Struggling to Lose: Kristen's journey after Bariatric surgery
Kristen Valenti is like many other teenagers, spending hours on the phone with her friends. But it's been difficult for the 15-year-old to talk about her struggle with her health and her weight.
"I worked out. I've done diets, strict diets. I've done everything really," Valenti says.
The Central Islip sophomore started dancing at the age of 3. And while she's never stopped she says her size has made it difficult.
After being diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes and other conditions, Kristen says one of her doctors referred her to the Stony Brook Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center.
After six months of testing and counseling with a dietician, Kristen was given the green light for Bariatric surgery.
Her surgeon, Dr. Aurora Pryor, performed dozens of these procedures on teenagers in just the last two years.
And on Aug. 25, Kristen underwent what is called a gastrectomy sleeve - reducing the size of her stomach to limit her appetite.
Nearly six months after her surgery, Kristen has already lost 67 pounds.
One of the main goals for Kristen was being able to stop taking the daily medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and to stop using the a machine at night for her sleep apnea.
Kristen says that with a regular exercise routine and diet she is determined to lose another 60 to 70 pounds in the next six months.