Weighing in at 343 pounds, Braxton Bjork experienced daily joint pain, difficulty standing for extended periods of time, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. On July 20, 2017, Bjork made a life-changing decision to improve his health through bariatric surgery at BSA Hospital. Less than two years since surgery, Bjork has experienced an overall weight loss of 160 pounds.
“I had been at a point in my life where my feet hurt five to ten minutes after standing up at work,” Bjork said. “My knees, my shoulders, my back…everything, just ached. I decided it was time that I did some life changing.”
Bjork, a Biomedical Technician in the BSA Surgery department, chose to have surgery after doing research, seeing friend’s successes and talking with BSA surgeons about the procedure.
“I contemplated surgery for two years,” Bjork shared. “I have had friends who had the surgery and were very successful. I also got to talk to the surgeons and nurses about the procedure and ask them questions.”
Bjork had sleeve gastrectomy surgery which creates rapid and significant weight loss, requires no foreign objects or food movement re-routing and allows patients to have a short hospital stay.
“The procedure was very quick and there was no pain or discomfort in my stomach,” Bjork said. “During the first couple months, I lost between 10 and 15 pounds each month. After that, I dropped a lot more. It took about nine months to a year to level out.”
Along with successful weight loss, Bjork experienced a decrease in health problems.
“Within a couple weeks after surgery, my blood pressure was already down,” Bjork shared. “I didn’t have to take blood pressure medication anymore.”
According to Bjork, the best advice he would give others wanting weight loss surgery is to do research, prepare and follow physician orders.
“I would suggest talking to a counselor and getting your eating habits under control before surgery,” Bjork advised. “Do your studying, get comfortable with it and follow your doctor’s orders from the beginning all the way to post-operation, exactly as they tell you.”
Two years post-operation, Bjork is leading a healthier, more active lifestyle.
“The reasons I chose to have surgery were to feel more confident and be able to be more active,” Bjork shared. “I have a little girl and now I am able to play and run around with her. I can even do pull-ups and I have never been able to do a pull-up. That was a big thing for me.”
Bjork says that having bariatric surgery at BSA was life-changing.
“It was a total life change that I needed,” Bjork said. “I had tried diets and cutting back on food. I needed to reset my set point. It was the best decision I have ever made.”
Bjork encourages others struggling with weight loss to choose BSA Bariatrics for their weight loss surgery.
“I would definitely recommend BSA for bariatric surgery,” Bjork shared. “The care I received was beyond good. Everyone was very kind and compassionate. It was a great experience.”
If you have any questions regarding bariatric surgery and if it’s right for you, please contact the BSA Bariatric Coordinator at 806-212-4571.