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When the Rangel siblings first visited the Pediatric Weight Clinic and Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery program, Michelle weighed 365 pounds and Miguel weighed 385. They struggled to go outside, and they and their parents were worried about other obesity-related health concerns such as pre-diabetes, knee pain, hormonal imbalances and sleep apnea. In less than two years, with the assistance of the Adolescent Bariatric Surgery program and Pediatric Weight Clinic, the Rangel siblings have lost a combined total of 200 pounds. They are enjoying sports and the outdoors and many of their health problems have alleviated.
Like every patient considering bariatric surgery, the Rangel siblings started by going through an evaluation period. During this period, they underwent a series of assessments and trainings that ensured they would have the skills and dedication necessary to be successful. Because of the program’s team-oriented, collaborative approach, the Rangel children lost a combined 75 pounds in the six months before the surgery using the diet and exercise program that the nutritionists and psychologists developed for them.
They reported that the diet during the program was the hardest part. It was 8 to 10 weeks before they could eat normal foods, including a full liquid diet for a month after the surgery and 2 to 3 weeks of pureed foods after that. The surgery only involved one week of physical downtime, after which they “were eager to get back to school,” according to their mom.
Miguel and Michelle lost 50 pounds in the first 6 months after the surgery, and they have lost an additional 50 pounds a year after the procedure.
Much of their success comes from their dedication to their health. They never miss a clinic appointment, and they wake up at 5:00 a.m. to work out with a family friend who trains them. Michelle is now excitedly talking about going to cosmetology school, and she credits the surgery, diet and training regimen with helping her feel more comfortable about what’s in her future. Miguel has joined the football team at James Lick High School, but is looking forward the most to the soccer season.
No one sums up their story better than their mom, Theresa: “I can see in their faces that they’re more comfortable with who they are, and you can tell that they like feeling and being helpful.”