I’ve been overweight most of my life, since I was 8 or 9 years old. After having my daughter I weighed over 300 lbs and peaked at about 360lbs when I was about 35. It’s harder to get around when you’re that big, harder to do activities. I had a lot of trouble with my vascular system in my legs and I also I have thyroid disease so I was on a high dose of medication for it. The social aspects were also hard. It’s harder to always be the big one and it never helped that I’m also tall. Elevators, restaurants, cars, etc. it was all embarrassing. I wouldn’t even fly because of it. You say you don’t care what people think but you do, you don’t want to be judged. I just wanted to do something about my weight before I ended up getting sick and have some sort of complications.
My best friend and her mother came to Dr. Davtyan in 2010 and both had the Lap Band procedure. They only had good things to say about the recovery and about how it was completely reversible. I saw them go through their journey and to my surprise it wasn’t anything intimidating and it seemed like a better route for me than the gastric bypass. I had the procedure done in March of 2011 and during the surgery he found a hiatal hernia that he fixed. Before the surgery I always had awful heartburn, but after? It was gone! I was feeling so much better after the surgery. I only took off 4 days of work, which was nothing. Probably 3 months in I was down 40 lbs. I would say by the end of 2012 I had achieved over 100 lbs of weight loss, but in April of 2013 I was diagnosed with an ovarian tumor. My mom died of ovarian cancer, so it was devastating news to get. I asked Dr. Davtyan to recommend a surgeon since he is also a surgical oncologist, and he got on the phone and found me the best GYN oncologist in the area. The surgeon was very busy, but Dr. Davtyan moved mountains for me and got me in to see him. I’m forever indebted to him for that because of the way he truly cares about what’s going on in your life. Luckily the tumor was removed and everything turned out ok. After going through that he filled the band back up and I have maintained my weight loss all the way until now (2017) without much effort.
The doctor wanted me to lose approximately 40-50% of my excess weight. I never thought that I would have achieved all of it. They thought I would lose about 85 lbs, so losing 100 was amazing!
Dr. Davtyan really is a life saver. I feel so much better now, I don’t have issues with my leg anymore, I’m on half the dose of my thyroid medication, I’m more mobile, content with myself socially, and even my self esteem has improved. When I’m at the doctor’s office, I don’t feel like a number. I feel like he’s family and he’s always made me feel that way from the first day, which isn’t always the case with physicians.
When you haven’t had a weight problem, you don’t really understand. It’s hard to believe someone who has never dealt with it. But I felt confident Dr. Davtyan was the right person to perform my procedure because he had it and has gone through it and dealt with all the plusses and minuses. He actually listened every single time I came in to all of my concerns and in turn I listened to his. He has perfect beside manner and is always caring and never rushed me. He never pressured me to have the band filled, he lets me decide what’s right for me (within reason of course). He is always calm and kind and makes you feel like he’s not just on to the next person, that he’s about helping his patients and not about making money.
His staff are all wonderful. I hug everyone, they are all still here after so many years. When I got the tumor and got sick, they all huddled around me and were there with me. It was weird that I got so much caring from his staff like that.
One of the allures in the beginning is that it’s non invasive, fully reversible, completely adjustable without surgery. It makes me feel better than having parts of my body removed which will never come back.