Life’s Struggles Caused Weight Gain For Stuart, FL Resident

November 2, 2023

Jillian Doggett after having weight-loss surgeryJillian Dogget before having weight-loss surgery

Jillian before and after having weight-loss surgery.

Since 2016, 28-year-old Jillian Lilly Doggett has gradually been putting on weight. She was dealing with both physical and emotional issues, and used food to “treat herself.”

A Diagnosis and Stress Caused Weight Gain

The Stuart, Fla. resident was attending Florida State University in Tallahassee when she was diagnosed by her gynecologist with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition in which women of childbearing age stop ovulating, have high levels of male sex hormones, and have many small cysts on the ovaries. Weight gain is a side effect.

In August 2019, her grandmother, who she cherished very much, passed away, and in the same week, she broke up with a boyfriend after a five-year relationship.

“I fell into a depression and gained more weight. COVID hit right after that, and at that time, I was living by myself and ate whatever I wanted,” Doggett explained. “I gained a lot of weight. I feel like I ate my feelings away. I had always tried different diets and supplements, and they may have worked temporarily, but none of them were sustainable.”

An Option To Change Her Life

Doggett had a colleague at work who had gastric sleeve surgery, a weight loss procedure in which about 80 percent of the stomach is removed, leaving a pouch about the size of a banana. The surgery almost always uses a minimally invasive laparoscope and small incisions. “It was seeing her results and seeing how happy she was becoming that made me want to do it too.”

In 2020, Doggett consulted with Srinivas Kaza, MD, FACS, a board-certified general surgeon and director of Robotic, Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Wellington Regional Medical Center. Dr. Kaza had performed gastric bypass surgery on Doggett’s dad 10 years prior, and he did very well.

“My experience was amazing. Dr. Kaza and his staff were wonderful and made me feel welcome,” she said. “They took the time to get to know me and made me comfortable throughout the whole process. If I had to do it all over again I would because it was only a small sacrifice for a huge, life changing reward.”

Doggett said the surgery itself was really easy. She did not get sick afterwards and was walking around a few hours after the procedure. She was back at work in one week, and had no complications.

“Eating small amounts of the foods that I loved the most was frustrating at first because you still have your fat girl mindset to make a big plate, but over the course of time, it gets easier and easier and then you're actually proud of being able to turn down your favorite foods, Doggett added. “I am now over two years post op, and I can eat all of my favorite foods again without any issues. Again, the sacrifice is worth it in the end.”

Dr. Kaza, who has more than 20 years of experience performing weight loss surgery, is proud of his program at Wellington and his use of the latest technologies, including stapling devices, which provide better outcomes and fewer complications.

“I am proud dedicated surgical team, along with our dieticians, psychologists, and physical therapist, who work with patients throughout the process,” Dr. Kaza said. “We provide quality care and a great patient experience.”

Back To Living A Great Life

Health News Magazine, Wellington Regional Medical Center, Wellington, FL
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Today, life for Doggett is so positive and wonderful. After her surgery, she met her husband and married in 2022. He has supported her and watched her shrink about 80 pounds since they first met.

“I have lost 112 pounds in total and my confidence is sky high. My husband and I own a house, have two cats and two dogs, and we are currently trying for a baby,” commented Doggett. “I carry the tools that I learned during this process with me every day, and I love that I can only eat smaller portions. I still get to enjoy my favorite foods and drinks and I just know my limits when doing so.”

Doggett can’t say enough good things about the weight loss team. They are like family to her, and truly want to give patients the tools to change their lives for the better.  “You can have the surgery anywhere, but having a staff who genuinely wants to see you succeed is the most rewarding thing and makes such a big difference.”

Her advice to anyone who is considering the surgery, is just do it. “I promise you will not have any regrets. Life is too short, so live your life being your best self. l only wish that I had done it sooner.”