21 Jul Patient Spotlight: Caleb Zehnder
When Caleb turned 30, he knew he had to make a change. He had moved to Kentucky 3 years ago, and he loved exploring everything the state had to offer – the travel, the horses, the local bourbon. But he felt that some of his bad habits were slowing him down.
Caleb wanted to accomplish a lot in his personal and professional life, and he wanted to stay fit and healthy for as long as he could. He had heard of Dr. Smith and his work at the Kentucky Bariatric Institute, so he decided to try out their program.
After consulting with the team, Caleb scheduled a sleeve gastrectomy, a procedure in which 80% of the stomach is removed to reduce calorie intake. This surgery would once have been an invasive, intensive experience, but Dr. Smith and his team used robotic technology – including the DaVinci surgical arm – that allowed them to complete the procedure with few incisions in just 30 minutes.
Like many patients, Caleb worried about the negative effects of painkillers, but his surgery went so smoothly that he never had need for additional medication. As he rested in the hospital post-operation, Caleb’s nurses were impressed by the speed of his recovery.
Four months after his surgery, Caleb has lost 97 pounds. He feels that he has gained much of his life back – today, Caleb travels, exercises, and socializes in ways he had avoided when his health was at risk. Caleb knows that his weight-loss journey is not over, and he’s excited to see what the next few years will bring.
For patients concerned that bariatric surgery is just a “quick fix” or an “easy button,” Caleb assures that’s not the case. Bariatric surgery enables lifestyle changes; by changing his living and eating habits, Caleb knows the benefits of his treatment can last the rest of his life. He loved his experience with the professional and supportive team at Kentucky Bariatric Institute, and he encourages other weight-loss patients to seek them out as well.
“I can’t speak highly enough about the entire team,” Caleb said. “From the schedulers, the insurance coordinators, the dieticians, the PAs, and Dr. Smith – they really have a well-rounded approach of making you feel at ease. This is not an easy decision, it’s a life-changing decision. For them to all come together and support and provide that outlet and education was fantastic.”