Our Customers Say It Best:
In 2013 my weight was over 500 pounds. I had talked to my doctor about gastric bypass, but was told that I would have to wait for surgery and I was getting frustrated. I was so tired of being overweight-I was at the point that I could hardly walk without my legs getting tired and giving out, and I definitely wasn’t able to play with my grandkids like I wanted. In April, I went to a new doctor who recommended the Lap-band. I was nervous about surgery, but this sounded like a good option.
When I went to BVSA for my consultation, the staff made me feel much more comfortable with the process and I finally found hope. I was able to schedule my surgery the next month! When I met Dr. Drahota at Blue Valley Hospital, he was great. He eased my anxiety about the procedure and actually made me laugh.
Now, two years after my surgery I have lost over 215 pounds. I’m able to do more and I’m getting ready to go back to school. I still visit the clinic for follow up and to make sure I am on track to reach my goal weight. It is hard work, but as long as you follow the program you can be successful. Exercise is the key and you have to eat the right things to keep your energy up. I love to share my story and connect with people who are going through a similar experience. There really is more to life, you just have to decide to make a change!–Lavonda, St. Louis
In August 2015 I decided to it was the time to start taking care of myself. I made the decision to have the gastric sleeve procedure. I really appreciate that BVSA gives you the necessary tools to succeed. The knowledgeable staff provide coaching and support when you hit a plateau. They offer helpful tips and resources to keep you headed towards your goal before and after surgery. The surgery gives you a jump start (almost like a battery) but what you do from there depends on you because everyone is different.
I was determined, worked very hard, was compliant, and I AM becoming a SUCCESS. I still have a ways to go, but using the tools provided to me and drawing of the skilled staff’s knowledge and support I’ve lost 62 pounds. If you want something bad enough are determined & dedicated, you can obtain your goal. This is a mental and physical challenge , but I know that staying focused and motivated and making better choices, will get me to that goal. I was in the hospital one night released the next day. I never took one pain pill, and my only regret is that I didn’t do this earlier in life, instead of at the age of 65! At our annual Christmas party I danced the night away (or as they say “I got my groove on”) I held up my end with the much younger generation and was full of energy and life!–Bobbie, Kansas City
My name is Douglas Palzer, I am a retired veteran with substantial back problems. I injured my back on a bad parachute jump in 1981 while serving in the US Army. I have been going to pain doctors and clinics ever since that time. I tried pain prescriptions, pain injections, radio frequency ablations (RFAs), pain needling, manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) and epidurals. Each of these treatments provided limited relief from my pain but did not address the underlying cause of my pain. I went to Blue Valley Surgical Associates (BVSA) pain clinic two years ago and finally received a referral to a BVSA spine surgeon. After seeing an orthopedic spine doctor it was determined that the cause of my pain was a severely deformed spinal column. I had herniated and ruptured discs in my neck (cervical), upper back (thoracic) and in my lower back (lumbar). I also had two discs that had completely degenerated to the point that my spine was bone on bone and putting extreme pressure on the nerve cluster at the spine.
The initial plan proposed was to have spinal fusion in my neck and lower back. Upon further exploration, I was told that this would entail fusing the spine together with metal plates that would prevent the discs from putting pressure against each other. I did not like the idea of losing my mobility as the fusion would prevent the joints from ever moving again. I asked Dr. William Reed, Jr, what he would do if it were his back and he needed to have it fixed. He stated that rather than having multiple fusions, he would have disc replacement surgery on those discs that were not too badly damaged. This surgery would allow me to have full motion at each of the levels completed. I liked this option much better and proceeded with disc replacement surgery in May. After two weeks off work and only walking for rehabilitation, I was experiencing about 70% less pain than prior to surgery. I felt so good that I went back for a neck surgery in September 2015 for one disc replacement with complete success.
After the two surgeries, I am in about 80% less pain then I was a year ago. I am very excited about the possibility of being totally pain-free after suffering for over 30 years. Going to BVSA and getting the professional help I needed was the best decision I ever made. I will be forever thankful to Dr. Reed for his help and surgical skill. I would encourage anyone suffering from back pain to get a professional opinion of the available options to address and correct the sources of their pain.–Doug Palzer