The day was finally here. Tara Gustin was just hours away from finding her old self; the girl who wasn't consumed with weight…the girl who wasn't consumed with food.

"I am really ready this has been a long process and I am very ready," Tara said.

Tara Gustin's story is like so many others. She would lose a few pounds only to gain a few more. When a doctor told her she was morbidly obese, Tara decided the years of yo-yo dieting would end with laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery. The Alegent Creighton Health Weight Management Center at Immanuel Medical Center helped her get ready – mentally and physically - for the surgery.

"You have to be mentally prepared for it to be a life changing event. It has to be something you can live with from here on out. I don't expect to have the surgery then go back to eating burgers and French fries…that would be pointless. You have to be ready to give up the things that get you to this point," Tara said.

Before Tara is wheeled back for surgery, she thinks about how far she's come – how long she's wanted to do something about her weight.

"I was scared to death yesterday. I think I got past that. Today I am ready. I don't think I've ever been this excited to go into surgery," Tara said.

Alegent Creighton Health bariatric surgeon Dr. Tom White performed Tara's surgery. Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is where the digestive system is rewired – reducing a stomach the size of a football to something closer to an egg. The surgery doesn't take long and the patient is home within a couple of days. Tara knows it won't be without pain but she's ready for the transformation.

"I'm excited - this is a new beginning - the first day of my new life," Tara said.

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