sick of all the pills? Is weight-loss surgery right for you?

Patient Stories


Danielle Lamb of La Crescent, Minn., is a self-described butterfly after losing more than 125 lb. with bariatric surgery. Read Danielle's story...


Nina Maschka of Winona, Minn. had bariatric surgery in 2009. "I was over 300 lbs., unhealthy and unable to keep up or do just about anything. I was depressed and after trying numerous diet and exercise plans I felt I was out of options." Read Nina's story...


Ruth Volkman of Goodview, Minn., had bariatric surgery on Oct. 1, 2008. After the surgery, her Gundersen surgeon, Matthew T. Baker, MD, FACS, said to her, "Make me proud." True to her promise, Ruth has done just that. Read Ruth's story...

Jack and Sharon

Jack and Sharon Boyd do almost everything together. The Mondovi, Wis., couple own their own truck which they team drive. In addition, they both ride Harley Davidson motorcycles, too. With their shared interests and lifestyle, it's not surprising they also shared a common problem-they both were overweight. Read the Boyds' story...

David Widener before and after bariatric surgery at Gundersen.


Dave Widener, of Sparta, was aware there was a history of diabetes in his family as both his father and grandfather had died of diabetes. In 2008 after weighing 350 pounds, Widener knew he needed to make some changes or diabetes would take his life too. Read David's story...

Anne Sheldon before and after bariatric surgery.


Anne Sheldon of Onalaska loved to swim. But after gaining excessive weight from a medication she was taking, all the swimming and exercise in the world couldn't help Sheldon lose weight. Read Anne's story...

Colette Tieskotter before and after pictures


Colette Tieskotter of Decorah battled with being overweight for several years. She tried different diets, medications and any other options available to lose weight but just couldn't find one that worked for her. Read Colette's story...

Patti Poots-Flanders before and after photos


Patti Poots-Flanders loves to travel. But in 2006, weighing close to 400 pounds, she struggled to stand at work or go shopping, let alone travel. Read Patti's story...

In less than a year, Tim lost more than 120 pounds and gained so much more thanks to bariatric surgery at Gundersen.


Tim Soller isn't the man he once was. In fact, it could be said he's lost a part of himself…and that's a good thing. In 2009, the 41-year-old weighed nearly 300 pounds had little energy, suffered from high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnea, and was borderline diabetic. Read Tim's story...

Since having bariatric surgery at Gundersen, Jenny Roberge of Holmen has lost about 160 pounds and gained a love for exercise.


In September 2008, Jenny Roberge completed her first Ironman® triathlon in Madison, Wis.; in 2009 she completed her second. Finishing a race that involves 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and running a marathon is amazing by itself. But, what's even more astounding is that just two years before competing in her first Ironman, Jenny weighed 284 pounds. Read Jenny's story...

Brandy Cleveland


Brandy Cleveland and her husband wanted to be parents. But at more than 400 pounds, Brandy's weight was standing in the way of her dream of motherhood. She knew she needed to get healthy in order to have children, but her attempts at weight loss in the past had never been successful. Read Brandy's story...

On Nov. 7, 2007, Gundersen bariatric surgeon Matthew Baker, MD performed laparoscopic surgery on Barb.


Looking at Barb Lockington today, you'd never imagine that in 2007 her health was deteriorating as her weight climbed. At just 32 years old, she was 278 pounds and suffering from high cholesterol, pre-diabetes and blood pressure that was slowly creeping up. After trying time-and-time again to lose weight, she knew that gastric bypass surgery was a step she was ready to take. Read Barb's story...

Carmel Bladl feels like a new person after bariatric surgery.


Like many people who are trying to lose weight, Carmel Bladl tried just about everything. She'd been on diets. She joined weight loss programs. She exercised. But no matter what she did, she remained severely obese. Read Carmel's story...

In 2004, Mike underwent Bariatric surgery at Gundersen


In 2004, Mike underwent Bariatric surgery at Gundersen. At 305 pounds, he struggled with the little things in life. Activities like walking and climbing stairs had Mike gasping for air. Read Mike's story...

Only one year after surgery, Dawn had lost 142 pounds.


Only one year after surgery, Dawn had lost 142 pounds. Now, after two years and having a second child she has lost 173 pounds. While maintaining her weight loss success, she is healthier and more active than ever...and sorry that she spent so many years overweight.

Mike underwent bariatric surgery in the fall of 2002.


Mike underwent bariatric surgery in the fall of 2002. Since that time, he's lost about 140 pounds and went from a size 48 waist to size 34. He's also gained muscle mass by incorporating strength and cardiovascular training into his lifestyle. Read Mike's story...

 Linda Burch


After losing more than 200 pounds, Linda Burch is no longer confined to a wheelchair and has achieved her goal of standing to cook a meal to share with her husband. Read Linda's story...

After only one year, Sue La Crosse lost 146 pounds.


After only one year, Sue La Crosse lost 146 pounds. She is healthier and more active...and sorry she spent so many years overweight. Read Sue's story...

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Onalaska Clinic - Level 3
3111 Gundersen Drive
Onalaska, WI 54650
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Patient Stories

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Gale's Story Gale's Story


Shanu Kothari, MD, talks about Bariatric Surgery Shanu Kothari, MD, talks about Bariatric Surgery
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