Janet underwent sleeve gastrectomy surgery at our Dallas office (North Texas Bariatric & General Surgery, P.A.) after her doctor told her that she needed to take action.
JANET: My name is Janet Stepp, and I chose to have the gastric sleeve procedure with Dr. Veninga to save my life. He saved my life, and I owe him a lot for that. He was just very easy to talk to, you know? He understood what I was going through, and he made it very easy for me to cry on his shoulder, be happy, and he knew what I was going through. He's like, I'm going to help you. My family, we all have heart disease in our family; it's hereditary. And my brother had open heart surgery, and I had went to a follow-up appointment with his doctor, and we were sitting there discussing family history and he had operated on several members of my family, and he just looked at me and said Janet, you're next. He said you're way over weight, you're going to die, and I can't save you if you don’t do something. And I just realized at that moment I had fought my weight all my life, but I realized at that moment that it could kill me, and I had to do something. The day that I came in to see Dr. V, they took a picture and when I look at that picture now, I can't believe I let myself get that way. I can't believe I let myself get to that point and I feel sad. But now I'm happy because I know that that's still me, but I overcame a lot, a lot of obstacles to get to where I am now. Oh I knew it was worth it from day one. It was just, I don't know, I just felt this whole thing life off my shoulders. It was like a burden I had carried for 38 years of being overweight, and I knew within 24 hours of having the procedure that my life was going to change, and that it was all going to be--every bit of it was worth it, every bit of it. When I put on a pair of my old pants, I like to put them on and then, like, let go and let them drop, because I can actually probably stand in one leg of the pair of pants that I used to wear. I've lost an entire person, 155 pounds. The reaction from family and friends is they're in awe, they can't believe it's me. My life has changed in so many different ways; health wise, that was my main concern for doing the procedure. Within three months of having my surgery I was off every prescription I was ever given. My blood pressure is normal. My diabetes, I wasn't a diabetic, but I was close. I am nowhere near that. I don’t take any prescription medications that anywhere relate to a health issue. My energy level is through the roof. I work out four days a week with a personal trainer. I could have never done that before. I would have the procedure all over again tomorrow, and every person I speak to that asks me about it, I will sit down and talk to them about it, I will tell them the pros, the cons, and by the time we get up and walk away from that conversation, Dr. V has another patient. Because it was amazing, it was a life changing experience.