Mary Ellen DiPaola, RD, CDE, IBCLC has been a registered dietitian for over 25 years and has been employed by UCSF since 2007. She is a certified diabetes educator and international board certified lactation consultant. Her experience has been in the hospital outpatient setting providing medical nutrition therapy and counseling for weight management, diabetes, renal disease, cardiac health, gastrointestinal disorders, women health and infant/pediatric feeding issues.
Mary Ellen has been the dietitian for UCSF Bariatric Surgery Clinic since October, 2011, and participates in the bariatric support group to include periodic nutrition and behavior change education. She provides nutrition evaluation and weight management nutrition counseling for patients prior to pre-bariatric surgery, as well as medical nutrition therapy and counseling for post-bariatric surgery patients. Her training and experience in weight management includes a focus on individualized, realistic goal setting for permanent lifestyle change to aid positive weight management outcomes for improved health and well-being.
The story of James Dials', a gregarious 62-year-old limousine driver who weighed 400 lbs. and was down on his luck is riveting. “My life was very uncomfortable,” Dials said. “I was a diabetic and I injected insulin. I had high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol. I was on all kinds of medications.” That’s when he discovered the UCSF Bariatric Surgery Program, a Level 1 accredited center for weight-loss surgery by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network of the American College of Surgeons. “James had relatively advanced obesity,” says Stanley Rogers. M.D. , chief of Minimally Invasive Surgery and director of the Bariatric Surgery Center and Liver Tumor Ablation Program at UCSF Medical Center. “And we know that weight loss either with or without surgery can significantly impact those medical problems, and can make these medical problems called co-morbidities go away as weight loss occurs.” “I have all sorts of choices now,” he said. “It’s like a kid getting a new toy on Christmas. That’s how life is to me now. Everything is new in life now. I have more self-esteem and I care more about myself."