Even as a child, Omernik struggled with her weight and was always on some kind of diet. She could lose the weight, but lacked the tools to keep it off. All Omernik wanted was to live life without feeling ashamed of herself. So in 2011, after much research and preparation, she had gastric bypass surgery, performed by Don Yarbrough, MD, a bariatric surgeon at Samaritan Weight Management and Metabolic Surgery Institute.
Gastric bypass surgery offers permanent and effective treatment for significant weight loss and long-term weight control. A small stomach pouch is created by dividing the stomach just below the esophagus. This limits the amount of food one can eat, while providing a satisfying “full” sensation.
A common misconception Omernik faced as a gastric bypass patient was that she took the easy way out.
“This is a life-long change, both emotionally and physically,” she said. “After surgery, I couldn’t return to the habits of my old life; I had to develop a new normal.”
The effects of Omernik’s gastric bypass were remarkable. But the excess skin she had caused discomfort and was often irritated. Not only that, for Omernik, it was a constant reminder of her former obesity. In 2013, she had an abdominoplasty – removal of excess flesh from the abdomen – performed by Kevin Day, MD, a plastic surgeon at Samaritan Plastic, Reconstructive & Hand Surgery.
Supported by her husband of 22 years, Steve, and daughter Katie, Omernik said she could not have done this without them. Going through this process has changed how the entire family looks at and approaches life.
Omernik no longer hides behind her weight or the shyness and lack of self-esteem that accompanied it; she is living the life she always wanted, embracing her new-found energy by spending more time outdoors and attending social engagements with her family.
For more information about Samaritan’s weight loss solutions, visit samhealth.org/WeightLoss or call 541-768-4280. To learn more about Samaritan’s reconstructive surgery options, visit samhealth.org/Plastics or call 541-768-4370.