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Danielle Lamb

The transformation of Danielle Lamb

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

"Before surgery I felt like a caterpillar—slow and sluggish. Now I feel like a butterfly—light and airy," says Danielle. It's the perfect metaphor for the changes she has gone through since her gastric bypass surgery at Gundersen Health System in September 2012.

And her metamorphosis has inspired others. Danielle's mother also had gastric bypass a few months later. "My mother is doing remarkably well. I have a very close relationship with her and it's been great that we can support each other," says Danielle.

Then Danielle's father had weight-loss surgery—a procedure called sleeve gastrectomy—in 2014. "The sleeve procedure was a better fit for Dad. I appreciate that it's not one-size-fits-all. Surgery and after care at Gundersen are customized to each person's needs," she says.

To learn more about all the weight-loss options at Gundersen, candidates must attend an informational seminar. Advantages and risks of each procedure are discussed. Weight-loss surgery requires careful consideration of all options.

Danielle agrees, "This was not an overnight decision. I had some success with other weight-loss attempts, but I always lost the battle. I finally had to admit I couldn't do it myself. With the help of my Gundersen bariatric team and family, I finally got the result I needed from surgery."

She adds, "The support of my family was extremely important. This was not just another fad diet—this meant lifestyle changes for our household. Everyone was incredibly supportive, especially when I needed it most."

Today, Danielle admits she is not "scale-dependent," rather she goes off of how she feels. She's learned to listen to her body. "I didn't know how sick I was until I became well. My knees and body used to ache all the time, but it was my normal for so long I wasn't even aware of it," Danielle says.

"Now, my body has natural giddy-up-and-go," she adds. "Stairs don't scare me anymore. I actually enjoy being active and outside. My acid reflux is gone. My back and knee pain is resolved."

"Overweight since 2nd grade, I used to stay hidden in the back of the room. I shied away from doing things because I was physically uncomfortable and uncomfortable with who I was," she confides.

Today, Danielle is pleased to report, "Now I'm willing to step up, be seen, be a leader. I'm really proud of who I am. At a family gathering my daughter said she was proud of everything I've been through. This means a lot to me."

Anyone considering weight loss surgery is encouraged to attend Gundersen's free informational seminar "Understanding Your Weight Management Options." Call (608) 775-0055 or go to gundersenhealth.org/bariatrics for more information.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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