In November 2012, Shenita Benjamin, 36, a professional billing coordinator at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, was at her wit’s end. She was on blood pressure medication, fluid pills and had just been prescribed medication for diabetes.
Now the only pills Shenita takes are vitamins. No more high blood pressure. No more kidney problems. No more diabetes. And she has shed 120 lbs.
Bariatric surgery restored Shenita to good health. Following surgery, the outward sign is massive weight loss; the inward sign is a second chance at a better life.
Shenita says, “My family history included massive heart attacks, diabetes and liver failure, and I was heading there. When I learned about bariatric surgery here at the hospital, I signed up. I prepared for six months, because the surgery — mine was gastric bypass — is a life style change. So many things have changed — my mood, my work, my family — and my energy level is through the roof. A year later, my family had a reunion on the Spirit of Washington. When I walked on the boat, I kept hearing, ‘Where is Shenita? Where is Shenita?’ Finally one brother came over and said, ‘Shenita?!’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s me!’”
For more information or to register for a seminar, call 202-877-7788. The Bariatric Surgery Program at the Hospital Center is made up of three surgeons, a gastroenterologist, clinical nurse, dietitian, program coordinator and office staff. The program has been named an accredited comprehensive center by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) through the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).
Gastric bypass: 2001
Pre-surgery weight: 289 pounds
Post-surgery weight: 115 pounds
Gastric bypass: 2010
Pre-surgery weight: 300 pounds
Post-surgery weight: 225 pounds
Gastric bypass: 2009
Pre-surgery weight: 290 pounds
Post-surgery weight: 180 pounds
Gastric bypass: 2011
Pre-surgery weight: 380 pounds
Post-surgery weight: 220 pounds