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Nick’s Weight Had Fluctuated All His Life

Nick After

Nick after surgery

Nick Before Surgery

Nick before surgery

Nicholas (Nick) looked around the room during the Highland Hospital Bariatric surgery seminar he attended in November of 2013 and decided he was not “that big” compared to some others in the room. But he stayed and listened as William E. O’Malley, M.D., one of the world’s top bariatric surgeons, talked about surgery options and explained the comprehensive program at Highland.

When it was over Nick remembers thinking, “Wow! I can do this!” He appreciated that Dr. O’Malley presented the medical reasons why these surgeries work. “It helped me see that this wasn’t about a Band-Aid for my weight loss failures. I was being given the opportunity to evaluate what modern science had developed to help me start a new healthy lifestyle.”

At 35 years old, Nick’s weight had fluctuated all his life. Diets worked…sometimes…and then they didn’t. The constant yoyo effect of dieting weighed heavily on Nick.  He is a cancer survivor, has an underactive thyroid post cancer treatments, and was on an insulin pump for his diabetes. His family doctor was the first one to suggest surgery

“You have more than half your life to live and you have to choose how you want to live it,” said Dr. McMullen.

For Nicholas the decision to have surgery was more about his health than his body image. It had to be. Body image albeit important needed to be secondary to becoming healthy.

The more Nick learned, the more excited he got about the Highland Bariatric Surgery program. The Senior Grants & Contracts Specialist at RIT, who is also a local theatre performer and a travel agent, knew that the meal planning was something he could handle with the help of his wife. Keeping a food journal was challenging at first, but he helped himself along by texting and emailing his meal information to himself and using a cellphone app to calculate nutritional intake.

Nick chose the gastric sleeve option and can’t say enough about the care he received from Dr. O’Malley and the support he got from the staff. Today, he is on a very low-dose of insulin (90% less) and no longer has to use a pump. He is off of several medications and has lost close to 100 pounds.

Last year, as part of the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival, Nick wrote a play about his struggles with his weight called #theskinnyinside. Towards the end of the play, he talks about his life-changing bariatric surgery experience and feelings shared by other patients of the Center.  “I saw a new me emerging. The pounds were melting away. I wasn’t starving and I was losing weight. Can this be true? For the first time in a long time, I felt I was on the right track. As Spring sprung outside, I felt a new hope growing in me…”


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