Taqwa Pope struggled for years with her weight, and at age 33, she felt like she’d exhausted every dieting option. She was worried about how her health and her future might be affected. “I want to live a healthy, happy, able-bodied lifestyle,” she says.
Inspired by a co-worker who had weight-loss surgery, she met with bariatric surgeon Juliet Lee, MD, at the GW Weight Loss and Surgery Center to learn more. “Dr. Lee did not make me feel judged,” she says. “She was very informative and made me feel very comfortable.” After considering her options, she chose to have the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure in October 2015.
What stood out throughout her journey was the thorough, personalized support she received. She recalls how Dr. Lee sat down with her and went through every hour of her day to get her through side effects and to recovery.
With a healthy diet and regular exercise, and the support of her GW team, she lost 85 pounds and went from a size 18-20 to a size 8. “I began to notice what I call the small things, like the fact that I was able to cross my legs or stand on one leg and tie my shoe. If I forgot something, I could quickly run up the stairs to get it,” she says. Defining moments like these captured how profoundly her surgery affected her everyday life. “It allowed my inner light to shine and others to witness.”
Staying healthy is a lifelong commitment, and she continues to keep in contact with Dr. Lee and the program for support. “After three years, I’m still met with professionalism,” she says. “I’m still met with enthusiasm to assist me if I have any questions.”
The GW Weight Loss and Surgery Center offers a comprehensive program with certified bariatric surgeons who have successfully performed more than 7,000 procedures, as well as registered dietitians, psychologists and personal trainers. It is designated as a Comprehensive Center by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation Quality Improvement Program® and a Blue Distinction® Center for bariatric surgery by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.
To schedule a free consultation with a weight-loss surgeon, please call 1-888-4GW-DOCS.