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Melissa Purdy finds overall health improvement after bariatric surgery

After years of researching options and planning for bariatric surgery, Melissa Purdy, 49, is finally experiencing life without limits. In 2020, she attended a seminar at Bailey Bariatrics, where she learned her employer's provided health insurance didn't cover the cost.

"At that point, it kind of got put on hold and I was exploring how I was going to pay for it," said Purdy. "One of the reasons I switched jobs was so that I could get different insurance."

Feeling like she'd missed out on part of her children's lives and facing the possibility of a second knee replacement, she quickly arranged to have the surgery when her insurance changed.

"I wish I had been able to do it years ago, when my kids were little. I feel like I missed out on a lot with my own kids. And I had already had a knee replacement, and the other knee was acting up," said Purdy. "I knew that it had got to the point that I had to do something about the weight. I had to."

Purdy had a gastric bypass performed by Brandon Varnell, M.D. on June 29, 2022. Among her many goals while losing weight after surgery was spending time with her grandchildren.

"Getting off the blood pressure medication, not needing a second knee replacement, not having to take anti-depressant medications, being able to run after my grandkids, being able to cross my legs," said Purdy. "The list goes on and on and on. Every time I turn around there's something new that I couldn't do before."

Liz Burgess, MS, RD/LD

Purdy sees Liz Burgess, MS, RD/LD to help her stay on track and meet her nutritional needs. Since Purdy's stomach is now about the size of an egg, balancing her meals takes extra effort.

"For surgical patients, it's about forming habits so they can make the most out of their small meals," said Burgess. "My goal is helping them stay up with those habits."

Burgess says one of the most rewarding parts of the job is meeting with patients months after their surgery.

"I really love seeing the post-op side of things," said Burgess. "It's like you're talking to the same person, but they're almost like a different person when you see them post-op."

Purdy says getting off her blood pressure and anti-depressant medications has been the biggest change since her surgery, but she also has more energy at work.

"Standing on my feet at work for 10 hours is so much easier, I don't have an extra hundred pounds weighing me down," said Purdy. "I didn't realize how many people at work actually pay attention. There are people I've never spoken to walk up to me and say 'Hey, I don't know what you're doing but you look great.' I've helped set up a co-worker with Bailey."

Bailey prioritizes patient safety, which is something that Purdy took to heart.

"Bailey's staff are not going to do a surgery if it's not safe," said Purdy. "They're going to look under every rock and look at every test to make sure that you're safe to even do the surgery."

"We have everything all in one shop; you really can't find that anywhere else," said Burgess.

Click here to register for a seminar and learn more about Bailey Bariatrics.