An athlete prepares to throw a football from the turf field inside the Sanford Fieldhouse.

Jesse Ahlers lives her best, healthiest, most active life as the starting point for Sioux Falls Snow Leopards.

But as he explains, this has not always been the case.

“I was in the military, and when I got out I was just getting fat, I did everything I could to lose that weight,” Ahlers told Sanford Health News. “I talked to my main doctor, we took medicine…

Ahlers was at 283 pounds during his heaviest time. He was pre-diabetic and lived with sleep apnea.

“I’m a very active person, so I could just say that I was really doing damage to my body,” Ahlers said. “I had two ankle surgeries, knee surgery, it was very difficult to do what I loved. “After a few discussions with my main doctor, we decided that maybe bypassing the stomach would be the way.”

New life

She met Curtis Peary, MD, a Sanford Health surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive robotic procedures.

“When we were discussing, he said I would be a good candidate for that,” Ahlers said. “I made a decision that I really wanted to enjoy my life, I had to do it for myself. We went ahead with everything, it finally became the best decision I have ever made. “

Dr. Peary said Ahlers was a good candidate for several reasons.

“Jesse is a great example of what we need when it comes to bariatric surgery, he’s a great example of a lot of misconceptions about obesity,” said Dr. Peary.

“He was very active physically, very disciplined, he could not lose weight, it kept him from the physical activity he really wanted to do. And so what he did, he learned the tool. He was committed to that process, he worked with my team to learn how to do it, he came back, he had tremendous results. “

Dr. Peary said that weight loss surgery is not magic. It takes a lot of work for the patient, Ahlers’s commitment from the beginning.

Commitment to change

“He was very dedicated to the process, he understood from the beginning that he really needed to learn how to use the tool,” he said. “Following the instructions, the diet, he is able to behave, he did not miss a single step. “His performance has just grown tremendously.”

Huge results և new life, losing almost 85% of excess body weight.

“I will go shopping now, will I look at something I look like? “I feel like I’m really starting to live my life right now. I am active in all these sports. I was able to join the professional women’s soccer team. I do things I have always wanted to do, keep doing, I feel that my body does not hate me for it. I really feel like I can live my life to the fullest after this surgery. So that’s the best thing that ever happened to me. “

Dr. Peary said the conversation began with a consultation with a primary care physician or bariatric surgeon.

Learn more. Weight Loss Procedures at Sanford Health

“At that point, we sit down and look at the problems, your insurance policy, and then offer a solution for the patient,” said Dr. Peary. “That’s why we have different surgical solutions, because different procedures have different risks և benefits, strengths և weaknesses.”

At 18 186 now, Ahlers is simply grateful to be able to move and compete.

“Going out on that football field, forcing your body to do things you never thought it could do, is boosting your self-confidence,” he said.

“I think it was a year ago, I could never do that. And it almost makes me think emotionally about how I lived my life the way I live it now, because the quality of my life alone is so much better. ”

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Posted in General Surgery, Sioux Falls, Weight Loss:

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