Age: 26 years
Occupation: taxi driver
After 18 months with the abiliti system, Silke has lost 45 kg. Here Silke explains her motivation, why she decided on the abiliti system, and how it makes her feel.
Q: What made you decide on a surgical procedure?
A: Over the last few years, I kept trying different diets, but I just couldn’t seem to lose weight permanently. Then, for the first time, I considered gastric bypass surgery. While considering this procedure, I was invited to take part in the abiliti system study.
Q: How long have you been trying diets? Why do you think that diet and exercise alone aren’t enough?
A: My weight problems increased with the onset of puberty, and since then I have continuously been trying to lose weight and on a constant diet. But most of all, I lacked willpower, and if I didn’t see results, then all the good intentions fell away.
Q: Had you thought before about a gastric band or gastric bypass surgery?
A: I had reached the point at which I had to admit to myself that I wasn’t getting anywhere with diets alone. I was starting to think about gastric bypass surgery, but then the offer came to take part in the study of the abiliti system.
Q: How did you learn about the abiliti system?
A: The hospital that I had already been in contact with regarding the gastric bypass contacted me and asked whether I would like to take part in a clinical trial with the abiliti system.
Q: What convinced you to take part in the study?
A: What really convinced me was the fact that the abiliti system is reversible, it can be removed at any time, with no permanent effects on the anatomy of my stomach. Aside from that, I didn’t want to be swallowing vitamins for the rest of my life, like after gastric bypass surgery.
Q: How was this procedure for you?
A: Fine, no problems. I got used to my gastric pacemaker easily and without any problems. Later, I had it adjusted to my individual needs, so that the stimulation works only at my mealtimes.
For me, the surgery was the motivation I needed. I thought, if I already have this electronic device in my stomach, then I have to prove to myself that I can do this.
Q: What does the gastric stimulation feel like?
A: The feeling of fullness now occurs much earlier than before, also because I eat more slowly, as a result of the stimulation and the feeling of fullness.
Q: Have you changed your eating behavior and habits through the abiliti system? / How were you able to lose weight?
A: Well, first of all through behavior change. I try as much as possible not to eat fast food. I now order smaller portions in restaurants. And I eat more salad, whole grain products and if possible, no carbohydrates in the evening. And I do much more exercise and take part in sports more often. In the beginning, I even went to the gym 5 times a week, but that was really a bit too much and I couldn’t manage it time-wise. Because of the weight loss, I had the confidence to go swimming again, and I started rollerblading.
Q: When did you notice a change?
A: For me, on the day the abiliti system was switched on, everything changed. All of a sudden, I had a totally different attitude and was absolutely determined to be successful this time. The gastric pacemaker in my body helped me do this.
Q: Did people around you notice anything?
A: Starting from the first day of the implantation, I was very motivated to lose weight. That brought about a change in my behavior: I became more conscious of what I ate and started doing sports. I kept feeling better, and after losing 15-20 kilos, I started dressing differently. Naturally, people noticed that.
Q: How much weight would you like to lose?
A: I’d like to keep the abiliti system as long as possible. With the support of the device, I’d like to lose another 30 kg.
Q: How has your life changed since you’ve lost weight?
A: I feel better about myself, and it has also given me self-confidence. Before, I never would have gone swimming.
Q: Do you compare notes with other patients online or in patient groups?
A: Yes, I do look at what other people are doing and saying. They also give tips and exchange recipes.
Q: Would you recommend the abiliti system to other people who want to lose weight?
A: I’ve already recommended the system to other people. For me, so much has changed for the better that I would never want to go back.