John Briggs Now Enjoys an Improved Quality of Life

Before surgery, John Briggs was on multiple medications to control a number of health conditions including high blood pressure and acid reflux. In this weight loss surgery testimonial, he explains that nearly every aspect of his life has improved thanks to gastric bypass surgery. From an overall sense of well-being to fitting into clothes that haven't fit in years, John Briggs is grateful for the positive results his weight loss has provided.


Amanda S

amandas-largeIt goes without saying what my life was like 120 pounds heavier. I had no life. I did not want to go out in public … I felt like everyone was staring at me. I had no social life. For many reasons, I never wanted to go out with my friends. I didn’t have any clothes to wear … men wouldn’t give me the time of day … I hated my life … I did not feel comfortable in my own skin. I am a teacher and I couldn’t even do my job to the best of my ability — I could hardly move and I sure couldn’t teach — or move around the room and play with my students on the playground.

My LAP-BAND journey has been one of the easiest things I have ever done in my life. It is the first time in my life that I have not felt like I was on a diet. And believe me, I have done them all — twice! I could always lose the weight, but I could never keep it off. I needed help and the LAP-BAND has given me that. Help.

The LAP-BAND has given me my life back. I now go dancing with my friends. I love to go shopping. I love to run and play with my students on the playground. I can tie my shoes and paint my own toe nails! I wear “normal” size clothes, go all kinds of places and never wonder if I will be able to fit in the chair, and yes, I am getting looks from men.

Food does not control my life any more … I eat to live and don’t live to eat. I know now that it is okay to leave food on my plate. Food does not control my life anymore and it never will again. Going out to eat is a totally different experience for me. I go out now — not for the food — but for the company and the conversation. This is a journey, and I am loving every minute of it!

I had my surgery 13 months ago and have lost 120 pounds. My LAP-BAND surgery was a breeze. I was in surgery at 8:00 a.m. and was home by noon the same day. I was shopping two days later!

I go to a support group twice a month and I believe this is very important. It is wonderful to talk to people that are on the same journey as me, and I check in with Dr. St. Laurent once a month and get my band adjusted as soon as I start to feel hungry. My LAP-BAND is a tool and I have to “work it.” I believe that the reason I have done so well with the LAP-BAND is because of my doctor, the aftercare program, and my support group.

The LAP-BAND is the best thing I have ever done for myself. This is my life and I am now in control.

Amy M

amy-largeI can remember like yesterday the moment I decided that losing weight was no longer an option, but had to be done.

One night, my husband and I were out for an evening sail on a friend’s boat. As we returned to the dock, our friend invited me to go below deck to see the inside. My first thought was how awkward I would look climbing back up the ladder to the deck-if I could even get back up! I made up some excuse for not doing it.

My husband and I love to sail- we even have considered possibly living on a boat in retirement. I realized that if I didn’t lose weight, I would not be able to fully participate in this activity that we both love. Then I began thinking about the hundreds of times a day that my decisions are based on my size, food, or hiding how miserable I was. Walking back to the car after that evening on the boat, I told my husband my reason for not going below deck. A few moments later, I told him I was thinking about surgery-the rest is history!

I began researching the LAP-BAND System online and mentioned to a physician friend that I was toying with the idea. She told me if she needed surgery, she would only pick Dr. St. Laurent. She had performed surgeries with him and was very impressed.

My husband and I attended one of Dr. St. Laurent’s seminars and afterward made a consultation appointment. Dr. St. Laurent spent quite a bit of time with us and answered all of our questions. Then, he mentioned the “sleeve” as a possible option. I had never heard of that procedure, so that weekend I researched it and went back and forth a hundred times before finally deciding that the sleeve would work best for me.

June 26, 2008 was the day that my life changed forever!

This was the first surgery I have ever had and I was very surprised at how easy the recovery was. I had some pain the first few days that was easily managed with medication. I was fatigued for probably a week or two-and after about 3 or 4 weeks, I was back to my full energy level.
I have lost 101 pounds so far. I have been successful because the sleeve is a great tool, and because I have worked very hard to learn how to eat and take care of my body.

When people comment on how great I look, I say, “Thank you, I had weight loss surgery.” Then I answer their questions-I’m actually surprised at how open I am about it-I thought I would be more secretive. But, I am proud of my accomplishment and that I addressed the problem before it got even worse.

Would I do the surgery again? Are you kidding? I only wish I had done it sooner!

Carl J

carl-largeThe decision to have gastric bypass surgery was an easy one for me. I was so overweight, it was having an affect on how I performed my job. I am a policeman and because of my weight, it was sometimes hard to respond to calls. For example, responding to calls for situations that were on the 3rd floor were always a challenge. I would have to stop at the top of the stairs to catch my breath.

I had a stomach stapling back in 1983. I had heard about the procedure from an acquaintance, researched it, and then had the surgery. It worked well – I lost 100 pounds and felt fine. Over the years, though, the staples began to wear out and the stapling became less effective. Soon, I had a full stomach again and started to gain the weight back. By 1996, I had gained back all of the weight I had lost plus a few pounds more. My weight was now up to 300 pounds, my heaviest ever.

When I started researching my options, I discovered that what I needed to have done was called a “revision.” That’s when you fail to lose weight after surgery or have weight regain. Not too many doctors would consider my case, though, since there are sometimes complications that result after the original surgery.

Then I found Dr. St. Laurent and after meeting with him, I felt he was the best doctor to do my surgery. The day of the surgery, he stuck with me even when doing the surgery took 6 to 7 hours (instead of the 2 and a half hours that we expected) because of all the adhesions I had from the previous surgery. I really appreciate the fact he didn’t give up and he completed the surgery like another doctor told me he wouldn’t do.

I had my surgery on January 24, 2008. My post-op experience was not that bad. So far, I have lost 105 pounds, and I have been successful because I do what I need to do and eat healthier.

My favorite part of losing the weight is that I have a lot more energy. I can now make it to the top of the stairs faster than some of the younger police officers, AND breathing normally. I get compliments, my confidence is better and I like having a closet full of new clothes. The only thing I ever wore before was t-shirts and jeans, so it is great now to have options about what I can wear.

I would have the surgery again in a heartbeat. Weight-loss surgery for me was the greatest thing in the world.

The key is to do your research and get the best doctor you can find. I think Dr. St. Laurent was the best and I would recommend him to anyone.

Sharon Z

sharon-largeI have tried everything to lose weight. I have been successful many times but keeping the weight off seemed impossible. No matter what I did, the weight would come back. On top of that, I have had high blood pressure since an early age and really wanted and needed to get healthy and fit and to be comfortable in my own skin.

When it seemed like I was running out of options, I did some research to learn more about LAP-BAND surgery and gastric bypass surgery. I knew 10 people who have either had the gastric bypass surgery or the Lap-Band — some of the Lap-Band participants had been successful and some had not. I researched the procedures in depth as well as doctors in my area. After consulting with my doctor, I decided that the gastric bypass surgery was the best choice for me, so
I had my surgery on April 12, 2007.

After surgery, the first few days were a little rough. Because of a lot of scar tissue, the pain was more than I expected. However, I was in constant contact with my doctor and within a few days, I felt much better. I was only off work for a week and then resumed normal activities except for lifting.

What I like most about Dr. St. Laurent is that he always took time for me. I felt like I was his only patient. He never hurried during my consultations even if he had a room full of patients. He never stood up while consulting with me. He sat down and addressed all my concerns. Even when I would have no questions, he would ask me questions to make sure I was on the right path. I am so glad that he is my doctor and I appreciate his dedication to my success.

I am proud to say that I have lost 112 pounds and have kept it off for 1 year and 9 months. I credit my successful weight loss to the nutritionist, my doctor, and knowing that this surgery is only a tool and to be successful, you need to have determination and embrace your new life changes.

I love the way I feel now. I love the energy I have to go out and do things. I no longer feel that I stand out in a crowd. I am more confident and like myself much better. I love clothes and how they look on me. I am a different person than I was 20 months ago, inside and out. I have a new lease on life and I am determined to make the most of it.

It has been a wonderful journey. I work on being fit and personal development. Looking at the things I am able to do now versus what I could do 20 months ago, it makes me realize I was not living my best life. I am thrilled with the progress I have made and look forward to each new day of my journey.

I would definitely do the surgery again. It has changed my life so incredibly.

Richard C

richard-largeWhen I was younger, I was a big guy but very athletic –so I played football. As I got older, I got bigger and bigger. About 4 years ago, I went to get my annual check-up and the doctor told me that I had atrial fibrillation. My weight made this genetic condition worse because my heart was working overtime to pump blood and soon became enlarged. In 2006, I started looking into obesity surgery because I weighed 330 pounds and had sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and borderline diabetes.

I started researching weight-loss facilities around the country, and went to about 10 to 12 seminars in one year. I talked to the doctors after their presentations to learn as much as I could. I was looking for a doctor that inspired confidence and knew without a doubt what he was talking about. That’s when I found Dr. St. Laurent. I liked how he handled himself at the seminar, how people in the hospital treated him, and how he treated his patients.

After consulting with Dr. St. Laurent, I chose to have the sleeve gastrectomy based on my lifestyle since I do a lot of traveling in my work. Before surgery, I was very impressed with the staff – they were very courteous and interested in me.

Since my surgery, I have lost weight very quickly. I didn’t feel like I needed to eat big portions anymore, even during the holidays, I ate everything I wanted (in less quantities, of course). I just wasn’t as hungry anymore. Now, I live vicariously through the food shows on television and, when I get hungry, I just eat half a cucumber and I’m fine. It’s amazing how food changes for you. Eating for nourishment becomes your priority, rather than emotional or comfort eating.

My life after surgery has changed so much for the better. My health is great — no sleep apnea, gout, or diabetes and my blood pressure is perfect. I get around easier, my joints feel better and intimacy with my wife has greatly improved. I can fit into clothes again that I wore 8 to 9 years ago. Reactions to my weight-loss are very positive — people actually call me handsome. Needless to say, my increased self-esteem is an unanticipated benefit!

I won’t kid you, it was hard at the beginning. This is not an easy way out. After surgery, you have the same mind but a different body so you have to retrain yourself. But with all the positive things that have happened, I wouldn’t think twice about having the surgery again.

Sandy C

sandy-largeI have always been overweight. I was an eleven pound baby and have been heavy ever since. Before surgery, I had gotten so heavy, I couldn’t walk around the grocery store. I had to ride the electric carts.

I have wanted to have surgery since I first heard about it back in the 80’s. Back then, though, it was new and there wasn’t a lot of information available. I kept researching it, and finally it seemed like it was becoming safer to have it done, so I talked to my doctor about having surgery. Because of my weight—I weighed 384 pounds—and having sleep apnea and high blood pressure, my doctor recommended that I see Dr. St. Laurent.

The hardest part for me was getting the insurance approval. It took me almost a year to get everything together, but I wanted this surgery that bad. Once I got to my consultation with Dr. St. Laurent, it was quick and easy. I started on the 2-week diet and then it was time to have the surgery. I decided to have bypass because it’s more permanent.. I wanted to have the surgery done and move on, no looking back.

I had my surgery on July 20th, 2006 and since then, I have lost 210 pounds. I am down to 174 pounds and don’t ever want to go back to the way I was. I have never been this weight before and I don’t ever want to gain it back.

My favorite thing about losing weight is the improvement in my health—the knowledge that I will be here longer and I will be able to enjoy time with my family. My twin 9-year-old grandsons live with me and there is no way I would have been able to keep up with them before the surgery.

I love being able to spend time with my daughter as well. She is 22 years old, autistic and is involved in Special Olympics. Now, I can go to her Special Olympics events and games at school. I wasn’t able to do that with my older daughters, who were also involved in sports in high school. Looking back, I really feel like I missed out on their childhood. The energy I have now to do all the things I wasn’t able to do before is truly a blessing.

Every time I look in the mirror, I remember how I used to look and feel. I look at myself now, and it always makes me smile. This surgery has changed my life and brought me so many blessings, I would do it over again, no question.

Rita E

rita-largeThere were many health reasons why I decided to have the LAP-BAND surgery, such as diabetes, but it wasn’t until I learned I was going to be a grandmother that I knew I had to do something about my weight. I wanted to be there for my grandchild and be around to watch my him grow up.

I used to hate shopping for clothes. Sometimes I would even ask my husband to go pick up things at the store, because I was too embarrassed to go out and get them myself. And I never strayed from black. Even if I liked a color, I couldn’t imagine actually wearing it.

Once I decided that I needed to lose weight, I researched my options. After I went to a few seminars, I found Dr. St. Laurent and knew I had found the right doctor. I had my surgery on July 6, 2006, and since then, I have lost 178 pounds. I know I have been successful because I did everything I was told to do. Dr. St. Laurent continually reminded me that the LAP-BAND was just a tool, not an easy way out. You have to work at it everyday. It is a life change.

I like having the confidence and knowledge that I will be around to watch my grandson grow. He is 2 1/2 years old now and I have the energy to play with him all day long. I can crawl on the ground with him and don’t have to worry about my knees or hips hurting, and I feel great being able to go to the playground and fit through the nooks with him.

Shopping? I love it now! My closet is full of clothes of every color of the rainbow. I don’t have to worry about if the color or pattern will make me look too big. Now I get compliments on how the color of my shirt brings out the color of my eyes. I never knew that my eyes changed colors with my clothes!

A funny story…my husband works overseas so when he came home for his first R&R a few months after my surgery, he walked right past me at the airport, he didn’t even recognize me! Needless to say, I kid him about it constantly but he doesn’t mind, he loves the new me.

Rosa F

rosa-largeMy weight has always fluctuated and I can easily say that I have tried every diet and gimmick there is to try to lose weight. Nothing ever seemed to help me lose weight and keep it off. When my daughter mentioned LAP-BAND, I began researching the procedure and found out how uncomplicated this surgery is and I saw so many good results from it.

When I made the decision to have LAP-BAND surgery, I never expected so many changes to happen. After my surgery, I began a routine of daily exercise and I noticed how the weight just started to peel off. I just could not stay at one size. I kept losing the weight and at the same time, I maintained a healthy way of life. I have now lost over 130 pounds and I feel terrific. In fact, at 63-years-old, I just completed my first triathalon! So you see, anything can happen with some help, and, of course, the will to live happy and healthy.

The LAP-BAND has given me a new lease on life. My life was wonderful before I had the procedure, but I didn’t know that I could have more friends than food. I didn’t know that exercising and getting into good physical shape would lead to completing a triathalon. I didn’t know what an emotional journey this would be for me. Food is no longer the glue that holds my life together. Life has certainly changed and I love my life even more now.

One thing, I must mention. Without the support of my LAP-BAND doctor, family, and, of course, my friends, this journey would not be complete. Their continual support through this phase in my life has helped me on my weight loss journey. To all of you, I graciously thank you for all your love and support.

Cathy K

cathyk-largeMy name is Cathy and I’m 41 years old. I’m married with five children and have been overweight for as long as I can remember. I have the most amazing, supportive husband. He has been there for me no matter what my weight has been. My weight struggle has been a mental drain on me. Everything I do revolves around my weight. I cannot tell you how many things I have missed out on in my life because of me not being comfortable in my body. My weight has also affected my job. I have passed up so many opportunities because I did not want to go in front of clients the way I looked.

My sister had weight-loss surgery and was very successful. One day, I was talking with her about how I felt about my weight. I had lost about 60 pounds on my own, but had put 40 of them back on and was still gaining. I had done this so many times in my life and had no self-esteem or the confidence that I would ever lose the weight and keep it off.

My sister told me about the LAP-BAND procedure; I had never heard of it before, so we got on the Internet and started researching. I decided to make an appointment with a local doctor, but weather issues prevented me from keeping my appointment. Time went by and I had put off rescheduling the appointment when, one day, a friend told me she had just had the LAP-BAND procedure. I could not believe it and immediately started questioning her! She told me all about JourneyLite and her surgeon, Dr. St. Laurent, and I was sold! I made the appointment, went to the seminar, and had the procedure done. It was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. I was banded on February 27, 2007 by Dr. St. Laurent, and have lost 40 pounds to date!

The procedure was done outpatient and I was home by noon that day. The first six weeks I spent getting adjusted to my band and then I got my first fill. I noticed a slight difference in my eating, but I soon adjusted to that and felt like I needed for my band to be tightened a bit more. I got my second fill a month later and this was better, but again, I felt like I wanted more restriction. The next month, I got my third and final fill. I now feel like it is perfect — I am restricted, but not too restricted. I do not feel like I will be getting any other fills any time soon.

For the first time in my life, I know I will never put my weight back on and I do not feel like I am on a diet. The way I feel about food and life has changed. I was always the one that would eat all the food on my plate and then start picking at my kids’ plates. Not anymore! I am the one that eats some of my food and then asks everyone else if they want any of my food. When we go out to eat, I usually do not order — I just get an extra plate and take some food from everyone else. I LOVE IT!

Dr. Matthew St. Laurent

Northwest Endosurgical

At Northwest Endosurgical in Houston, Texas, Dr. Matthew St. Laurent helps patients achieve dramatic weight loss and improved health through bariatric surgery. Dr. St. Laurent is one of the most experienced bariatric surgeons in greater Houston, and he is affiliated with several professional organizations, including:

  • The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
  • The American College of Surgeons
  • The Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons
  • The Obesity Action Coalition
  • The American Medical Association
  • The Texas Medical Association
  • The International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO)

To schedule a consultation, book online or give us a call at (281) 921-1890.

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