La Feria News

From the Doctor’s Notebook




Dr. Ashraf Hilmy checks on patient

HARLINGEN – A 59-year-old Valley woman, Celeste Ramirez, has become the first Cameron County resident to go home the same day as having weight-loss (bariatric) surgery.
Dr. Ashraf Hilmy, General & Bariatric Surgeon, recently performed the first same-day “Lap Sleeve Gastrectomy” surgery at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen. The surgery is expected to result in a dramatic loss of weight for Ms. Ramirez – as well as other health benefits that were already evident before she even left the hospital.
“They have taken me away from my blood pressure and diabetes medication – which makes me feel like a new woman,” Ms. Ramirez said. “I’m not hungry; I’m doing great. It’s been a wonderful experience. I feel like I’ve been blessed with water and given new life.”
Ms. Ramirez said she also feels like she’s been cured of sleep apnea. “Before the surgery I used to wake up four or five times a night. Now I feel rested when I get up in the morning. Every day I wake up with joy and a smile on my face, because I don’t feel groggy and I don’t feel pain. And now I feel like I have so much more energy.”
Ms. Ramirez said having that extra energy helps in caring for her 10-year-old granddaughter, who is also learning about healthy eating — such as substituting yogurt and cucumbers and other vegetables in place of ice cream and popcorn. So far, Ms. Ramirez has lost more than 28 pounds – and expects to lose much more over the coming weeks and months.
A retired teacher from Brownsville, Ms. Ramirez advises other Valley residents to seek help early for weight problems. “Take care of your health … don’t wait until your body is aching … don’t wait until your whole body is falling apart,” Ms. Ramirez said. “Before the surgery, I would go to bed with excruciating neck pain … and every night I felt Iike I could have a heart attack. But from the moment I got out of the operating room, I feel like I’ve been given a whole new life. I thank God for all the support, including from my best friend Cynthia Duran, who helped guide me every step of the way.”
For more information on weight-loss medical and surgery options, contact your physician and Dawn Rodriguez, RN, BSN, at (956) 389-6896.

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