure was a success, and Melissa was able to go home the next day. Within a week of her surgery, she was back to work.

“Melissa’s story is a perfect example of how bariatric surgery can be the additional tool so many patients need to be successful with long-term weight loss,” Smith says. “Diet and exercise alone for patients who have more than 100 pounds of extra weight to lose is successful in only about 3 percent of people. Patients who undergo bariatric surgery are able to lose significant amounts of weight and keep it off long-term in 65 to 75 percent of cases.”

By adding bariatric surgery to the hard work she had already put in to lose weight, Melissa gave herself far better chances of success, Smith notes.

“Melissa is an amazing person whose energy and outlook have always been positive, and have been a major factor in her success,” Smith says. “It’s so great to be part of the journey with her.”

Today, Melissa feels great. She spends at least a half-hour each day exercising at home or walking in her neighborhood. She follows a healthful diet. She has more energy, and her knees and feet don’t hurt like they used to from standing all day at the barber shop.

And she’s taking part in activities she hasn’t enjoyed in years—like the annual Mississippi Valley Fair in Davenport.

“I went to the fair this year, and I could actually fit into the rides. That probably doesn’t seem like much, but for me that was a big accomplishment. Also, just being able to walk up the stairs without feeling like I’d just run a marathon was really nice.”

For Melissa, having the support of friends, colleagues, and family was key to her successful journey to a healthier future.

“I know I would have never been as successful as I have been if it hadn’t been for my father,” she says.

Melissa would recommend the UI Bariatric Surgery Clinic to anyone who’s serious about weight-loss surgery and the commitment that comes both before and after the procedure.

“I’ve been very pleased,” she says. “The University of Iowa team knew exactly what needed to be done, they explained the process and my options, and they made it all very easy.”

Many of Melissa’s customers still marvel at her transformation.

“I had clients who hadn’t been in for a while ask me, ‘Is Melissa here? I used to have this bigger girl cut my hair.’ And I’d say ‘Yes, that’s me. Or better yet, that was me.’”

I was born a very chubby nine pound baby but grew up as a normal and healthy child. My weight gain started when I was 22 years old stemming from an unhappy marriage. Over the next 29 years my weight went up and down but gradually rose to peak at 113 kgs. During that time I went through a stressful divorce; 2 breakdowns and experienced a tragic death with a close family member.

Unfortunately the only way I could cope with the emotional experience of these events was to see a psychologist and go onto antidepressants. This meant more weight gain; more depression from the weight gain and more medication for the depression. I was on a constant merry-go-round that wouldn’t stop to let me off.

Melissa McCarthy: The Diet {amp}amp; Exercise Routine She Used to Drop 75 lbs

Melissa McCarthy, 48, stunned movie-goers after revealing a 75-pound weight loss in her May 11 film Life of the Party. Now we know how she did it! Get out your iPhone notes, because we’re going to dish Melissa’s secrets, starting with her diet. “Melissa has never felt better in her life, she’s blown away by how great she feels after losing a bunch of weight, she feels like a new person. She’s worked so hard to lose this weight and having all her hard work pay off like this has really skyrocketed her confidence,” a friend of the Oscar winning actress EXCLUSIVELY shares with HollywoodLife. “Melissa has really put in the time and the consistent effort in her diet and exercise. She works out at least five days a week doing cardio and weight training. And she’s almost totally eliminated junk food. Most meals she eats lots of organic vegetables, lean protein and only a small amount of complex carbohydrates. It’s not been an easy, quick fix, but it has been so worth it.”

And all those veggies are doing wonders for her sex drive, we’ve learned! “She’s in her late 40’s and she says she’s having the best sex of her life since losing all the weight. She just feels so much more confident and that makes a huge difference for her,” Melissa’s friend goes on. “She has never been happier or more satisfied in and out of the bedroom, and she credits it all to hard work and the weight loss.” And besides her husband Ben Falcone, Melissa’s career is also feeling the love! “And her career is on fire, it just keeps getting better. She’s got a new movie coming out early next year called The Kitchen, and she’s getting major Oscar buzz for it. It’s a big departure for her because it’s a very dramatic role and everyone that’s seen it has been blown away by her performance. She’s trying not to think too much about it but there’s a huge chance she’s going to get nominated for an Academy Award next year. Things really could not be better for Melissa right now.”

We can’t wait to see Melissa in a more dramatic role in the mobster movie, which will come out on Sept. 20. And speaking of dramatics, another source close to The Kitchen actress EXCLUSIVELY spills to us how Melissa didn’t do anything DRAMATIC to lose the weight! “Melissa hasn’t gone down the route of quick fix or fad diets, or surgery, she’s lost all the weight the good old fashioned way, through diet and exercise. Melissa has worked super hard to drop the pounds, she’s in the best shape of her life right now and she feels amazing,” our second source reveals. “Melissa has so much more energy that it’s crazy. She’s constantly on the go and she finds herself actually looking forward to working out now, which is something she never thought she would do.”

And surprise: Melissa uses the same diet plan as Kim and Kourtney Kardashian! It’s reportedly a celebrity favorite. “Melissa has been following the Keto diet, which is perfect for her, because she never feels like she’s starving, or depriving herself of anything, and therefore it’s become a way of living for her rather than a diet, and that’s why it’s worked so well as opposed to other things she’s tried in the past and ultimately given up on after a time,” our source tells us. But what exactly is the Keto diet? “Basically, Melissa has switched to a very high protein, low carb diet, and she’s eating super clean—she’s quit eating processed foods, and now, instead of snacking on chips and sugary treats she eats nuts and seasoned veggies,” our source explains.

“Melissa fills up with a lot of fiber, which she accompanies with fish, meat, pulses, and tons of organic vegetables,” our source continues. “Melissa has also quit her soda habit, and instead she drinks a ton of water all through the day. And if she wants a hot beverage she now goes for green tea instead of her old choice of a calorie laden mocha with cream.” And finally, what you’ve been waiting for: Melissa’s workout plan. Arguably the scariest step in any fitness journey — but Melissa’s trainer made it fun! “When it comes to working out, Melissa has never been one to hit the treadmill, she gets bored super easy, so she has to have a lot of variety,” our source says. “Luckily, Melissa’s trainer is really creative and he’s always coming up with new circuit ideas for her, which she adds in to her regular kickboxing sessions, walking and rowing, which she loves.”

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