After Surgery: A New Life, A New Journey

Cynthia Maio works as a high-frequency radio operator in air traffic control. She’s 48 years old and had been overweight since she was 20. She’s tried all the diets, with only moderate results.

“My mother was visiting,” says Cynthia. “She saw an ad for the New York Bariatric Group in our local paper and asked if I ever thought about doing anything like that. I said it had crossed my mind, but I never looked into it. I decided to check it out.

“After a meeting in October at the center in Port Jefferson, everything moved quickly. I already had all the doctors in place — the pulmonologist and cardiologist — so I didn’t have to wait for any new patient procedures and insurance issues. My surgery was scheduled for January 11.

“When I decided to have the procedure — and this is not recommended — I chose to really enjoy my 92 ‘last meals.’ This was something I thought up on my own. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to eat the same way in the future.

“As a result, I gained almost 20 pounds. When I had my surgery, I weighed 281. It was the biggest I’d even been. I couldn’t walk from my computer desk to my bathroom without getting winded. I started to have health problems. I had an asthma attack in each of those three months. I was on two inhalers.

“In my mind, I knew it was going to go away once I started on my new journey. And that’s how I think about it — I’m on a new journey.”

Cynthia had lap band surgery at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson. “They treated me like gold. I had the single incision through the belly button, so I have no scarring whatsoever.”

She remembers waking up in the recovery room after surgery. “As soon as you are awake enough, they start walking you to get rid of the gas in your body, which is put there so they can work laparoscopically. They walked me every two hours — like a puppy.

“I was in the hospital just one night. Once I was home, it was easy. My husband was very helpful. Before you leave the hospital, they make sure you can handle mushy food. If you can eat, you can go home. The hospital meal looked like a scoop of mashed potatoes, but it was actually pureed turkey with gravy. If you can get past the texture, it’s very tasty.

“When I came home, my husband did more the same. He would puree chicken with cauliflower for me. And we had recipes from the hospital for salmon and pot roast. It was good to have the variety. I was on pureed food for one month.”

Before surgery, Cynthia averaged about 3,000 calories daily. “Now I’m eating 800 to 900 calories a day.” Three months after surgery, she had already lost 55 pounds.

“I feel great. I have about 50 to go. I started working out two weeks ago. They do encourage that. I hadn’t done it earlier because of my schedule, money and life circumstances. Now I go to a gym and walk and do a bit of weight training for my arms.

“Psychologically, I still have a long way to go. People have complimented me about my weight loss, and I say thank you, but in my mind I’m not there yet.

“My husband calls me a cheap date now. We’ll go to a steak place, and I’ll eat maybe a quarter of my meal — nothing fried. I’ve tried a french fry here and there just for a taste, and it upsets my stomach so I stay away from it. I’ll order grilled chicken or a turkey burger with a salad, and that will be it. No desserts. But I still enjoy my food.

“Today, I ran errands and had to eat on the run. I stopped at my favorite Mexican place — one that makes fresh food — and I got a quesadilla. I ate half of it and was way beyond full. It will last me until about 5 p.m., then I’ll have a yogurt, since we won’t go to dinner until around 6:30 p.m.

“I have more energy now. We like to go out for karaoke. Before, I would need a seat. Now I can stand, and I can dance with my friends instead of watching them.

“It’s the little things where I notice the difference. I don’t like sitting around the house any more. I have to be doing something. I was complacent in my fat life. There’s a lot I have to get caught up on.

“I look at this as a gift. I don’t want to do anything to ruin it. My target weight is 165. My doctor tells me around the 180s would be good.

“So far, I’m happy with where I am on my journey. I would recommend it to anyone. I wish I had done it sooner.”

If diets and exercise have not worked for you, we invite you to make an appointment to see one of our surgeons by using our online contact form, calling (516) 616-5500 or, if you prefer, click on “Live Chat” in the upper left corner of your screen to have a conversation now.

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After Surgery: A New Life, A New Journey


Lost 145lbs

Thomas' success story

I went in for surgery. An hour later, I came out a new man.

Everybody treated me like a king. The day of surgery, I was excited. The hospital couldn’t be any nicer. I went in for surgery. An hour later, I came out a new man. My recovery was awesome. I was out of bed that day. My wife and kids were my motivation on getting this surgery. They are my whole life. I’m happy I’m going to be around for them.

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Lost 76lbs

Nicole's success story

I hit my goal weight ... and I feel fabulous

I had the gastric bypass. I am Type 2 Diabetic and I wanted to gain control of my sugar. I hit my goal weight in about 5 and half months and I feel fabulous. The procedure has completely changed my life for the better because it has empowered me as a middle aged woman that I can really do everything and anything that I want to do. I don't put an age on anything. I don't say I'm too old for something.

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Lost 76lbs

Robert's success story

I was tired of the way I looked. I was tired of the way I felt.

I knew if I didn't change something soon, I was going to be in a lot of trouble. The consultation process was a lot easier than I expected. I was met with open arms. I was treated like I was the only patient here. Not only did they answer all of my questions, they had questions for me to make sure I was the right candidate for the surgery. After surgery and that weight started dropping off, my life started changing for the better.

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Lost 92lbs

Samantha's success story

I feel like a completely different person.

I had the gastric sleeve procedure. The driving factor behind me getting this procedure was my health. I didn't feel good physically or mentally. I had joint pains, even standing was difficult sometimes. Emotionally, this surgery completely turned my life around. I have so much more confidence. So much more happiness. I feel like a completely different person. I feel stronger. I feel able to accomplish more.

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Lost 99lbs

Eileen's success story

It saved my life.

The driving factor behind me getting my procedure was that I couldn't get up off the floor with my granddaughter. That was my why. That was my big reason for having this surgery done. After surgery, it was a little bit of a struggle with what to eat. What you put in your mouth that you don't even think about. You don't think about what you're eating or how you're eating and portion size. It's what I do now every single day. The procedure has changed my life in so many ways. It saved my life.

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Lost 126lbs

Brittany's success story

I am totally comfortable in my own skin.

I think I always grew up identifying myself as less than other people because I was fat. I decided to tackle that and just live my life. I had a sleeve gastrectomy. It changed how I view myself. How I communicate with people. I'm able to be much more of myself and live the life I always thought I should have been living. I am totally comfortable in my own skin. You have the tools you need to succeed here.

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Lost 157lbs