Plastic Surgery Stories

William R.

My dreams for a better life started with the staff of a Center for Obesity Surgery.

Although my case was anything but normal (I also had a tumor on my adrenal gland that was pressing up against my spleen.) I decided to have both the adrenalectomy and gastric bypass surgeries at the same time.
I can not say enough about Dr. Eva Fischer, Nancy Restuccia and Lorraine Olivero. They have helped me every step of the way. I've lost 125 pounds so far, and I am ready to start a new chapter in my life. My thanks and love to them all.

The most commonly performed procedure in the U.S. for obesity because of its effectiveness; involves dividing a portion of the stomach to create a small pouch. A small opening in the pouch attaches to a limb of the small intestine, bypassing a portion of the digestive tract. Estimated loss 12 to 18 months after surgery: approximately 50 to 70 percent of excess weight.


For those of you who do not know me, my name is Stephanie and I had WLS eight days after my 42nd birthday on March 5, 2001. My surgery was performed by both Drs. Fischer and Bessler, (yes it IS all about me).

I can't begin to tell you how much my life has changed; for the better after having this surgery. I look in the mirror and can't believe the person I see before me!

I use to walk with a cane. I would just go to work and come home. You can't keep me in the house these days! I have met the most incredible group of people on the web site who have become my family. Their support during good and bad times during my journey, I believe, is one of the keys to my success. The love and support of my parents and brothers during my times of fear at the beginning of my journey helped me not to give up. They let me know they were behind me, yet they gave me just enough space that I could make this decision on my own. And for the first time in my life of battling my weight I KNOW I am going to make it!

I have found a friend in food; I now have learned to eat for nourishment not for stress. Instead, I shop! I have also learned to not fear the scale. I use to have such anxiety whenever it was time to get weighed in the past. And did you know that you could eliminate sugar from your diet and not turn to sand? All kidding aside, I am so grateful for the chance to get my life back! I now go to they gym three times a week, who would have thought I could do that!

My total weight loss to date is 253.5lbs!

Whenever I welcome a new member to the group I always write my current weight loss and these infamous words ... GONE FOREVER! I endeavor to make that so!


My weight never hindered me. I've always been heavy – it runs in my family. But when a dental patient complained about my weight, I consulted Dr. Aronne who referred me to Dr. Bessler.

I wanted to schedule surgery immediately after meeting with Dr. Bessler, but he told me to take the weekend to think about it. I appreciated the fact that he didn't push the surgery on me. I weighed nearly 400 pounds before the surgery and have lost over 160 pounds, and counting.

When I have a bad day, I'll call Nancy, Dr. Bessler's nutritionist, who will help me ride it out. I can travel more – airplane seats aren't uncomfortable any more and I am excited about my new muscles and taking kickboxing and karate classes.


Last year, about one week after my 26th birthday, I had Gastric Bypass surgery. It was the scariest and most exciting decision I ever had to make. I say "had to" because I could not go on living that way any longer. I had spent my entire life existing as an obese person and on the day of surgery I weighed in at a whopping 319 pounds, my heaviest ever. I was a slave to food and I was only getting bigger. I tried almost everything to gain control and lose the weight but was unsuccessful time after time. Finally, I gained the courage to admit that I couldn't fight this battle without some serious medical help.

Last week, I celebrated my 27th birthday. Unlike past years, I also celebrated my re-birth this year! I have lost about 140 pounds so far and have gained so much more than a scale could ever measure. I have a new body, a new outlook on life and a new confidence in myself. Words cannot explain the difference this procedure has made in my life. Medically, physically, emotionally and mentally, I am like a new woman! Thanks to The Center for Obesity Surgery, Dr. Bessler, Lorraine, Nancy, their incredible staff and my courage, I have been given the gift of an amazing 'tool' with which I have finally succeeded!

I can sit here and type hundreds, if not thousands, of pages on my experiences as a morbidly obese person but I won't because all those who seriously consider obesity surgery already know the pain, hurt, shame, ridicule, anger and heartache first hand. However, I will say that if you are considering weight loss surgery, please know that The Center for Obesity Surgery is the place to go for help. I cannot imagine having these kinds of results without the undying support and unsurpassed care I received, and continue to receive, at The Center for Obesity Surgery. If you want the best for yourself, you have to go to the best to get it! I wish you the best of luck in your journeys and please remember that it is possible!

Eric and Patricia

My Lap-Band™ experience has been one of the best decisions of my life. I would do it over and over again.

I am so happy I had the Lap-Band™ surgery. It has given me back my life, and hope. I never thought I would look normal again. I love it.


Two years ago on 8/22, I was sitting in the preop waiting area of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. My head was filled with thoughts of what life would be like if I didn't weigh 480 lbs. As Dr. Bessler came in to speak to me and my family, I knew in my heart it was the right decision. Many of us know all too well the silent death we die because we are treated like second class citizens, just because we are fat. The isolation, the depression that only causes us to eat more.

I have given myself two wonderful gifts in my life. The first was therapy, it gave me the ability to let go of all the self-doubt I felt, due to all the failures of loosing weight and gaining it back. The surgery was easy, it was the emotionally battle of war I had to get through to allow myself to be happy. The second gift was Dr. Bessler and the surgery.

I now weight 285 lbs and I work out at the gym 5 times a week, and it feels great. Instead of lying in bed with a bag of chips and dreaming of the life I always wanted. I am actually living it. My family and friends are so thrilled to see me actively participate and enjoy life. I have recommended the surgery to a lot of my friends and some have done it and others are in the process. I want people to have the same freedom and joy I am now experiencing.

Today I can say I am living the life I dreamed, and I am living a life I love. I can't even begin to express the difference and contribution Dr. Bessler and his staff has made in my life. He has given me the opportunity to take charge of my life and dare to live it to the fullest!


Every day since my surgery has brought a new level of energy and a desire to live my life to its fullest. I can't wait to get up in the morning and walk my two dogs. For the first time, I love the person in my body and I have a positive sense of self.

My respiratory problems are gone and I no longer have constant reflux or aspiration of food. I follow all dietary advice and by gradually building up my exercise to at least 1 hour daily, all my loose flesh has been re-absorbed—without surgery.

My one sadness is that I missed so much time feeling awful. But life is now and it doesn't help to look back. Happiness is a daily blessing. Thank you Dr. Bessler, for helping me become this happy person.