Weight-loss Surgery Helps a Miami Woman Lose Weight and Prepare for Safe Pregnancy

before and after a woman

While 35-year-old Juliette Accius was always active, she struggled to maintain a healthy weight.

When she lost her brother to suicide in 2016 and then lost her sister a year later, stress and grief magnified the issue.

To help her reach her weight-loss goals, Accius quit smoking and drinking, followed a strict pescatarian diet, and hired a trainer. However, her weight continued to fluctuate.

“I would lose 10 pounds, and then gain 15; lose 20 and gain it all back,” Accius said. “It bothered me a lot.”

When she spoke to her gynecologist about having a baby, Accius’ doctor told her she would need to lose more weight to avoid having a high-risk pregnancy. They recommended bariatric surgery.

Together with her best friend, Accius started meeting with bariatric surgeons and considering her options. Her loved ones recommended Elias Chousleb, MD, a bariatric surgeon and the medical director of the Bariatric Surgery Center at Jackson North.

As soon as Accius met him, she knew he was the right person to help her.

“Dr. Chousleb is very popular in my community and with my friends, and now I know why,” she said. “I felt comfortable talking to him. He will tell you what you need to do, all the steps, and what he recommends. His nurses are also so welcoming, friendly, and helpful. They were very informative.”

On September 20, 2022, Accius had gastric sleeve surgery, a bariatric procedure where a large portion of the stomach is removed. This reduces the production of hunger-stimulating hormones.

“We chose a sleeve since the patient had no medical problems, especially not diabetes or gastroesophageal reflux disease, which would make a bypass a more desirable option,” Dr. Chousleb said. “Also, the patient’s main motivation was to get pregnant. Since pregnancy is often associated with weight regain after bariatric surgery, having options to treat weight recidivism in the future is important.”

After two nights in the hospital, Accius was discharged. Her best friend had surgery two weeks prior, and her sister followed suit two months after her; Dr. Chousleb cared for all three.

The only regret Accius has is that she didn’t get the surgery done sooner.

“It changed my life drastically. I’m more confident, I have more energy, and I’m excited to do more things,” she said. “I don’t eat fried foods, and I’m even more active now than I was before. I wish had done this years ago.”

So far, Accius has lost 63 pounds. While she enjoys compliments from family and friends, what matters most to her is how she feels about her new lifestyle.

“The comments boost my confidence a lot, but it matters more that I notice the difference,” she said. “I’m taking my vitamins and eating right. I even have a healthy glow. It feels amazing.”

Now, Accius is looking forward to her future.

“I want to finish my degree and have babies,” she said. “I have so many godchildren, nieces, and nephews. It would be a blessing to have my own.”

Elias Chousleb Mizrahi, MD

Jackson Medical Group