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Our Patients Say It Best


Your friends and neighbors from throughout southwest Michigan and beyond share their experiences at Lakeland Health. Do you have a story to share? Click on the "What's Your Story" button and complete the form. 

Losing Weight, Finding Life Share
Lenee Svorec

Jun, 2016

Physicians: Michael Schuhknecht, DO

Lenee Svorec, 30, a Stevensville resident, had struggled with her weight for most of her life. Dieting and exercise had failed to create a lasting change. But when her chronic back pain and high blood sugar levels continued to worsen, she knew she needed to find a more permanent solution.

“I was tired of feeling like a 90 year old woman, in my thirties,” said Lenee.

In November 2014, after attending a “Lose Weight, Find Health” seminar hosted by bariatric surgeon Michael Schuhknecht, DO, Lenee decided to take control of her health. She scheduled an appointment at Lakeland Comprehensive Weight Loss Center in Niles.

Together, she and Dr. Schuhknecht discussed a solution that would help achieve her weight loss goals. After weighing the pros and cons of both surgical and non-surgical treatment, Lenee decided that a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery would be the best choice.

During this procedure, a small part of Lenee’s stomach was separated to create a new pouch, about the size of an egg, which was then attached to the small intestine. Patients who undergo this type of surgery feel full more quickly and experience a reduction in the amount of food they are able to eat at one time.

Before Lenee was able to undergo surgery she was required to meet with physicians, dieticians, and nurses at the weight loss center once a month for six months. During this time, she focused on preparing herself for both the physical changes and emotional life changes that would result from the procedure. Lenee also worked with dieticians to develop better eating habits that would prepare her for life after surgery. Over the six month period, she was able to lose 50 pounds on her own.

“Losing that much weight before I even had surgery felt like a huge accomplishment and it served as my motivating factor to continue on this track, so my recovery would be easier,” said Lenee. “The support from the staff at the Weight Loss Center helped hold me accountable and started me down the path to a healthier lifestyle.”

Lenee underwent surgery in August 2015 and quickly began to see a significant change in both her weight and her mindset.

“I have so much more energy now and I am more comfortable in my skin than I have ever been before,” said Lenee.

To date, she has lost over 120 pounds and is down six pant sizes. She has found a new love for shopping, something she used to dread, has increased her physical activity, and is even training for a 5k run with her co-workers this fall.

One of the main reasons Lenee said she wanted to make this change was to try and alleviate some of her back pain. While it hasn’t completely gone away, she truly appreciates how the team at the Weight Loss Center approached the problem from the beginning and have continued to work alongside her to treat it.    

“I saw a lot of specialists and physicians for my back pain.  At the Weight Loss Center, I didn’t feel judged for my weight, for the first time in my adult life,” she said. “Coming to the Weight Loss Center was a great experience for me. They are very welcoming and really make you feel comfortable and safe. I would recommend this care team to anybody.”

Lenee shares more of her inspiring story in the video below: