Presence Health

With over 1,000 surgeries performed at The Chicago Institute of Advanced Bariatrics, learn more from patients who now live healthier and happier lives.

Janeida’s Story


Before Weight: 380 lbs
Weight Loss Procedure: Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

Janeida was a young, college student who was morbidly obese. She couldn’t fit into a school desk or even cross her legs. Misery struck, and she shut herself from the world – until she had weight loss surgery. The surgery, she says, gave her a second chance for a beautiful life.


Michael’s Story


Before Weight: 287 lbs
Weight Loss Procedure: Sleeve Gastrectomy

At nearly 300 pounds, Michael’s eating was out-of-control. He had lost the sense of fullness and had compelling reasons to lose weight, fast. With diabetes, high blood pressure, bad knees, sleep apnea, and a family history of obesity - he was haunted by his mortality. He realized he was facing death and had to make a change. What he wanted most was a healthy life. Michael had been engaged for 20 years and wanted to spend another 20 with the love of his life. So, he underwent weight loss surgery in September of 2014. The day his life completely transformed. “I’m so much happier now. I realized the present moment is all we have. Each moment should be one of health and happiness.” In a matter of three months, his waste size went from a size 44 to a size 34 and his BMI went from 41 to 33.

Michael says his experience at the Institute has been an absolute pleasure and is singing its praises. What he loves most is that it’s an organized office that provides all the services one needs to have surgery. The dietician, the psychiatrist, the surgeon - are in one location, communicating with one another.

He says he looks forward to the monthly support meetings, planned by the staff at the center, because there's a wonderful camaraderie. “We all share this common passion for wellness and vitality.” He says he regrets not doing the surgery sooner, but jokes, “Now, I’ll be working on my cheekbones.”


Tarah’s Story


Before Weight: 315 lbs
Weight Loss Procedure: Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

Imagine weighing 315 pounds, feeling miserable, losing hope for the future and worst of all, not being able to sleep for 6 days straight. It was happening to Tarah. Her primary doctor told her if she didn't lose 100 pounds, she was never going to sleep again. After doing months of research, and meeting the team at the Chicago Institute of Advanced Bariatrics, she scheduled her procedure on her birthday. She wanted to give herself the gift of life.

Since her surgery, she lost 145 pounds and she's proud to say, she achieved an important goal: running one mile without stopping. Her dating life went from zero to 100. And, this summer, she plans to skydive with a friend – something she says, she never thought she could do in a million years.