Many of our patients have struggled with weight issues for most of their lives. Many of them have chronic diseases including diabetes and high blood pressure, and have had little success with losing weight on their own. We invite you to learn more about our patients, their stories, and their successful weight loss procedures.
Nikki Laster, Niantic
“My new healthy habits have translated to a healthier life for my entire family,”
said gastric bypass patient Nikki Laster.
After fighting her weight for many years, trying several different diets, and being diagnosed with hypertension and diabetes, Ms. Laster decided it was time to pursue a surgical weight loss procedure. She did a lot of research on the various options available and sought the advice of her primary care physician.
“My doctor referred me to Dr. Tousignant. She thought he was the best,” said Ms. Laster. “It was important for me to find a surgeon I felt comfortable with and who would have patience. I found this in Dr. Tousignant and his care team.”
In September 2013, Dr. Tousignant performed gastric bypass surgery on Ms. Laster, who reports having had no side effects from the surgery.
“In six months, I’ve lost 50 pounds,” said Ms. Laster. “The Backus Weight Loss Center has taught me simple ways to improve my eating habits and cook healthier foods. I’m now off of all my medications and enjoy going to the gym four times a week. I can now keep up with my 14-year-old son.”
Keri Rochette, Bozrah
Bozrah resident Keri Rochette leads an active lifestyle. At 64-years-old, she balances a fulltime job, home life, and is on the go with her young grandchildren. Being overweight, however, Ms. Rochette admits that it was difficult to keep up.
On July 19, 2013, Ms. Rochette was one of the first patients at Backus to have gastric bypass. Following a consultation, nutritional counseling and check-ups with various specialists, she was prepared to start a new chapter of her life.
“Since the surgery, I’ve lost nearly 70 pounds,” said Ms. Rochette. “This is the first time in my life that I’ve been able to shop in regular women’s sizes. I’ve gone from a 2XL in clothing to a medium. I even bought my first size small.”
Ms. Rochette is appreciative of the support that she continues to receive from all the staff at the Backus Weight Loss Center. Registered Dietitian Joan Sommers has taught her simple tips to make her favorite foods and recipes healthier.
Marion Leep, Baltic
“I didn’t want anymore asthma attacks or hospital stays,” said Ms. Leep as she described her journey to the Backus Weight Loss Center.
Within a two-year time span, Ms. Leep had three hospital stays, all nine days or longer.
“During my last hospital stay, I knew I needed to do something. I saw an article in the local newspaper about Backus’ weight loss program, so I decided to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tousignant,” she said. Since her September 2010 surgery, Ms. Leep has lost 95 pounds. She no longer has asthma attacks and is off all her medications.
“For me, weight loss is mental warfare. It’s about the mind. The Lap-Band is a tool to help me regulate my food intake,” said Ms. Leep.
She added, “I can walk and breathe easier. This surgery has helped me to maintain an active lifestyle and keep up with my young grandchildren.”
Nicole Krueger, Norwich
Running was something that Ms. Krueger could never have done prior to her May Lap-Band surgery. The 33-year-old Norwich resident decided to have the procedure shortly after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I knew that weight could be a contributing factor to cancer, and I wanted to give myself the best odds,” Ms. Krueger said.
She added, “My son was also born prematurely, as I had high blood pressure and preeclampsia. I needed to be healthier for him.”
In the six months since her surgery, Ms. Kreuger has lost more than 60 pounds. She now enjoys an active lifestyle with regular workouts, running and kickboxing.
“Dr. Tousignant’s office is very supportive. I can email or call whenever I need help, and they always get back to me quickly,” she said.
Tina Bogle, Griswold
“I couldn’t lose weight and never felt full,” said Ms. Bogle.
The mother of two was experiencing the classic symptoms of obesity including achy knees, a sore back and feet. Discouraged, she approached her primary care physician, Bert Coppotelli, MD, a member of the Backus Medical Staff, about the Backus Weight Loss Center.
The second patient of the weight loss center, Ms. Bogle has lost nearly 40 pounds. She enjoys a healthy diet including lean meats, nuts and berries. She also runs six times per week and takes pleasure in playing with her daughters.
“Now I can get up off the floor easily. I’m not out of breath when I walk up the stairs, and I can complete my daily activities without a problem.”
Edwin Kent, Ledyard
With his Lap-Band surgery nearly seven months behind him, Mr. Kent has lost 71 pounds.
“I needed to do something,” he said. “I had tried losing weight in the past, but nothing worked. I saw a write-up in the paper about the Backus Weight Loss Center, so I decided to call.”
Mr. Kent attended one of the center’s informational sessions, and within two months, he was having his surgery. He said, “Before I got the Lap Band, I had to have tests and screenings to make sure that I was ready and prepared.”
Since his surgery, Mr. Kent has learned how to slow down and eat, and now substitutes higher fat foods with lighter alternatives such as chicken, vegetables and granola. His greatest accomplishment is that he’s now off his blood pressure and cholesterol medications.
Arlene & Thomas Phillips, Salem
The Phillipses have lost a total of 114 pounds in the past eight months. The couple had tried everything to lose weight over the years, but it was the Backus Weight Loss Center that eventually tipped the scales in the right direction.
The oldest patient to have the surgery since the weight loss center opened, Mrs. Phillips, 67, decided to have the Lap-Band procedure after her orthopedic surgeon told her a knee replacement would be more successful if she lost 30 to 50 pounds.
“I was tired of being heavy and gaining weight year after year. After talking about it, we decided to do this together,” said Mr. Phillips.
Dr. Tousignant performed Mrs. Phillips’ Lap-Band procedure in June. Since entering the program, to date, she has lost 44 pounds, and her husband, Thomas, who had his surgery in May, has lost 70 pounds.
Mrs. Phillips added, “We are a built-in support group for each other. We’re learning how to slow down and eat. We cook together and try new recipes.”