Former Athlete and Ironworker Gets His Active Life Back After Weight-Loss Surgery   

Former Athlete and Ironworker Gets His Active Life Back After Weight-Loss Surgery

Jeff Castillo
Jeffrey Castillo, 42, had been active for much of his life. A former high school athlete, he owned the New Jersey Lions, a semi-pro football team, for nine years and played on the team. He also previously worked as an ironworker, carrying steel on his shoulder. Most recently, he began driving an 18-wheel truck for his father-in-law’s construction company. 

“That’s when my health problems started,” he says. Sitting behind the wheel all day, he began putting on weight, until last year he weighed over 313 pounds. 

An Ideal Candidate 

Jeffrey suffered from several problems as a result, including sleep apnea. He used a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at night, but his weight made sleeping extremely difficult. During the day, he would nod off in the driver’s seat while the dump truck was being loaded. After work, he’d fall asleep on the couch, wake up for dinner, then fall into bed. 

Dieting and even working with a nutritionist didn’t lead to weight loss. Then a friend told him about the gastric sleeve bariatric surgery he’d had with Ayotunde Adeyeri, M.D., a bariatric surgeon at Old Bridge Medical Center. 

Jeffrey met with Dr. Adeyeri, who let the South River, New Jersey, man know he was an ideal candidate for weight-loss surgery. Dr. Adeyeri says. “People with a body mass index greater than 35 and with at least one or two obesity-related comorbidities meet the criteria,” Dr. Adeyeri says. “Besides weighing more than 300 pounds and having sleep apnea, Jeffrey was taking medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He also had diabetes.”

Feeling Like a Million Dollars

In September 2021, Jeffrey had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy at Old Bridge. With this surgery, about 85 percent of the stomach is removed in order to limit the amount a person can eat and also addresses hunger hormones.

Within six months after surgery, Jeffrey had already lost about 100 pounds. He turned a shed in his backyard into a gym, and he is on his treadmill 3 miles a day. 

“Dr. Adeyeri gave me my life back,” Jeffrey says. “I’ve been able to stop about four of five medicines, and my sleep apnea and diabetes are gone. I feel like a million dollars now.” 

Dr. Adeyeri suggests that anyone considering weight-loss surgery meet with a bariatric surgeon to discuss it. “You may be dealing with some of the same issues Jeffrey was, and a bariatric surgeon can go over the options with you,” he says.

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