TikTok Influencer Shares Denver Health Weight Loss Journey to Help Others
July 18, 2023
Diana Corona walks down West Sixth Avenue in Denver talking on her phone, and to those who pass her, she may look like an average young woman chatting with friends. But Corona is on her way to her next follow-up appointment at Denver Health, and the people she is talking to are an audience of thousands from around the world. An average day for her includes time broadcasting live on TikTok, answering questions from some of her more than 17,000 followers around the world about her bariatric surgery. She doesn’t hold back, sharing all her struggles as well as her many triumphs.
Corona, 24, is a success story. She had a Sleeve Gastrectomy at the Denver Health Bariatric Surgery Center in September 2022 to improve her health and her quality of life. At her heaviest, in 2019, she weighed nearly 300 pounds. At the time of her surgery, she weighed 275.
"I decided to have the bariatric surgery because I was tired of being tired,” Corona said. "I was going day by day without life in me. I guess you could say I was a ghost. It got to a point when I looked at myself in the mirror and I said, 'I have to make a change for myself, and I decided to say it's OK to find help.'"
Corona fits the profile of a perfect bariatric surgery patient – she was motivated to make a change in her life and had tried other methods of weight loss without success.
"Good candidates for bariatric surgery often have put a lot of effort and time into trying to make lifestyle changes and lose weight with non-surgical options,” said Alexander Morton, MD, director of the Denver Health Bariatric Surgery Center. “Patients who are motivated and knowledgeable and looking for a tool that can help them lose weight are excellent candidates for bariatric surgery."
The Denver Health Bariatric Surgery Center offers patients the choice between the Roux en Y Gastric Bypass and the Sleeve Gastrectomy, which Corona had. Surgeons will educate their patients about the pros and cons of both to make sure they are making the right decision.
Corona has lost more than 100 pounds after her surgery with an ongoing commitment to an active lifestyle and careful dietary monitoring. “It feels amazing, it feels like I'm alive,” Corona said. Her goal is to get to 160 pounds.
She talks to her followers about her challenges, including feeling sick at times right after surgery and working as a server with the temptation of being around food all the time. Overall, now that she’s coming up on a year post-surgery, she feels much better, and finds it much easier to do her favorite outdoor activities such as hiking. She tells her followers that she has gotten her life back but a hundred times better.
She recommends the Denver Health Bariatric Surgery Center to anyone considering bariatric surgery.
"I know Denver Health, I've been to Denver Health, I'm super glad I chose them,” she said. “Their bariatric team is just an amazing team – they have been taking care of me since Day 1."
Denver Health offers bariatric surgery to adolescents and adults, ages 16-65. Cash/self-pay options are available, and most commercial insurance covers the procedures as well. Financial assistance is also available to those who need it.
The Denver Health Bariatric Surgery Center stands out from other bariatric programs because of the individualized diet education all patients get from a registered dietitian. These one-on-one appointments happen before and after surgery, and patients can continue seeing a Denver Health dietitian for life after surgery to help them stay on track. All appointments are done in Denver Health’s state-of-the-art Outpatient Medical Center, which opened in 2021.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” Corona said. “They have treated me like family. If you ask me again would I get it? I would get it again, and I would go to Denver Health again."
Begin your journey now at DenverHealth.org/Bariatrics.
To join Corona’s community on TikTok and learn more about her journey, you can follow her @DianaCorona_VSG.