Success Stories | Bariatrics | Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital | St. Louis, MO

Weight Loss through Gastric Bypass and Lifestyle Changes

Nurse practitioner, Jayme Sparkman, Joan Linenfelser and Dr. Christopher Eagon.

After years of battling weight gain, Joan Linenfelser made the decision at age 41 to undergo bariatric surgery at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. “I’ve struggled with my weight since I was young, trying every diet out there,” she says. “I had tried exercising, but it was difficult with the extra weight and the osteoarthritis I have in both knees.” 

With sleep apnea and a family history of heart disease, Joan knew it was time for a major change. “The driving force for me to choose bariatric surgery was to not only be healthy for myself, but also my family,” says the wife and mom of two boys. 

Joan and her husband attended the bariatric surgery information session presented by Christopher Eagon, MD, Washington University bariatric surgeon at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. She decided on minimally invasive laparoscopic gastric bypass because of its potential for the most weight loss. 

After meeting with a nurse practitioner, Joan began six months of nutrition support for weight loss with our registered dietitians and visits with a psychologist and physical therapist. These services are part of the comprehensive weight-loss program at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. 

Nearly a year and a half after her December 2013 laparoscopic gastric bypass, Joan had lost more than 100 pounds. She was continuing her weight loss through diet and exercise, which had become easier for her. And she no longer required a CPAP machine for sleeping — her sleep apnea was gone.

Bariatric Surgery as a Lifesaving Tool for Weight Loss

Dr. Eagon stresses the profound effect bariatric surgery can have in patients’ lives. “Our patients usually find improvements in their functional ability and they feel socially more comfortable,” he says. “The surgery can also influence a person’s eating behavior from a psychological standpoint.” Some patients describe a change from “living to eat” to “eating to live.”

“The operation does not do all of the work for you, and you must learn to add exercise and eat healthy foods,” Dr. Eagon says. “Although any surgical procedure has some risks, which need to be considered as you make the decision, this surgery can save people’s lives.”

Linenfelser agrees. “To anyone who asks, I recommend Dr. Eagon and the procedure,” she says. “Gastric bypass was a tool for losing weight. After more than a year, with proper diet and exercise, I better understand myself and the choices I make. It’s a daily work in progress, and I feel great.”

Learn more about our treatment options, including bariatric surgery and endoscopic therapy for weight loss.

Learn More at an Information Session

Before pursuing any procedure, interested patients must attend one of our information sessions, where a Washington University physician will discuss the options.

Contact Us for Weight-Loss Treatment

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a bariatric physician, call Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital at 314.542.WEST (9378) or toll-free at 844.542.9378.

Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital is conveniently located just one mile west of I-270 in Creve Coeur, Missouri — a west county suburb of St. Louis.

The Washington University Bariatric Surgery office is located in Medical Office Building 1, Suite 120. The address is 1040 North Mason Road, at the corner of North Mason and Olive Boulevard. Get directions and maps.


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