Steven Penser was a self-proclaimed hermit. Unable to walk more than 100 feet without resting, he spent much of his time alone. Emphysema, cardiac and kidney problems left him unable to work and often required hospitalization. At five foot six inches, he weighed 357 pounds. Steve Penser was morbidly obese and at 51 years old, running out of time.
Board-certified surgeon Vadim Gritsus, M.D., recognized the severity of Mr. Penser's condition and performed gastric bypass surgery in the fall of 2005. "He would have been dead in a year if we hadn't done something." In a little over 12 months, Mr. Penser lost 200 pounds.
Mr. Penser's laparoscopic gastric bypass was without complications. Back home, work began in earnest. He focused on learning about food choices. "I needed to retrain the brain on how to eat proteins first, vegetables second, carbs third." He learned which food to avoid and how poor choices could make him ill. He kept a food diary and met regularly with Dr. Gritsus' nutritionist.
A couple of months after surgery, he could bend over to tie his shoes. He could wear a seatbelt again and shop unassisted at the supermarket. Best of all, he can walk three to four miles without effort and last spring, drove to New Mexico to visit his adult children and grandson.
Steve Penser now offers firsthand testimonials at many of Dr. Gritsus' seminars about weight loss surgery. "It's so beneficial for someone who is contemplating the procedure to hear what it really is," says Dr. Gritsus. "He is a changed man and has motivated a lot of people." To reach Dr. Gritsus, please call 201-265-0800.