Bariatric Surgery Patients Celebrate Their 2013 Weight Loss Success On the Red Carpet

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New Jersey Bariatric Center’s LAP-BAND, Gastric Bypass and Gastric Sleeve patients who lost a combined total of almost 2,700 pounds gather together to share their weight loss achievements and look forward to a New Year with newfound health, energy and confidence.

The 30 patients at the Walk of Success lost a combined total of 2700 pounds.

The red carpet was rolled out in New Jersey last week but not for the typical Hollywood starlets. The superstars who walked this runway were all New Jersey Bariatric Center weight loss surgery patients who lost a combined total of 2,700 pounds after having Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Bypass or LAP-BAND surgeries.

Each December, New Jersey Bariatric Center invites their patients who’ve had weight loss surgery to celebrate their new bodies, better health and increased confidence at the “Sweet Success Gala.” The “Walk of Success” is the highlight of the evening, continuing a tradition started 8 years ago by Dr. Ajay Goyal, the founder of New Jersey Bariatric Center. This year, 30 patients walked down the red carpet to the cheering of a room of 200 patients and their guests.

“These patients are superstars,” said Dr. Goyal, who is also director of Bariatric Surgery at Overlook Medical Center in Summit. “Whether they’ve lost 50 pounds or 150 pounds, they all took a big step to take charge of their lives and their health when they had weight loss surgery. At the Walk of Success, they’re saying ‘I am a success.’ ’’

Weight loss surgery alters the digestive tract to aid obese patients in losing weight. It is considered the most effective means of controlling weight and resolving co-morbid conditions in obese patients, according to the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that compared to other interventions, bariatric surgery, which includes the LAP-BAND, Gastric Bypass, Sleeve Gastrectomy (also known as Gastric Sleeve) produces the longest period of sustained weight loss.

“I have my life back,” said 24-year-old Scarlem Mateo, one of the red carpet walkers who lost 100 pounds since having a sleeve gastrectomy in April. “Everything has changed from my health condition to self-esteem to my home life. I’m the happiest woman ever.”

Scarlem said she tried for several years to lose weight, when a diagnosis of type-1 diabetes made her decide to learn more about weight loss surgery. After attending a weight loss surgery seminar with the doctors at New Jersey Bariatric Center, she made up her mind to have the gastric sleeve. She has never regretted her decision.

“I wear whatever I want. I can dance and not get tired. I eat healthy and my glucose levels are in control,” she said. “I just love me more now!”

New Jersey Bariatric Center surgeon Dr. Glenn Forrester reminds those who are thinking about bariatric surgery that it is only a tool. “Many of the patients who are very successful and lose more than the average amounts do so because they fully commit to a new lifestyle,” said Dr. Forrester, who is Director of Bariatric Surgery at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, N.J. “The surgery helps them feel fuller faster and so they eat less, but they also choose healthier foods and start exercising regularly.”

Weight Loss Surgery made the headlines in 2013 when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced that he had undergone LAP-BAND surgery. New Jersey Bariatric Center surgeons say it takes about 18 months for most patients to reach their goal weight. LAP-BAND patients can expect to lose between 50-60% of excess weight, with gastric bypass patients losing about 65-70% of excess weight and gastric sleeve patients losing an average of 55-65% of excess weight.

About New Jersey Bariatric Center

New Jersey Bariatric Center, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerset and Hoboken, New Jersey, helps patients achieve long-term weight loss success through the most advanced bariatric surgery procedures, including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, LAP-BAND and REALIZE Band procedures. Led by the team of Drs. Ajay Goyal, Glenn Forrester and Angela Glasnapp and Leigh Montes, the New Jersey Bariatric Center’s approach to patient care has resulted in zero mortalities and a complication rate that is lower than the national average. For more information about bariatric surgery, visit

Free monthly patient education seminars are held four times a month for individuals interested in learning more about weight loss surgery. To view dates or register for a seminar, visit or call 908-481-1270.

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Bonnie Smolen
since: 04/2013
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New Jersey Bariatric Center
since: 02/2010
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