Weight loss (bariatric) surgery

How bariatric surgery changed Chris' life

Chris Wendt standing in living room, smiling. Since his surgery, he is now 270 pounds, down from his 568 at his heaviest.
Chris, after having lost over 300 pounds.

A few years ago, Chris Wendt was diagnosed with a large hernia. Weighing more than 500 pounds, he was far too big to safely undergo hernia surgery.

After being hospitalized three times for a bowel obstruction, UW Health doctors suggested that Chris consider bariatric surgery.

Chris Wendt before bariatric surgery, weighing over 500 pounds.
Chris before his surgery, weighing more than 500 pounds.

“I realized something had to be done,” said Chris, who lives in La Crosse, Wis. “The hernia was causing a lot of pain. I didn’t fly on a plane for 15 years because I didn’t want to buy two seats. It was time to do something.”

Chris enrolled in the UW Health Bariatric Surgery program in February 2021 weighing 568 pounds. By the time he completed the pre-surgery classes and clinic visits, he was down to 485.

“I used to just see food and eat it,” Chris said. “I could eat an entire large pizza and a half pound of chicken wings followed by a pint of ice cream for good measure. There was no bottom.”

Once he enrolled in the program, Chris learned about making better choices and portion control. Little things made a difference, like plating food in the kitchen instead of placing ample serving dishes on the table ready for extra helpings.

More than a year has passed since Dr. Anne Lidor performed Chris’ surgery. At 43, Chris is loving life like never before. He got married in 2021 and finally had his hernia surgery in 2022. With his weight now at 270 — more than 300 pounds below his all-time high — Chris knows bariatric surgery was the right choice.

“The UW Health team makes it easy for you to succeed,” Chris said. “I just can’t say enough about Dr. Lidor and the whole team.”