Patient Teams Up With Ethicon Endo-Surgery as She Embarks on Her Weight Loss Journey With the Help of Innovative Bariatic Surger

Real-life documentary series aims to dispel the myths associated with obesity surgery

CINCINNATI, April 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Tracy Mitchell, a 35-year-old married mother of four who has been struggling with her weight for over 12 years, is teaming up with Ethicon Endo-Surgery to launch "Heart on My Sleeve," a real-life documentary series which will provide a glimpse into her life as she confronts her health issues, takes control and learns to live her life after bariatric (weight loss) surgery.  Tracy began her struggle with weight after the birth of her second child, and successive births have contributed to additional weight gain over the years that likely played a large role in her developing Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.   "Heart on My Sleeve" includes a series of YouTube videos and Tracy's blog, with the aim of helping to educate individuals considering weight loss surgery options.

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Tracy has chosen the "sleeve gastrectomy" procedure – a restrictive surgical weight loss procedure that limits the amount of food the patient can eat and helps them feel full sooner.  Sleeve gastrectomy patients have been shown to experience significant weight loss and improvements in their health – in fact, certain studies show that patients lose an average of 55% of their excess weight.(1)  Tracy chose the REALIZE® Solution* for weight loss, which combines the use of select Ethicon Endo-Surgery devices for bariatric surgery with REALIZE mySUCCESS®, a Web-based clinical support tool designed to help patients achieve and maintain a healthier weight.

"Heart on My Sleeve" Highlights Include:

  • YouTube channel:  A series of videos will document Tracy's journey.  The initial three minute video shows how Tracy comes to terms with her weight and embarks on her weight loss journey
    • The series is designed to provide a glimpse into Tracy's life as she allows cameras to film her every day thoughts and decisions while managing her weight and health related issues
  • Tracy's blog:  Tracy will blog frequently to chart her progress and share her personal thoughts
  • "Heart on My Sleeve" Facebook Page:  The Facebook page will include regular updates about Tracy's weight loss journey
  • "Heart on My Sleeve" Twitter:  Supporters can follow her updates and Tweets
  • landing page:  The brand's page highlighting Tracy's journey and allowing people to find weight loss surgery seminars for more information

"'Heart on My Sleeve' is a partnership between the REALIZE Solution and me - and I'm honored to share my weight loss surgery story.  I've been inspired by so many others, so this is my way of giving back to all who have helped me," said Tracy.  "I hope that we can help correct the common misperceptions about weight loss surgery, and confront the stigmas associated with obesity and associated surgery."**

* All surgery presents risks. Weight, age, and medical history determine your specific risks. Ask your doctor if bariatric surgery is right for you. For more information, visit or call 1-855-2-REALIZE (1-855-2-732-5493).

** Tracy Mitchell is compensated by Ethicon Endo-Surgery for her time spent on the Heart on My Sleeve program.

About Ethicon Endo-Surgery

Ethicon Endo-Surgery develops and markets advanced medical devices for minimally invasive and open surgical procedures, focusing on procedure-enabling devices for the interventional diagnosis and treatment of conditions in general and bariatric surgery, as well as gastrointestinal health, gynecology and surgical oncology. More information can be found at


(1) Brethauer SA, Hammel JP, Schauer PR. Systematic review of sleeve gastrectomy as staging and primary bariatric procedure. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2009;5:469-475.

CONTACT:  David Shaffer, Ethicon Endo-Surgery
PHONE:  513-337-8281

SOURCE Ethicon Endo-Surgery