Melissa R's Story
“I have been “the fat girl” my entire life. I knew from the time I was 6 years old that I had an eating disorder that I allowed to control my life and get me binging on food uncontrollably. My life has been unmanageable and my sanity level as been nonexistent. I would eat food out of the trash if no one was looking. I have gained and lost over 1000 pounds on diets that just didn’t work. After being told that I “look like two of you from behind, Melissa” I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I became desperate and was told that I needed to gain another 20 pounds before I would be a candidate for any type of weight loss surgery. I began what would be the final binge on my way to WLS. I gained the weight but was told I was still not a candidate. Finally, I went through another means, when I was 26 years old to start loosing weight. My choice was a spiritually based program and I can happily tell you that G-d and I have given away 110 pounds. I worked so hard on why I eat what I eat and fixing me from the inside out. I decided that this would have to be a lifestyle choice and not a means of losing weight. I have been doing this for just about 9 years now and I was able to keep the weight off. After 7 years of working a strict food plan, I finally started working out and found a love of it that I just could NEVER get before. I knew that my choice to make this a new lifestyle was sealed. Now it was time to seek out the perfect surgeon that would understand me…….I started my search and spoke with 5 different doctors all chosen by a means of referral. I had 2 different people tell me about Dr. Katzen. I went and saw him in 2005 and had a body estimate done. Because of family/life circumstances, I had to put my plans on my body overhaul on hold. Finally, in February of 2008, I went back to him again and said, “I am READY!!” I was pleased when he noticed my attempts at working out and told me that the leg lift we had discussed in the past was no longer necessary. A doctor that didn’t want to do something unnecessary? I knew I was in the right place. (By the way, when my surgery actually happened and I was under, Dr. Katzen determined that I also did not need the breast lift which shorten my surgery by 1 ½ hours AND put money back in my pocket.)
My surgery took place 1 month later. I was scheduled for 9 hours of surgery which included: abdominoplasty, breast lift and augmentation, and liposuction. I had NEVER had any surgery in my entire life and Dr. Katzen and his staff assured me that I would come out just fine. They shared their own experiences with me as far as their own cosmetic surgeries were concerned, both with Dr. Katzen and with other doctors. Dr. Katzen was there for me as were Diana, Raquel and Jane. If I needed anything, they all went above and beyond the call of duty, whether it was in the middle of the night or on a Saturday shipping a new garment to me during their day off. I received phone calls checking on me constantly as well as well wishes and words of encouragement.
Unfortunately, I had a set back that was unavoidable and had to go back under for some revision work and Dr. Katzen was right there taking care of me again. He spent more time on my healing than perhaps anyone else that he was seeing at the time and remained patient and professional the entire time.
I just knew that I chose the right doctor for the job. His compassion and bedside manner is second to none. I have given his name and number to many people I know since then. The main reason I chose Dr. Katzen was because he understood the journey that this former fat girl made from the woman lost in skin to a beautiful swan. It was more than just the mommy make over. I was completing the transformation with an emotional choice that has since then changed my life and I am SOOOO grateful to Dr. Katzen for his beautiful work and his beautiful heart.”
Weight loss was from 235 Pounds to 125 Pounds