Jaclyn Catalano had forgotten how good it felt to feel good.
However, after weight loss surgery with Harish Kakkilaya, MD, she feels great once again.
“I have ten super active children who are involved in everything — horseback riding, dance, soccer, gymnastics — you name it, we’re involved in it,” said the 38-year-old South Harrison resident. “But at 37 years old, I was sick of being the ‘fat mom’ everywhere I went.”
Catalano had her first child at the age of 19.
“I wasn’t heavy at all in my youth,” she said. “I was an athlete and never struggled with my weight.”
After having her first child, she dropped the extra pounds quickly and returned to her normal, healthy weight. She had her second child five years later.
“Then, I had a baby every nine months for the next ten years,” said Catalano.
Her body didn’t recover between births and the result was weight gain.
“My husband is super active and is constantly running and playing with the kids, so I let him do it because I just didn’t feel like it,” she said.
In 2011, the Catalano family experienced loss when their 2-year-old son died from a virus that attacked his brain.
“He was perfect,” she said. “Losing him taught me to live every day and make every minute count.”
At her heaviest, she weighed 287 pounds at 5-foot-4-inches tall. She knew in order to live her best life, she had to make a change.
“I tried eating healthy and walking,” she said. “I was losing a little, but it was going so slow.”
After learning about bariatric surgery, she went to see Dr. Kakkilaya.
“My first appointment was January 27, 2021. I had my surgery that May,” Catalano said. “Everyone at Dr. Kakkilaya’s office gave me the tools I needed to succeed.”
Today, Catalano weighs 154 pounds — a loss of more than 99 pounds in eight months.
“I would do it all over again,” she said. “I had zero pain, no nausea.”
Once she was set on her eating regimen, she never looked back.
“It was hard to break the habit of eating just to eat,” she said. “I finally realized that all the things I ate just weren’t doing anything for me.”
Catalano now has more energy and self-confidence, and is setting a good example for her children.
“There are not enough positive adjectives I can use to describe Dr. Kakkilaya and his staff,” she said. “I recommend bariatric surgery for anyone, whether 500 pounds or just a little overweight. You don’t have to weigh 1,000 pounds to better your life. Why let it get to that point?
“Having my kids and loving them and being busy is so much better than any alternative. I have a really cool life and I want to be here to experience all of it.”
Patients now have the option of self-pay for bariatric procedures. For more information and to schedule a consultation, call 856-823-4288 or visit smc.health/services/bariatric-surgery/.