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Bariatric Surgery Gives Oak Ridge Woman New Lease on Life

For Gretchen Longcoy of Oak Ridge, life has begun anew at 50. Longcoy is embracing passing the half-century mark and enjoying a transformation in her body and health. The catalyst for her new vitality?  Bariatric surgery. Since undergoing surgical weight loss surgery in 2012 with Dr. Stephen Boyce of New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery, Longcoy has shed more than 100 pounds and changed her life.

“This was a life-saving procedure for me,” says Longcoy, a Realtor with Realty

Since undergoing gastric bypass surgery in 2012, Gretchen is healthier and more active than ever.

Since undergoing gastric bypass surgery in 2012, Gretchen is healthier and more active than ever.

Executives.  “After years and years of struggling with my weight and other health problems, I have new lease on life, after 50.”

Longcoy says she has always been heavy, attending her first Weight Watchers meeting when she was in the fifth grade.  But, she wasn’t obese until she got pregnant with her first child.

“I gained 40 pounds, then nine months later I got pregnant again. With the second baby I gained 60 more pounds,” explains Longcoy.

Over the next several years, subsequent back and foot surgeries compounded her weight gain and limited Longcoy’s mobility. “Even walking up stairs was difficult. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea and was pre-diabetic,” she remembers.

Longcoy considered bariatric surgery. Although many insurance companies cover the procedure,

Longcoy’s did not, so she dismissed the idea. But a trip to Dollywood with her sister, change her mind. “At Dollywood I had trouble fitting on a ride. It was so embarrassing,” remembers Longcoy. “That night my sister expressed concern about my health and encouraged me to undergo bariatric surgery. She said, ‘You’re worth it. This will extend your life.’”

Gretchen hours before undergoing Gastric Bypass surgery.

Gretchen hours before undergoing Gastric Bypass surgery.

Longcoy’s husband agreed. She selected Dr. Stephen Boyce of  New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery to perform Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, which reroutes the intestine into a new, smaller stomach pouch.

“It was important to me to go to a Center of Excellence  that specialized in bariatric surgeries,” says Longcoy. “I chose Dr. Boyce because of his experience -he was a Godsend!”

In the 2 years since the surgery, Longcoy has shed over 100 pounds, but more importantly, has changed the way she eats and lives.

“People who think weight loss surgery is an easy way out, are wrong. It’s a tool to help you change your life, but you have to be committed to making better choices for your body,” states Longcoy.

Longcoy now bikes and swims, and is healthier than ever. “It’s a new beginning. It’s transformed my relationship with my husband and myself,” smiles Longcoy. “I tell people ‘If you’re considering bariatric surgery, don’t let anything stop you. You deserve it, your life and health are worth it!’”

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