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Unity Hospital

I have much more energy now since weight loss surgery

Jon Sando before and after photo

"'Wow' isn't a strong enough word to describe me today," Andover resident, Jon Sando, said as he reflected on his journey since his weight loss surgery in April of 2013. At 66, Jon was giving himself four shots of insulin each day. He also took eight different medications for hypertension and high cholesterol. Although Jon was always on the heavy side, physical activity was a huge part of his life.

His loved playing hockey, and continued playing throughout his 30s and 40s. "As the years progressed, I continued to gain weight," he said. "The things I used to do, the things I enjoyed doing, became increasingly more difficult. I didn't have the speed or reflexes to play hockey the way I once had. The more difficult it became, the less I enjoyed it. Finally I just stopped playing all together." Along with additional weight came hypertension and diabetes. "I was a mess. At 66 years old, I knew I wanted more from life, and at the rate I was going, that was not going to be in the cards."

Why Unity Hospital Bariatric Center?

Jon's wife, Denise, was the reason he chose the Unity Hospital Bariatric Center. "It's fair to say she inspired me to seek Unity's help. She had surgery 12 years ago with spectacular results."

Jon said his first step, the informational meeting, was very helpful and informative. "The staff was really very knowledgeable." Although he initially wanted the Roux en Y, a previous medical condition precluded this option. After consulting with Dr. Jeff Baker, they both determined the best choice for Jon was the vertical sleeve gastrectomy.

Prior to surgery, Jon's weight was 322 pounds, with a BMI of 46.2. Immediately following surgery, and once the "fog" from anesthesia cleared, Jon felt very comfortable and in good hands with his nurses. That comfort continued. Jon said, "I have much more energy now. The days just don't seem long enough to get done all of the things I want to do. Being retired and in much better physical shape is such a plus for both me and my wife."

When asked if there is anything about his journey he struggles with, Jon admitted to sometimes feeling a little self-conscious with all of the compliments he receives. "At times I'm a little embarrassed by the accolades," he said. Nonetheless, he is happy to show others that moving into a better and healthier life can also be an option for them.

Jon's outlook on life today

"My outlook on life today has changed for the better. My food choices are much better, and I can't seem to get enough exercise." This is a far cry from Jon's experience prior to surgery. "I couldn't walk one block without stopping to rest and catch my breath. Now I walk five miles in under 90 minutes without stopping or resting. Household chores are also welcomed. I just wish I were 40 again!"

Would Jon recommend the Unity Hospital program to friends and family? "I can't recommend the Unity bariatric staff enough. I was extremely impressed by all. I will continue to sanction Dr. Baker and his wonderful staff to all who ask. They are true professionals."

To date, Jon has lost 97 pounds. He has a BMI of 32.3 and no longer takes any of his eight medications. He can't wait to see what's coming next!