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As a soul singer, 36-year old Jeff Murrell is frequently flying to gigs across the country. But back when the Philadelphia area based musician weighed 368 pounds, flying from city to city was uncomfortable and exhausting. Not to mention expensive. Too big to comfortably fit in economy-sized seats, Jeff would burn through miles in order to upgrade to business class, then ask flight attendants for seatbelt extensions.

To make matters worse, he had high blood pressure, suffered from sleep apnea and was borderline diabetic. Something had to change.

Inspired by friends who had successfully undergone weight loss surgery, Jeff decided to consult the experts at the The Cooper Center for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery. Recognized by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery as a Center of Excellence, Cooper takes a multidisciplinary approach to care, offering patients lifelong support.

After working with a comprehensive preoperative team that included nurses, cardiologists, and dieticians, Jeff underwent a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG), a minimally invasive surgery that removes a large part of the stomach causing a restriction in how much one can eat and a possible decrease in appetite. The procedure was performed by Dr. Brendan G. O’Connell, Attending Surgeon at the Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Center at Cooper.

Today, just two years after surgery, Jeff has lost 140 pounds and — after struggling with weight his entire adult life — feels totally reborn. From finding clothes that fit to flying comfortable in coach to having a newfound energy when he performs, life just feels that much better.

In addition to the success of the surgery, it’s been Jeff’s commitment to a healthy diet and regular workouts — a lifestyle his Cooper team introduced him to — that has kept his weight loss on target. Jeff now rises at 4:15 a.m. to hit the gym for cardio workouts and weight training, and he always packs healthy snacks so that he isn’t tempted by bad food while on the road.

“I would tell anyone suffering from obesity who is considering bariatric surgery to go for it,” Jeff says, before reiterating that a comprehensive approach is vital to keeping the weight off and leading a healthier, more fulfilling life. “The surgery is a great jumpstart if you take it for what it is and change your lifestyle. If you work hard you will have the kind of result that you want.”

For people like Jeff — individuals who are 75 to 100 pounds overweight and have a body mass index (BMI) between 35 to 40 — losing weight can be difficult. That’s why the comprehensive weight loss surgery team at Cooper University Health Care is dedicated to providing patients the care they need for the rest of his/her life. Cooper’s bariatric team will be with you during every step of your weight loss journey, from the expert surgeons performing the minimally invasive procedure to the nurses managing your pre- and post- operative care to the dieticians who help you rethink your relationship with food as well as help you form a diet plan you can stick to. It truly is a support network that you have for the rest of your life.

To learn more about weight loss management and Cooper’s multidisciplinary approach to weight loss surgery, attend Cooper’s webinar, Managing Your Weight, which will feature Dr. Brendan G. O'Connell and Advanced Practice Nurse Sheree Pinckney. From the changing perceptions of weight loss to the impact of diet, learn if you or someone you love qualifies for weight loss surgery.

Don’t let obesity get in the way of enjoying your life, take the first steps to your transformation today by registering here.

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