GLEN RIDGE, NJ — As a young adult, Olivia Davis was in great physical shape and had always lived a very health conscious lifestyle; but after giving birth to her daughter in the 1990s, she found it hard to maintain that lifestyle.
Due to a series of "bad events" in her 40s that contributed to her weight gain, Davis explained that she "had to have a hysterectomy, foot surgery on both feet and knee and shoulder surgeries to fix injuries sustained from a car accident.” And although she was still physically active whenever possible, she continued to gain weight.
After being diagnosed with high blood pressure, the New Jersey resident decided to seek help and contacted Dr. Karl Strom, a weight loss surgeon at The Center for Advanced Bariatric Surgery in Glen Ridge.
“I wanted to do something for myself that would not only extend my life expectancy, but also make me a better person all around,” said Davis. “Dr. Strom is a top-rated bariatric surgeon, so I knew I was on the best path by contacting him.”
Upon meeting Dr. Strom, Olivia knew she was in the right place because "he was very engaging and optimistic,” she said.
“Any of the initial fears and concerns that I had were immediately put to rest," said Davis. "He encouraged me to participate in the motivational sessions on the weekends and to start working on some of the dietary changes that I would need to make post-operation.”
Davis underwent surgery in August of 2016 and has since maintained her weight loss of 100 pounds.
“Dr. Strom really teaches you how to eat, how to watch your portion sizes and how to mix the right amount of nutrients in terms of the carbohydrates, fats and proteins that you eat,” said Davis, who added that the care she received in the hospital before and after her surgery made a lasting impression on her. “Every single person I encountered was incredible and they were all very supportive.
"The anesthesiologist even went as far as warming up the anesthesia for me because I couldn’t stand the thought of that cold substance running through my arms. I really cannot say enough about how caring the team at Mountainside was.”
As Davis approaches her three-year surgery anniversary, she couldn’t be happier with her results.
“Now that I’m on the other side of it, I’m just so happy with who I am now,” she said. “I love shopping now. I used to be a size 24 and now I can wear a size six or eight. Every single thing about the process has been rewarding for me.”
Davis, who is getting ready to celebrate her 60th birthday, is more active than ever—running "a couple of miles several times a week.”
“Since my knees aren’t wearing out anymore, exercising is more enjoyable for me," she said. "Over a recent weekend, I was in New York City and all of the younger people around me were amazed with how active I am. I owe all of that to Dr. Strom. He is the most wonderful man.”
Davis added that her other health complications have also receded, stating that "the amount of medications that [she] takes for high blood pressure has greatly reduced.”
“I also used to take a much higher dosage of cholesterol medicine, which my doctors have significantly lowered," she said. "My doctor visits have been reduced to bi-annually rather than once a quarter. My overall health is really so much better.”