Mark Branham Regained His Health and Energy After Losing More Than 90 Pounds with Gastric Banding Surgery

Mark Branham is a 48-year-old Louisville resident who works as a fire equipment specialist at the University of Louisville. When he decided to commit to serious weight loss by undergoing gastric banding surgery through the Baptist Health Floyd Weight Management Center on March 8, 2010, he weighed in at 298 pounds. When we spoke with him in August, only five short months later, he had already lost more than 90 pounds.

Ashley Lankford, MD, FACS

“Mark is the perfect example of why gastric banding surgery works for the right patient. He lost his weight safely and healthfully, yet rapidly, because he was motivated and compliant. Those are the two most important factors to success, a true desire to make the changes that are necessary, and the willpower to stick with them. If a patient can commit to those two things, they’re sure to have success like Mark’s.”

Ashley Lankford, MD, FACS
Board Certified General Surgeon
Baptist Health Floyd Weight Management Center

As Mark puts it, “Losing 90 pounds is just one of the changes in my life since having surgery. Getting healthy takes motivation and determination, but it also takes energy, and I had none. All the health problems my excess weight had caused were literally weighing me down. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 10 years ago, my cholesterol was high and my triglyceride levels were off the charts. I was taking the maximum dosage of oral medications for my diabetes, and the next step was going to be insulin shots, which was really scary. On top of that I was tired all the time, started developing sores that wouldn’t heal, and couldn’t walk long distances or handle stairs very easily. My job involves climbing ladders and crawling into tight spaces all day to check smoke detectors and fire equipment, so it was a challenge to get through each day.”

Angela Crone, MD

“I’ve seen Mark several times since his surgery, and every time he comes in I’m amazed at his improvement. I couldn’t be more proud of him. He’s been able to completely stop his blood sugar and cholesterol medications, and he’s well on his way to totally coming off his diabetes medications and managing it with lifestyle alone.”

Angela Crone, MD
Board Certified Family Medicine Physician
Baptist Health Floyd Medical Group-Northgate

Mark continued, “That’s when I decided something had to give. I checked into it, and my health insurance covered the gastric banding surgery, in fact my total out of pocket expenses were less than $1,000. When you consider all the medications I was taking, it was much more affordable to have the surgery and improve my health than to not have it and continue down the road I was on. Now I’m totally off of my cholesterol medications and I only take one pill for my diabetes, but I’m on my way to coming off that soon too.

My goal is to get down to 180 pounds, which is my ideal weight for being 5’9”. I’m losing a pound or two a week right now, so I think I can reach my goal before my one-year surgery anniversary in March 2011. I want to celebrate by going to an amusement park since I’ll finally be able to fit in the seats!”


… Mark focused on setting attainable goals and not being too strict with his choices so that he wouldn’t get burnt out and could maintain his new lifestyle long-term. Here’s how he did it:


  • No energy to exercise or get out of the house after work
  • Ate out frequently, including regular visits to fast food restaurants and buffets
  • Indulged daily in sweets and high-calorie soft drinks


  • Walks 3.5 miles and runs 1 mile 5-6 days per week at a local park
  • Cooks simple, healthy meals at home, where he uses a small plate to eat smaller portions and eats only one food at a time. Packs lunches from home such as tuna salad and crackers rather than eating fast food.
  • Doesn’t drink soft drinks at all and instead drinks plenty of water. Only eats sweets on special occasions.

The Numbers Speak for Themselves

One benefit of choosing to have gastric banding surgery at the Baptist Health Floyd Weight Management Center is the follow-up care and counseling that the program offers at no extra cost. Lab work is done before and after surgery to track patients’ health improvements, and Mark’s was especially remarkable.

Before Surgery After Surgery
Triglycerides 315 100
Cholesterol 148 142
A1c 8.1 6.2
Blood Glucose 159 98
Body Mass Index (BMI) 45 31
Blood Pressure 138/70 104/60

Free Informational Seminars

Interested in finding out if you’re a candidate for weight loss through gastric banding surgery? Call 1-800-4-SOURCE or visit to sign up for a free seminar given by Dr. Lankford.

Upcoming Seminars:
Saturday, September 18, 10 a.m.
Tuesday, October 12, 6 p.m.
Saturday, October 30, 10 a.m.
Tuesday, November 16, 6 p.m.