Deb Braley

Advanced Laparoscopic, Bariatric, Endoscopic & General Surgery


Consumer’s Energy Retiree and Bariatric Surgery Patient

Bay City, Michigan

"The people at MidMichigan Medical Center - Gratiot made it easier for me. They gave me the tools and gave me a plan. I followed the plan faithfully and I have had good results. I feel great and I’ve reduced my risk of heart disease and diabetes."




A New Outlook on Life: Deb Braley's Story


Walking Her Way to Better Health

“I’ve struggled with weight my entire adult life. I just couldn’t keep it off,” said Deb Braley of Bay City. “I tried everything. I once dropped down to 150 pounds, but I gained it back.”

Because of health concerns, Deb knew she had to keep trying.

“I had very high blood pressure and was taking two different medications – in fact I was taking the maximum dose,” she said. “Plus, heart trouble and diabetes run in my family.”

Deb was hesitant about bariatric surgery until she learned about the adjustable gastric banding procedure at MidMichigan Medical Center - Gratiot.

Adjustable gastric banding surgery is performed using a laparoscope, a less-invasive approach than traditional open surgery. During the surgery, an adjustable silicone band is placed around the upper part of the stomach, creating a smaller pouch which subsequently feels full more quickly. By limiting the amount of food that can be eaten, the patient’s weight decreases until a stable weight can be maintained.

Deb chose Jeffery F. Smith, M.D., a board-certified general surgeon who specializes in bariatric surgery, to perform the surgery on her.

“Dr. Smith is very nice and very easy to talk to,” she said. “I didn’t have a bit of trouble with the surgery and I only had to stay in the hospital for one night. Everyone at the Medical Center is just great and treated me with respect.”

In Deb’s case, recovery time was fairly short. Eleven days after surgery, she took her pair of Boston Terriers for a short walk.

“I was told that exercise is very important to recovery and weight loss,” she said.
Continuing to exercise helped Deb shed 130 pounds in the year following her surgery. She now walks two and a half to five miles every day.

“Walking a dog is great exercise,” she offered. “If you need to, borrow a dog and walk it!”

Deb feels that support from the people close to her was vital.

“They told us in the pre-meetings that this is not something you do alone – you need your family behind you,” she said.  “My family is 100 percent behind me, especially at family gatherings, and my husband is the best. He sticks by me and looks out for me. When we go out, he makes sure we go where they serve foods I can eat.”

Even her neighbors are part of her support system.

“We live in a senior complex and have an exercise group that meets twice a week,” Deb said. “A nurse comes in periodically and she monitors my blood pressure.”

Deb knew the surgery meant a permanent change to her lifestyle.

“Once you have the band, your eating habits have to change,” she said. “I had to give up a few things, but it hasn’t been that hard. I personally had no problem changing how I eat.”

Her commitment to changing her lifestyle has paid off.

“I feel so much better,” Deb said. “I can run up and down stairs without being winded or short of breath.  I’m off my blood pressure meds, and I now wear a size 10!”
“It was a life-changing operation,” Deb said. “The people at MidMichigan Medical Center - Gratiot made it easier for me. They gave me the tools and gave me a plan. I followed the plan faithfully and I have had good results. I feel great and I’ve reduced my risk of heart disease and diabetes.”


Weight-Loss Testimonials

Alma Office

Warwick Medical Plaza
315 Warwick Drive, #3
Alma, MI 48801

Phone: (989) 463-6699
Fax: (989) 466-2574

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8am - 5pm

Mt. Pleasant Office

4851 E Pickard St
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858

Phone: (989) 463-6699
Fax: (989) 466-2574

Midland Office

MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland
Towsley Building
4201 Campus Ridge Drive, Suite 4050
Midland, MI  48640
Towsley Building Entrance - take elevator on right to 4th floor

Phone: (989) 463-6699
Fax: (989) 466-2574

Office Hours:
Thursdays - Bi-Weekly
1pm - 5pm

Clare Office

602 Beach Street
Suite 2240
Clare, Michigan 48617
Across from the Dougherty Hotel, behind the hospital

Phone: (989) 463-6699
Fax: (989) 466-2574

Hospital Affiliations

All of the surgeons at Great Lakes Surgical Associates have full, unrestricted privileges to practice general surgery at the two major hospital systems in Gratiot and Isabella Counties: Gratiot Medical Center and Central Michigan Community Hospital. We perform surgery at the following locations:
    MidMichigan Medical Center - Gratiot
    Mount Pleasant Surgery Center - Mount Pleasant
    MidMichigan Medical Center - Midland
GLSA Offices are also equipped with surgery suites for indicated office procedures.

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GLSA does not discriminate. Please read our non-discrimination policy listed below.

English - Spanish - Arabic

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