A Woman's Life-Long Struggle with Weight Ends at BMC

47-year-old aesthetician and mother of two Lisa MacInnis has struggled with her weight most of her adult life.


Lisa MacInnis’s weight-related health problems began to resolve themselves after she underwent a gastric bypass at Boston Medical Center.

“I started gaining weight having too much fun in my twenties. As I gained it, I would become more and more depressed, and I would eat to soothe my emotions,” remembers Lisa.

Lisa tried to lose weight through time-consuming diets but would get discouraged when the numbers on the scale climbed even higher than before. By her mid-forties, she weighed 265 pounds and suffered from high blood pressure, sleep apnea and pre-diabetes.

Lisa’s turning point came while she was dropping her daughter off at a birthday party. She remembers walking to the house and being unable to catch her breath. Another mother at the party, a nurse by profession, brought her to a nearby fire station for a quick exam.

“It turns out my blood pressure was off the charts. They wanted to take me to the hospital in an ambulance. I was really scared. All I could think about was how much I wanted to see my daughters grow up and get married, and I wanted to meet my grandchildren,” said Lisa.

After that frightening episode, Lisa was determined to find a permanent solution to her weight-related medical problems. Her mother-in-law recommended Boston Medical Center’s Bariatric Surgical Program, where she had gone years before for her own gastric bypass procedure.

“I just walked through BMC’s doors and I have never looked back. Everyone in the office, including my surgeon Dr. Donald Hess, program coordinator Tony Fiscale as well as program nutritionist Wendy Andersen were just wonderful. They treated everyone with the same amount of dignity and respect. I thought, ‘this is the place for me,’” said Lisa.

After a full medical work-up and a consult with Director of Bariatric Surgery Donald Hess, MD, FACS, Lisa decided to proceed with a gastric bypass. During the two and half hour procedure, Dr. Hess divided Lisa’s stomach into two compartments and connected a limb of her intestine into the smaller compartment. The procedure helps patients to feel fuller faster and also reduces the absorption of food to help control weight gain.

Over the next year and a half, Lisa dropped from a size 24 to a size 6. She continued to visit BMC for support during her weight loss. Sessions with a behavioral therapist helped Lisa cope with the increased compliments she received on her appearance and improve her self esteem. Visits to BMC’s Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes, Nutrition and Weight Management helped her continue to lose weight until she reached her goal. 

Now at 135 pounds, Lisa’s health problems have entirely resolved themselves. She no longer has to sleep with a CPAP machine at night to prevent sleep apnea or take medication to control her blood pressure.

“One of my biggest regrets in my life is having very few pictures of me with my girls when they were growing up. Because of my weight, I just never wanted to be in a photograph. Now my life has changed in so many ways. I am looking forward to my future with my family and attending my 30-year high school reunion.”


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