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Linda’s story: ‘I feel better’ after weight loss surgery

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

By: Melissa Barth


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Linda Malchow was ready for a change.

 

She had steadily gained weight since menopause and it was affecting her quality of life.

 

“I had estrogen positive breast cancer, so the added weight was critical towards having a recurrence of that. My joints ached, my knees hurt, carrying things up and down the stairs hurt,” she says. “Everything took too much effort and pretty soon, you don’t want to do anything anymore.”

 

Linda tried diet plans, controlling her portion sizes and not having seconds, but nothing worked. Her daughter offered a solution she hadn’t considered.

 

“My daughter started planting the idea in my head of considering bariatric surgery. Up until that point, I thought there’s no way I can afford that,” she says. “I sent a message to Aurora [BayCare] asking if they had any types of nutrition or weight loss programs that I could participate in.”

 

She got a phone call suggesting she sign up or watch one of the Aurora BayCare Bariatric Surgery Seminars. After the seminar, Linda met with a nutritionist, occupational therapist, and psychiatrist to see if bariatric surgery would work for her. She was also asked to lose 10 pounds and keep it off to qualify for the program.

 

“It’s not an easy process and it’s easy to get scared off,” Linda says. “You have to show your commitment to it. If you don’t show your commitment to it, you can have all the surgeries you want and it’s not going to work.”

 

After meeting the criteria for the program, she met with Dr. Daniel T. McKenna, general and bariatric surgeon with Aurora BayCare Medical Center. He performed the gastric sleeve resection in February 2018.

 

During this procedure, about three-quarters of the stomach is removed. People who have this procedure notice that they feel full faster.

 

Linda exceeded her weight loss expectations from surgery and lost over 100 pounds.

 

“My daughter asked me when I was about midpoint through this journey where I felt like I had lost the most weight and I said it was from my shoulders. I’m not worried about a recurrence of my breast cancer. I’m less worried about a stroke, heart attack, complications of diabetes, high blood pressure,” she says.

 

She says the weight loss wasn’t about looking better, it was to feel better.

 

“Life’s too short. I have a great-granddaughter who’s only 8. I still have a grandchild in high school. I want to be here for a long time. I want to see the people they become.”

 

Dr. Daniel T. McKenna sees patients in Green Bay and Kaukauna. To request an appointment, call 920-288-8250 in Green Bay and 920-288-5868 in Kaukauna, or request one online.

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BayCare Clinic, baycare.net, 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.