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Weight Loss Surgery Success Stories

Over 5,000 people have benefited from weight loss surgery at the VCU Surgical Weight Loss Center. Many have experienced life-changing results that include significant weight loss, improved health, and enhanced quality of life. The following patients represent only a few of the many inspiring successes.

Ciara Logan


Ciara Logan before surgeryCiara Logan after surgery

"When I gave birth to twin girls five years ago, I weighed 313 pounds. My blood pressure reading was way too high. My doctor told me if I didn’t get a grip on my hypertension, I would have a stroke by the time I was 35. I thought, ‘Oh no. I’m too young to stroke out. My mother is not going to bury me.’ I did research about medical procedures that could jumpstart my weight loss and motivate me toward a healthier lifestyle, which led me to the VCU Health Surgical Weight Loss Center. The team there helped me through a six-month program of dietetic and lifestyle changes. Then, on August 13, 2015, I had laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy surgery. Today, one year later, I am 129 pounds lighter." — Ciara Logan, VCU Health Weight Loss Surgery Patient

Art Bykonen


 Art Bykonen before surgeryArt Bykonen After Surgery

“I chose VCU Health because the surgeons and their team are true professionals and they exude caring and sensitivity. There is simply no other hospital to even consider. VCU simply has the best doctors. Simply the best. Now, I can hike the Appalachian Trail with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, lift weights and be optimistic that I will meet a compatible woman. I can do three-minute planks at the gym.” — Art Bykonen, VCU Health Weight Loss Surgery Patient

Stephanie Rogers


Stephanie Rogers before surgeryStephanie Rogers after surgery

“I personally chose VCU Health because of their extremely high ratings for a hospital, including high rates of success among their previous weight loss patients. But the best part about working with the bariatric team at VCU Health was the sensitive attitude demonstrated towards me and the other patients. The doctors, nurses and office staff all had a positive approach that relieved my fears of the stigma associated with obesity. How has this surgery changed my life? The real question is: What in my life didn’t the surgery change? It is apparent to all my family, friends and coworkers that I am much healthier — mentally, physically and spiritually. Since having my surgery, I have participated in local marathons, obtained my career goal of starting and running my own business and served with my church’s mission programs in other countries.” — Stephanie Rogers, VCU Health Weight Loss Surgery Patient

Mary DeCosta


Mary DeCosta before surgeryMary DeCosta after surgery

“I researched several programs in the Richmond area. I was impressed with the holistic model that VCU has. All aspects of my health (mental and physical) are cared for by this team. This surgery has changed my life in ways that I could not have imagined. Not only did I change physically with the weight loss, but I also have enjoyed new experiences that were not possible for me as an obese person. Most importantly, I have become an advocate for weight loss surgery and the positive ways it can impact a person’s life. At 10+ years post-op, I still appreciate everything in my life that is made easier by being at a healthier weight. I cherish every 5K or 10K event that I can walk, I enjoy exploring new places when I travel with my family, and I love discovering new foods that are delicious and weight-loss friendly. I have not regretted having the surgery for one moment.” — Mary DeCosta, VCU Health Weight Loss Surgery Patient