“A motorcycle ride melts away the frustration of life in less than a mile.” - Armand Ensanian (Author of Discovering the Motorcycle)

The call of the open road was more than enough inspiration for Lisa Delacruz, but the prospects of a healthier lifestyle, free from aches and pains and troublesome health issues was her motivation for bariatric surgery at Parkview.

Lisa is a patient of Dr. Sergio Toledo and underwent Bariatric Surgery in June 2020 after nagging health issues and weight gain lead her to the Gastroenterology team at Parkview Medical Center.

“Up until age 30, I was good with my size and my health,” said Lisa. “I started to put on a little extra weight between 30 and 40, but after 40, I started to develop health problems – I was diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, ulcers, joint pain – I had a lot going on for 11 years until I just couldn’t take it anymore.”

Lisa says that she had tried many times to lose the weight, but became insulin resistant, so that’s when she investigated the possibility of bariatric surgery. She was being seen by Parkview Gastroenterology and was eventually referred to Dr. Toledo and the Bariatric team.

“I am his biggest fan. It is something I’m happy to share with other people. He introduced me to the program, made all the appointments, and I was very comfortable with him performing the surgery.”

Dr. Toledo trained as a surgeon in Mexico City before moving to Portland, OR to complete a fellowship at Oregon Health and Science University. He joined Sangre de Cristo Surgical Associates and Parkview Medical center in 2018.

Being able to finally lose weight was the main expectation for Lisa. At 50 years old, she says it was difficult just to climb a set of steps. And for someone who had always been active, it was taking all her energy just to get through routine daily tasks.

The surgery took place in June 2020, and Lisa credits Dr. Toledo with a textbook surgery – citing zero complications. “I really would like to thank Dr. Toledo and his bariatric team, along with the Parkview staff,” added Lisa. “They’ve been tremendous. He’s always been somebody I know I can call and will respond immediately. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.”

Lisa said she was aware of the expectations in advance and knew how much recovery work would be required following surgery. “It wasn’t a magic solution – I knew that I would have to work hard also.”

Bariatric surgery comes with annual follow up appointments, and some big lifestyle and dietary changes. A registered dietitian creates a customized plan for each patient, including a specific vitamin regimen, increased fluid intake, decreased portion sizes and eating every 3-4 hours.

Getting back to normal is something Lisa has been looking forward to. She is a Quality Technician for a paint company, where she manages floor coverings and paint for NBA teams. Originally from Berthoud, Colorado, she has lived in Pueblo over 20 years.  On a move from Northern Colorado to New Mexico, the vehicle broke down in Pueblo and her family ended up making Pueblo their home.

Lisa credits her friends and family and the large support structure they provide as the key to her successful recovery. This last fall, her husband, James, also had bariatric surgery with Dr. Toledo, and is also on a rapid recovery.

What’s next for Lisa and James?

“I want to tone myself up, get back in shape,” said Lisa. “I show everyone my before and after pictures. I’m so much healthier now – I can’t even describe it – it’s such a good feeling to know that I don’t have to worry how soon I’m going to be sick or what the next health issue will be. I like being able to get up and say, ‘Let’s do this’.”

And for the open road? It’s now more than just a calling.

Lisa adds, “We are huge motorcycle riders. We ride as soon as it’s warm enough until it’s just too cold. This year my goal, and I’m ready to go, is a cross county motorcycle trip for summer vacation.”

For more information on bariatric services, click the link below.

Southern Colorado’s Advanced GI & Weight Loss Surgery Center is a part of Sangre de Cristo Surgical Associates, who is partnered with Parkview Medical Group. They are at 1600 N Grand, Ste 540. Phone 719-545-8240.