Patient Testimonials


Wt: 322 lbs
BMI: 45.9

Wt: 220 lbs
BMI: 29

Being large most of my adult life, I had grown comfortable with my size. But as I became older my body became a burden. Developing diabetes, with medication four times a day, along with diabetic neuropathy and muscle and joint pain, my doctors told me my body would not be able to sustain any type of quality life. They also said that I would probably not live another 10 - 15 years. This prompted me to have Lap-Band surgery. With non-invasive surgery, minimal recovery and very little discomfort I knew it was my only option. One year later I weighed 102 lbs. less, the diabetes became non-existent and I am no longer on medications. The only joint and muscle pain is from my twice a week exercise program. I feel GREAT! With the fantastic support of my family and the staff at Hamilton Weight Management, I am able to live life again, instead of just existing.




Wt: 430 lbs
BMI: 52.9

Wt: 305 lbs
BMI: 38.5

Buz's first recollection of being overweight was with a sprained back at his doctor's office in 1962 at the age of 12 when he weighed 222 pounds. The following years were: high school freshman at 245; sophomore 270; junior 285; and senior year was at 290 pounds. In college his weight was 325 during football season and higher in the off-season. In 1972 Buz joined the FBI and for 28 years his weight roller-coastered between 240 and 380 pounds. In 1998 he was diagnosed with advanced heart failure and when he retired in 2000 his life was sedentary. In late 2000 and early 2001, Buz participated in a promotional campaign for a weight loss product, and lost weight down to 305 pounds, but quickly rebounded past his original 390 to 430 pounds. Later that year, almost relegated to a wheelchair and feeling that this was his last option for weight loss, he learned of the LAP-BAND procedure being performed at Hamilton Medical Center by one of the top surgeons in this field in the United States. Buz contacted Hamilton Medical Center's Surgical Weight Management department in October, 2001. Since his LAP-BAND surgery at the end of January, Buz has gone from 430 pounds to 305 pounds.




Wt: 273 lbs
BMI: 53.3

Wt: 145 lbs
BMI: 28

"Most of my life I have been overweight. At the age of 44 I had topped out at 280 lbs. and was headed for a heart attack or stroke. I had been diagnosed with exercise induced asthma, uncontrolled high blood pressure, sleep apnea and I had constant headaches daily. Today, I have lost over 100 lbs. and have gone from 13 medications to 3. I have not even had one asthma attack in over a year. I am able to exercise and walk longer distances without difficulty breathing. I do not have sleep apnea now. And due to normal blood pressure I also no longer have headaches. I feel that because of the Lap-Band procedure my life has been changed. Family activities are no longer a problem for me. I do not tire easily from daily routines."




Wt: 303 lbs
BMI: 50.52

Wt: 205 lbs
BMI: 33.68

I had Lap Band surgery in March, 2002. Dr. Jaime Ponce performed the surgery at Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton. There are at least ten good reasons why I chose this procedure. I was tired of being overweight. I would lose weight on diet programs, and then gain it all back, plus a few more. My knees, feet and ankles were always swelling and hurting. I was very tired and had no energy. I was not able to do any outside activities. I wanted to be around to watch my children grow up and I wanted to spend more time with them and be able to be a part of their activities. I have a family history of diabetes and high blood pressure. I wanted to be able to walk across a parking lot or up a flight of steps and not be out of breath. I wanted to feel better about myself. With the help of Hamilton Surgical Weight Management, Hamilton Medical Center and Dalton Surgical Group, I am now doing what is best for me.




Wt: 248 lbs
BMI: 39

Wt: 177 lbs
BMI: 27

In August 2001, I visited my OB/GYN for my annual physical. I weighed almost 250 pounds, which was the heaviest I had been in my life, including when I was pregnant with my twins. Fortunately my physician was familiar with the Lap-Band procedure and suggested that I look into it. He had watched me struggle with my weight for 10 years, losing a few and gaining back a few more. I am the mother of four children and I noticed that as my weight increased I spent more time watching their lives and less time participating in them. That was not how I wanted to spend my life. I contacted the Hamilton Medical team and received the packet of information. After reading the packet and researching the surgery on the Internet, I scheduled an appointment for the evaluation. From that day forward my life has changed. Dr. Rick Fromm (or Dr. Rick as he is affectionately known to his patients) and Beverly spent time answering my questions, talking with me about my history, and my responsibilities if I elected to have the surgery. My surgery was March 5, 2002. Today my weight is 177 pounds. Now I am a participant in my life...not just a spectator. I love being healthy, feeling good, being able to exercise and enjoy my children. The benefits to my life cannot be measured. I am no longer tired and lethargic, food is no longer my enemy, and clothing is no longer a source of anxiety. Today I have the energy to do the things I want and the ability to eat and not gain weight. Buying clothes has become a source of pleasure. I look forward to reaching my goal weight and enjoying my new life.




Wt: 273 lbs
BMI: 43.3

Wt: 165 lbs
BMI: 26

"A lifetime of obesity was leading me to an early death. At 273 pounds, I had developed diabetes, heart disease, and kidney dysfunction. No amount of willpower, "dieting," or good intentions were enough to help me lose, and more importantly, keep the excess weight off. After careful research, I had an adjustable laparoscopic band placed in late November 2002. I’ve lost 108 pounds and no longer take diabetes medication. This wonderful tool has allowed me to lose weight at a comfortable pace without hunger. The band and support from the Surgical Weight Management Center has also led to behavior changes like healthier eating choices and more exercise. With my healthier lifestyle, I’m taking advantage of work, family, and fun because now I can!




Wt: 292 lbs
BMI: 43.2

Wt: 217 lbs
BMI: 32

"I was introduced to the lap band procedure in December 2000 by a good friend of mine, who was having the procedure later in the month. I had battled with my weight since High School due to an injury to my knee that caused me to have surgery. I was always very active until that point. I would eat just to have something to do. I did not eat because I was hungry, I would eat because it tasted good.  In 1997, I tried Phen-Fen and lost 45 lbs, only to find out the side effects. In June of 1997, I became pregnant and gained that plus more back. I was at my heaviest ever 310 lbs. I tried more diets but nothing worked. I had my surgery on 3/31/01. I am a full time single Mom who wants to be around to see my little girl grow up. I knew I needed to lose weight for my health and myself. Thanks to a wonderful family, great support from all the Bandits, Dr. Ponce and Staff, I have lost 75 lbs since surgery. I feel wonderful and would do it over again in a minute. I enjoy being able to be active with my child and not have to stop and catch my breath. But one of the best things is getting a second look from guys!!!!"




Wt: 232 lbs
BMI: 36.4

Wt: 169.5 lbs
BMI: 29.6

"I would just like everyone to know how I feel about the Lap-Band surgery. I feel like it gave me my life back. I have always had a weight problem. I have been on every diet program you can think of and losing and gaining it back was my typical result. Then my heart problem started. At age 32, I had my first heart attack. By the time I reached 44, I had a total of 4. Doctors agreed that my weight problem had a lot to do with my heart trouble. I heard about the Lap-Band surgery through a friend of mine at the doctor's office. After speaking with my friend, I set up an appointment for my first consultation. And then I went to two seminars before I had my surgery. Just hearing all the testimonies from the people who had the Lap-Band surgery was such a great feeling. Everyone needs to know that the Lap-Band surgery can help you, but it only gives you a 50% chance.  The other 50% has to come from you. 




Wt: 263 lbs
BMI: 41

Wt: 170 lbs
BMI: 27

I have been overweight all my life. I have been on every diet there is and have lost hundreds of pounds and gained it all back and more. But I also have always loved to eat with gusto. I never thought I would have a drastic surgery done that would restrict my eating because "I like to eat too much!" I would say. However, as my health continued to decline, I continued to get larger and more sedentary and more and more discouraged.  I realized I wanted to LIVE WITH GUSTO and be healthy more than being able to "pig out" whenever I wanted. I researched the gastric lap-band surgery and felt confident it was safe and that Dr. Ponce knew what he was doing. I weighed 263 lbs when I had the gastric lap-band surgery in December 2000. I have lost 80lbs and have gone from size 2-3X to a 16 so far. My BMI was 42 and is now 27. I continue to lose and know I will reach my goal at a safe rate. I have never regretted it; I know without a doubt I will keep the weight off now with my built-in will power and exercise which I can now do without so much pain and discomfort. I feel so much healthier, I feel like I can do anything I want to now. For the first time, I'm looking forward to the summer and to the rest of my life. I am glad I had the surgery and I am so very thankful for Dr. Ponce and Beverly Poarch for their continued encouragement, concern and support."




Wt: 245 lbs
BMI: 43.4

Wt: 150 lbs
BMI: 27

I have been overweight since my teenage years. After the birth of my children I gained even more weight. I have tried several weight loss programs, only to lose some weight and then regain even more weight back. I had gained up to 245 pounds and had numerous health problems, including asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, back and knee pain and was diagnosed as being borderline diabetic. Since LapBand surgery in August 2002, I have lost 95 pounds. I feel wonderful and am no longer taking any medication. I am now able to walk and exercise like a normal person. I feel LapBand surgery improved my quality of life.




Wt: 249 lbs
BMI: 42.7

Wt: 143 lbs
BMI: 24

"I've battled with my weight since age 12. I constantly tried new diets, and failed. My health was going downhill rapidly. Now, I finally have control after my lap band procedure. I'll never have to fight this losing battle again and my health problems are resolved. After losing over 100 pounds, I've never felt so energetic and alive. My life is mine again and I live it to the fullest."




Wt: 379.9 lbs
BMI: 66

Wt: 200 lbs
BMI: 34

"At 379.9 pounds, I was miserable. My feet hurt so bad I could barely work my three 12 hour shifts. I couldn't walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night without crying in pain. I took naps to avoid my kids' activities. I was desperate and considering weight loss surgery. Then I heard about the Adjustable Gastric Band. After some research, I chose Dr. Ponce in Dalton, Georgia for my procedure and have since lost 180 pounds. I will lose more, but now I am a success. I can walk without difficulty—even miles--and not be tired or out of breath. I can hike with my children and keep up with them! I work 4-5 days a week and volunteer the other 2 days at my children's school. My eleven year old says to me almost everyday, "Momma you are getting so skinny that I can get my arms around you with room to spare". I am a success because now I am living instead of just trying to survive.