Better Living Through Bariatric Surgery

At MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, our bariatric surgeons perform the safest and most effective weight loss surgery procedures. Our program is patient-focused, because we understand that losing weight is often not as simple as it sounds.

The individuals listed below are real patients who regained their health by having weight loss surgery at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center. Learn how they said "good-bye" to high cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea, and joint problems and said "hello" to a better life.

The Bariatric Surgery Center team helped them and they can help you, too.

Meet Rachel Sandbridge

Gastric Bypass Surgery
Weight Loss: 250 lbs

Rachel visited MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center for bariatric surgery, but her life was saved when a presurgical endoscopy revealed she had stomach cancer. MedStar Franklin Square is one of only a few hospitals that routinely performs an endoscopy screening before bariatric surgery. Surgeons removed the tumor and performed gastric bypass surgery. Today, Rachel is healthy and has lost more than 250 lbs.

Meet Jessica Koubik

Laparoscopic Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
Pre Surgery Weight: 312 lbs
Post Surgery Weight: 160 lbs

Meet Sarah H.


Robotic Gastric Bypass
Pre-surgery weight: 250 lbs. 
Weight loss: 120 lbs. 

As a physician I have always been well informed about being physically fit and living a healthy lifestyle. In general, I have always been an active person until during my internship year. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease which left me with an incredible amount of weight I could not lose on my own.

I knew a lot about nutrition and fitness and I should have been able to lose the weight.  Unfortunately, in spite of all of my training as a physician, I wasn't successful at losing the weight on my own.  In fact, I was worried that by choosing surgery I was admitting I'd failed at weight loss.  I couldn't have been more wrong!

I decided to have gastric bypass surgery because it is the most effective treatment for obesity.  As a doctor, I reviewed the medical literature and picked the most effective treatment, just like I would for any other medical condition.  It works better than any of the alternatives, and the results are longer lasting. I chose MedStar Franklin Square because they had excellent outcomes and also offered a robotic surgical option. I was really impressed with the pre-surgical preparation and the education classes which were much more in depth than the other programs in Baltimore. I believe that this commitment to preparing the patients for surgery shows that the program is committed to my long term health.

Now, post surgery, I am not as hungry and smaller meals are more satisfying.  Exercise is so much easier now that I am nearly 100 pounds lighter.  In fact, I've been able to run three half marathons (13.1 miles) and I'm preparing for my first full marathon (26.2 miles).  I enjoy yoga, swimming, and weight lifting, too.  Through this surgery, I am not only a better wife, sister, daughter and friend, but also a better example for my patients and their family.

Meet Drema G.


Robotic Gastric Bypass
Pre-surgery weight: 320 lbs. 
Weight loss: 120 lbs. 

Prior to my surgery, I suffered from numerous health problems including hypertension, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, joint problems and diabetes. For diabetes alone, I took two different types of insulin injections, twice-a-day and three different types of oral medications. My primary care physician informed me that if I didn’t take control of my diabetes, I may eventually lose my eyes sight or may have to amputate my legs. For me this was the turning point. I had tried loosing the weight on my own, but continued to be unsuccessful.

As a member of this community, I had always trusted MedStar Franklin for mine and my family’s primary and specialty care needs. When I learned that the hospital also had a bariatric surgery program, I decided to attend the free education seminar. After doing some additional research and comparison to other programs in Baltimore, I found that the MedStar Franklin Square program was the most thorough. From the physician, personal program coordinator, dietitians to nurses, everyone made me feel like I was their only patient.

I have had tremendous success with my weight loss. My entire outlook on health and wellness has changed. I now workout regularly, am in the best shape of my life, and to best of all, I am off of all of my medications and no longer suffer from the chronic conditions I did before.

One of the most proud moments for me was when I was able to participate in a stationary bike-a-thon sponsored by the American Diabetes Association and Gold’s Gym, Dundalk, Maryland, to raise money for diabetes research and education--the very same illness that would have taken my legs and eyesight had I not taken this bariatric journey. To those considering bariatric surgery, I highly recommend you take the first step and attend the free education seminar. It will change your life! It did mine.

Meet Jennifer and Jeremy S.


Jennifer S.

Robotic Gastric Bypass
Pre-surgery weight: 300 lbs. 
Weight loss: 135 lbs. 

Jeremy S.

Robotic Gastric Bypass
Pre-surgery weight: 367 lbs. 
Weight loss: 165 lbs. 

Total combined weight loss: 290 lbs. 

It starts out like every story.  We both struggled with our weight from an early age.  We tried every diet out there just to lose some weight then to put it back on, doubled sometimes.  After we were married, the image of our future and a family seemed unreachable.  Due to both of us being overweight, infertility became an issue.  I think this was our turning point.  How would we play with, run after, enjoy vacations and theme parks with our children if we couldn’t enjoy them ourselves.  How were we to be role models when we didn’t see ourselves healthy?  The healthier we could be, the better our chances of having a happy, healthy family.

After much research, Jeremy and I decided to have the surgery…together!  Talk about a great support system.  We decided not to tell, but a few select friends and family, what we were about to embark on.  Not many people would understand exactly what was in store for us.  We were used to going out with friends to shows, concerts, dinners etc.…  Our support system had to understand that we could no longer do these activities for us to achieve our goals.  It can’t just be the surgery; it has to be a change in mental health too.

Dr. You and his team were awesome!  Every step we took, they were there with help and support.  We had our ups and downs with the program, like unappetizing meals and lowering our calorie intake, but the results were rewarding.  We knew our life as we knew it had changed forever, but for the better.

18 months later, we have lost more weight than imaginable.   We don’t credit the surgery alone, you can’t.  We have worked our butts off…literally.  Exercise became manageable and actually fun.  We bought a treadmill to walk on, and then started running, and now an elliptical.  Just try to keep up with us!!  Every day is a new journey and we look forward to our future. We are now living life to the fullest, happy and healthy.

Meet Renee


Robotic Roux-en-Y
Pre-surgery weight: 259 lbs. 
Weight loss: 129 lbs. 

As years passed and kids came along, so did the weight.  I gained it slowly, not realizing just how out of control it was getting, and how much it was affecting my life. As a mother of two young children, both with very active personalities, I saw my relationship start to change with them.  They would ask to go outside and play; I would make up excuses to stay inside simply because I had to desire or energy to play and physically couldn’t keep up with them.  When we did go outside, I would sit and watch them play. I saw the hurt in m children’s eyes over and over again as I refused to play with the, but I physically couldn’t do it.  I remember feeling the same hurt when I was a child and my overweight mother couldn’t play with me either.  I remembered the embarrassment I felt about my overweight mother, I’m sure my children felt the same about me.  I was embarrassed for them when I had to go to school functions.

Another relationship that started to strain was the one with my fiancé. He loved me unconditionally, at any weight, but it’s hard to have a healthy relationship when you don’t love yourself.  I tried every diet out there, joined weight loss groups, anything that I thought would help. I had minor success with each. I would lose some weight, only to gain it right back plus additional weight. One day I was looking at photos that had been taken the previous Christmas and I couldn’t believe what I was looking at; I didn’t even recognize myself. I knew that I had gained weight but I didn’t realize that it had gotten that out of control!

Since starting the bariatric program and having the surgery, my life had done a complete 180 degree change. I am a much more active mother. I can run around and be goofy with my children. I not only can physically do it but I want to do it and thoroughly enjoy it! My relationship with my fiancé has been rekindled and is stronger than ever.

I have shared my weight loss story with many in hopes of inspiring others and enjoy seeing other succeed as well. Going from almost 250 pounds down to 130 pounds was no easy task….The most important thing you need to consider when thinking about any bariatric procedure is if you are truly ready for a lifestyle chance. It’s not just a surgery, it’s a life makeover!

Meet Ronnie Leber


Sleeve Gastrectomy
Pre-surgery weight: 287 lbs. 
Weight loss: 108 lbs.

When his weight peaked at 296 pounds in June 2015, Leber acknowledged it was time to get serious about losing weight; he needed a permanent solution. He put a call into the Bariatric Surgery Center at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center and scheduled an initial consultation with Christopher You, MD. That appointment not only changed, but, most importantly, saved his life.

“Dr. You explained my options and recommended the gastric sleeve procedure because it’s less invasive, typically results in a quicker recovery and would allow a guy like me to lose about 100 pounds,” Leber explains. “The decision to have surgery is a big one, but it felt right. I wanted to make the changes and get my life back.”

Now age 78, Leber walks close to five miles every other day, always with a smile, and often while striking up a conversation with a friend or fellow gym-goer who is beside him on the elliptical machine or treadmill at the gym. The man who was once out of breath as he took a 20 or 30 minute walk is nowhere to be found. When he opens his closet to get dressed, the size 3XL shirts and size 48 pants get pushed a little further toward the back. Instead, his new wardrobe is front and center, consisting of standard size large shirts and size 34 pants. Today, when Leber steps on the scale, the number he sees—179, give or take a pound or two—is one he is proud of. And that isn’t the only number that continues to go down in the Leber household. Read Ronnie Leber's full story in our Discover Winter 2017 Issue.

Location Information

To register for a free education seminar, please call 443-777-7900.

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
White Square Building
9105 Franklin Square Drive
Suites 305 and 307
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus
12 MedStar Blvd.
Suite 170
Bel Air, MD 21015
Phone: 410-877-8088

Learn more about our education seminar.

Bariatric Surgeons

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Patient Information


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