Carol Hightower's journey from cake decorating to weight loss surgery avoided more serious health issues aided by Dr. Angel Caban.
As a cake decorator for over 40 years, Carol was used to being on her feet a lot. In 2013 though, Carol began having problems with her legs and breathing while at work. When visiting with her family, Carol’s sister-in-law asked what was wrong with Carol’s legs, her legs were swollen due to excess fluid. Carol began taking fluid pills and started on the Keto diet, in which she lost 30 pounds. Carol’s primary care provider was still concerned with Carol’s weight and told her, “we need to get this weight off you fast.” That was when Carol was referred to bariatric surgeon, Dr. Angel Caban with Ocala Health Surgical Group. “At first, I was very concerned that the office would not accept my insurance for the surgery, but when I first called, I had all my questions answered and I was able to move forward with the surgery.” Six months after Carol’s initial consultation, she went in for surgery. Dr. Caban performed a Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy, with hiatal hernia repair and EGD at West Marion Community Hospital. “When I went into the hospital, I was scared to death, but the care I got with the nurses and staff was excellent. The nurse made me relax, told me what they were going to do, and made me feel comfortable. The team treated me like I was a queen. I felt like I was being taken care of very well.” Now, almost one year since the surgery, Carol is amazed at the results. “When I first started dieting, I weighed 318 pounds, I now weigh 199. I went from a size 24 to a 13/14 and even those are baggy on me now! I feel great and I am so proud of myself, in fact, this is the best thing I ever did for myself.” Carol says that her husband and family have been extremely supportive following the surgery. Her husband is eating what she is eating has been seeing improvements in his own health. Her daughter is losing weight as well, after being inspired by Carol’s journey. Carol says that while she is happy with the way she looks and feels, one of the most exciting things that has happened was that her blood results at a recent doctor’s appointment came back perfect. “My results have always been high and for the first time ever, they were perfect!” Carol advises anyone who is considering bariatric surgery to “do it for yourself.” She says that she has already referred people to Dr. Caban and would encourage people to listen and follow directions when going through this journey because that is what will lead to the best results.