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Abbott Northwestern Hospital

Preparation + motivation = weight loss success

Penny Deam

Penny Deam was newly divorced and in her mid-40s when she made a life-changing decision.

“I had been overweight all my life, and I felt like I had been on every diet out there. I was not getting any younger, and I wanted to lose weight while I could still go out and enjoy life.”

So in February 2011, Deam had bariatric surgery at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. She had a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure performed by Raymond Drew, MD.

Going through the surgery was easier than she had anticipated. Always an active person, Deam had been working out at a gym regularly before her surgery. She was also highly motivated to get out of the hospital as soon as she could.

“I followed all of the instructions and was up walking around shortly after surgery,” said Deam. She was discharged the next morning. “The nurses told me they had never seen anyone walk as much as I did.”

Her preparation, guided by the weight loss surgery team at Abbott Northwestern, helped her adapt to the changes resulting from the surgery. “It’s important to listen to the doctors and nurses from the weight loss program – they know what they’re talking about.” She continues to pay close attention to portion control and how foods are prepared.

“A lot of it is common sense. You have to realize that it still comes down to diet and exercise,” said Deam.

Deam’s exercise routine includes cardiovascular and weight training 4-5 days a week. Her job as the owner of a house and commercial cleaning company also keeps her active.

Now that she has lost 106 pounds, Deam has been able to stop taking medication for blood pressure and fluid retention and no longer needs a CPAP machine at night for sleep apnea.

“I still have a fear of gaining the weight back, but I think that’s a healthy fear to have.”

Read more bariatric patient stories