Angela Britt, supervisor of patient operations for the Washington University Weight-Loss Surgery Program, has a unique perspective when she talks to patients about what they can expect with weight loss surgery. This is because she has gone through the program herself.
Britt was always an active person but had a larger physique, even as a child. When she grew up, she continued to grow heavier, and her weight became both a social and medical burden.
After many years of diets and exercise – and losing weight and regaining it to a BMI of 47.6 – Britt came to a crossroads.
Her previous position at Washington University brought her in contact with surgeon Christopher Eagon, MD. She attended a seminar and decided to undergo laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. The band was subsequently removed for medical reasons and Britt was converted to laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. Four years after conversion to sleeve, Britt has been able to keep off 90% of the 120 pounds she lost. In addition, her blood pressure and cholesterol are under control, she is no longer at risk for diabetes, and is able to enjoy long walks in the park with her husband.
“There are a lot of frustrations that come with being obese,” says Britt. “People ask why can’t you just go on a diet or exercise to lose weight?” I have been on diets and exercised and lost the weight and gained it back and then some. So I understand the frustrations of weight-loss surgery patients; I know where they have been.”
Britt found the surgical weight-loss program at Washington University to be very personalized. “What I liked about the program is that you have your appointments on separate days,” says Britt. “This allowed me to keep all of the information I had just received fresh in my head to discuss with my husband. I felt like I received an un-rushed, personal, quality meeting with each of the providers, preparing me for how life-changing the surgery would be.”
In her job as bariatric coordinator, Britt now attends surgical weight loss seminars and interacts with patients during their journey. She believes her own experience helps her relate to them. Britt enjoys helping others achieve their dream of a healthier life.