A Second Chance at Life

October 30, 2018
DHL Health News Magazine Fall 2018

“I’m not going to lie, it’s very hard, but once you get into it, it’s a piece of cake,” Jose "Polo" Dominguez says of the path that got him to where he is today. It was two years ago that he decided to have bariatric surgery. His weight had reached a point where he was regularly in pain in his feet and his joints. His body would ache just from driving long distances in the car, and he had high blood pressure and sleep apnea. He wanted to lose weight in a safe and timely manner, and he was ready to do what was needed to achieve his goals.

In March 2016, he had gastric sleeve surgery at Doctors Hospital of Laredo. This minimally invasive procedure involves removing a portion of the stomach and creating a thin vertical sleeve, which decreases hunger and increases the feeling of fullness. Dominguez says the first month after the surgery was the toughest, but the team at Doctors Hospital prepared him well so he knew what to expect.

“It’s a process,” Dominguez says of the weight-loss that followed. An essential component involved changing his diet. Before deciding to have the surgery, he gave into temptations like beer, fried chicken and other fattening foods. “I didn’t take care of myself,” he says. “Now it’s a different ball game.”

He’s committed to healthier choices and smaller portions. Exercise also has become a huge part of his life. He started with five minutes of walking and eventually worked up to an hour. “I went back to the gym,” he says. He does spinning class regularly and sometimes does back-to-back classes.

In the first year, Dominguez lost 120 pounds, and by year two he’d lost 160 pounds. He says that now he can enjoy walking and being active with his wife and family. He has a teenage daughter, an adult son and four grandchildren. “I look at it like having a second chance at life,” he says.

He jokes that he now feels “like a linebacker for the NFL®” instead of a fan snacking on the sidelines. He stays on track by attending bariatric support group meetings at Doctors Hospital. “No doubt about it, they’ve got the best team there,” he says.

Dominguez turns 56 this year and says age was a motivating factor to have the surgery. “I didn’t want it to take too long,” he says, noting that he wanted to lose the weight and start enjoying his life as soon as possible. “It’s all good,” he says of his experience and the results he’s achieved. His advice to others who choose to have weight-loss surgery: “Just stick to it and just go, and don't look back."

Could you be a candidate for weight-loss surgery?

There are lots of considerations involved in deciding to have bariatric surgery, and Doctors Hospital offers a number of ways for you to find out more about whether this may be an option for you.

Online seminars provide an opportunity for you to learn about weight-loss surgery and the different procedures available from the comfort of home. Also, a Bariatric Support Group is held regularly for people who have had bariatric surgery or are considering it.

Learn more about weight-loss surgery