Micaela Chapa

"I feel in control"

At 17 years old, despite being physically active and captain of her high school’s water polo team, Micaela Chapa weighed 350 pounds. Her obesity was causing other health problems as well, such as mild sleep apneaprehypertension and prediabetes.

Micaela’s mother has a successful gastric bypass surgery when Micaela was a child. Seeing her daughter struggle with obesity, she encouraged her to explore the same option. Eventually, Micaela ended up meeting with the Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery team at Lucile Packard’s Children Hospital Stanford.

Like most weight loss surgery patients, Micaela began by working with a nutritionist and a psychologist at the Pediatric Weight Clinic. With their support, she lost almost 50 pounds. After the surgery, the weight continued to steadily come off, as she continued exercising and decreasing the size of her meals. Now, four years after her surgery, she has lost a total of 165 pounds and is holding steady at a weight of 180 pounds.

Micaela, now a student at Solana Community College, said that while she will always have to follow a strict diet and exercise program, she feels more confident she will keep the weight off.

“After the surgery,” she said, “I really felt like a changed person, and I had a very powerful tool on my side. For the first time, I feel in control of my weight loss.”