before and after photos of a woman who had gastric sleeve surgery

By Tami M.

I was skinny my whole life up until I got pregnant. I was 23 years old and in my last year of college at the time. During the pregnancy, I gained almost 100 pounds, and after I had my son, I continued to gain weight. 


I guess I can say I’ve seen both sides. I knew what it was like to be skinny, but I also experienced what it’s like being bigger… and people really do treat you differently.  


Before surgery, I was miserable. I was unable to do certain things with my son. I had trouble breathing. I struggled to get off the sofa and out of bed. I even had trouble tying my shoes. I couldn’t fit on a roller coaster. I couldn’t cross my legs, and I was sweating all the time.

I saw my entire family affected by weight-related health issues, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, diabetes, you name it; I could tell it was just a matter of time before the same thing happened to me.


I hit a point in my life where I wanted to find me again. I was just ready. I was ready to take control of my life.


I decided I wanted to lose some weight, so I started going to the gym, but the weight just wasn’t coming off. I honestly didn’t know what I was doing wrong. I had my mind right; I just couldn’t get my physical appearance right. 

I had met Dr. Long quite a few years ago when he took my gallbladder out. I knew I liked him and I trusted him, so I immediately thought of him when I started considering weight loss surgery. 


After going over my options with Dr. Long, I decided gastric sleeve surgery made the most sense for me and my journey.


I chose to use insurance to cover my gastric sleeve surgery, so I had to go through the process of getting approval. After 6 months of regular doctor visits and making sure I met all of the pre-qualifications, I was ready to schedule my surgery. 


I had my surgery in March of 2018 and so far I’ve lost 101 pounds.


My main focus was my son. I’m a single mom and I knew I had to get healthy for him, but also for myself. I wanted to be here to see him when he grows up. 

Overall, my journey has been relatively easy. I didn’t have any complications. I do everything Dr. Long tells me to do and so far it’s been great. I was kind of shocked at how — I don’t want to say easy because I still had to put in work — well I have recovered. I just stuck to the diet and followed the plan.


I can do everything I couldn’t before. 


Little things like being able to cross my legs again is exciting, but one of the best things is being able to play with my son. We can go outside and run around together, and I don’t have to worry about if I’m going to lose my breath. 

Now that I’ve had my surgery, shopping for clothes is fun again. I can wear different things. I can go into a store and buy outfits off the rack. I don’t have to special order anything or worry about if it will fit. 

I haven’t had the chance to ride on a roller coaster yet, but I know I can fit and I’m excited to do it! 


 Surgery truly is a tool, and you have to change your lifestyle to make it work. 


If you’re considering weight-loss surgery, I say do it. It’s absolutely life changing. I try not to live with what ifs or regrets. I recommend weight loss surgery to anybody who is overweight or struggling. It literally changed my life. My sister recently had surgery as well, and it’s already changed her life, too. 


Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery is a caring group of professionals who specialize in all types of bariatric surgery.  Our surgeon Dr. Jay Long has highly specialized training in bariatric surgery, having completed a fellowship in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, where he focused on taking care of patients that are morbidly obese.  And we are so proud of our pricing that we publish the costs right on the front page of our website!  Insurance won’t pay?  We have a variety of financing options we can offer you so that you are able to get the healthy body you’ve wanted for years.  Visit us today at or give us a call to set up a consultation at 205-833-6907. 


*Individual results may vary.