Deb’s story: Weight loss surgery ‘worth it’

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

By: Femi Cole

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Deb Obry desperately wanted to be rid of all her medications. She wanted to stop forking over hundreds of dollars for prescription drugs every month.


Most of all, she wanted to lose all the weight that required her to keep taking those medications. She wanted to feel normal again.


But her weight was a 30-year battle that Deb couldn’t win, at least not alone.


“My issue with weight was finding a diet program and sticking to it,” says Deb, who is in her mid-50s. “I just could not keep the weight off. It just kept coming back.”


Every time she regained weight, she experienced new health concerns.


“I was a Type 2 diabetic. I had to go through the sleep apnea testing and I ended up with a sleep apnea machine,” Deb says. “I was on all kinds of inhalers and different things for my lung problems. I was probably spending $350 to $450 a month on medications.”


Her doctors offered no viable options.


“They seemed to just keep on telling me, ‘You have to lose weight, you have to lose weight’ and they wouldn’t tell you how necessarily and they’d pile on more medications,” she says. “The more medications made me feel worse, and some even actually kind of prevented weight loss.”


Finally, Deb took matters into her own hands. She considered weight loss surgery and in February 2016 sought out Dr. Daniel T. McKenna, a general and bariatric surgeon at Aurora BayCare Medical Center.


“My highest weight before the program was almost 220 (pounds),” says Deb, who lives near Kewaunee. “People looked at me and thought I didn’t look heavy enough to have bariatric surgery, but I had enough other health issues that the weight loss was going to help all the other health issues.”


She underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery in June 2016. During her surgery, doctors reduced the size of her stomach to restrict the amount of food it can hold. Roux-en-Y patients notice that they feel full faster.


Deb has lost almost 100 pounds since surgery, surpassing the weight-loss goal set for her by doctors.


Deb is proud of the progress she’s made and encourages others struggling with weight to consider bariatric surgery.


“I didn’t set out to be an advocate for this, but I’m more than willing to tell people what I did. It was worth it,” she says. “I feel so much better now that I had it done. I wish I would have had it done sooner.”


Dr. Daniel T. McKenna sees patients in Green Bay and Marinette. To request an appointment, call 920-288-8250 in Green Bay or 877-677-5384 in Marinette, or request one online.


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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.