KYM'S REAL LIFE HORROR STORY WITH TURKISH WEIGHT LOSS COMPANY
FROM WAKING UP IN HER OWN SICK POST-OP TO THE HORRIFIC DISCOVERY OF HAVING HER GASTRIC BAND PORT LEFT INSIDE HER
Kym's First weight loss procedure with the gastric band
Kym Tuk had always battled with her weight. She had tried every fad diet and slim shake under the sun but, despite her best efforts, nothing seemed to help her lose weight. Her most successful stint was with the Cambridge Diet plan which saw her lose the most significant amount of weight but, it was difficult to sustain long term and she found herself slowly regaining the weight after a while.
In 2015 and wearing a dress size 22 Kym began researching a different avenue for weight loss; bariatric surgery. And, after a few months of looking into the procedures and surgeons, she decided to get the gastric band with a private UK company.
The initial success of the band happened quickly and Kym was happy with how the first year of having the band went. However, the next 4 years that followed were not as smooth and problems began to surface. The most troubling problem was that Kym could not sit down to eat anymore, the food would not pass and she found herself having a constant supply of nappy bags at the ready for when she would regurgitate the food.
This made social situations a nightmare. Although Kym was open about having the weight loss surgery with close family and friends, not everybody in her life knew. So, when eating out at a restaurant she had to make a string of excuses that allowed her to stand up between intervals of eating to allow the food to pass down and not throw up.
Being out of her aftercare period from the clinic that performed her surgery, there was nothing they could do to her assist her in helping to fix the problems the band presented. Therefore determined not to allow her life to be dictated by this, she started looking into different clinics abroad that could help.
REVISIONAL SURGERY WITH TURKISH WEIGHT LOSS COMPANY
When Kym began looking into getting weight loss revisional surgery for the gastric band she joined several Facebook groups about weight loss surgery. It was on here that a member recommended a company in Turkey. And, after seeing their name pop up a few times on the Facebook group she went on to do research into the company.
Everything about them seemed legitimate, they had positive reviews, good credentials and the total cost of the procedure and travel was a steal. Kym contacted the company and explained her history and current problems and they told her that to fix this she would need a band to sleeve revision surgery.
Happy with the price and the procedure she was told would be the fix to her problems, Kym went ahead a booked her surgery with the Turkish provider
Changing of hospitals one week prior to surgery
Kym had spent months getting to know everything about the company in Turkey, the Hospital she would be having her procedure in and the Surgeon that would be performing it. However, a short time before her surgery the company advertised a new hospital that bosted a highly experience team who had performed thousands of surgeries. So, Kym decided to relocate her surgery to the new hospital with one of the highly-rated surgeons there.
Contact prior to surgery
The only contact Kym had with the team was with two English ladies who set up the company. She never spoke to a surgeon or nurse, there were no in-depth discussions about her health or the different types of procedures available.
Kym didn’t think too deeply into this, as she assumed it was down to language barriers and that all the information she needed to know she was being told through them and vice versa.
It’s important to highlight that before any type of surgery, weight loss or other that every patient should have a consultation with their surgeon, blood tests, and medical history taken. If this is not offered to you be very wary of the clinic you are using
The attraction to most surgeries abroad is the low cost and this was no different for Kym. It was a fraction of the price that it would cost in the UK and she was getting a few days in Turkey on top of that.
No payment was taken from Kym prior to surgery. She was told to bring the total amount, in cash on the day of arrival and to pay it then.
It was one week before Kym’s surgery that she learnt who her surgeon would be when she was told the name of him. Having such a short amount of time to research a surgeon who will be performing a life changing operating can be unsettling. But, Kym was looking forward to her procedure and thought that the reviews and claims about the hospital and surgical team were to be trusted so had little worries.
It was only the day before her surgery that Kym got to speak to her surgeon, which was a brief encounter. But, Kym was focusing on the positive, she finally got her surgery done and her problems with eating would be rectified.
She was handed over a pile of documents to sign an hour before surgery. These were the first documents she had been given throughout her process with the company and they were all in Turkish. She had no time to translate them or try to understand. Instead, she was directed by a nurse on exactly what to sign on each page and, was taken down for surgery.
Waking up from surgery in her own vomit
Kym had raised concerns about her sickness after being under general anaesthetic. These concerns were ignored by staff as Kym woke she found herself lay in her own sick with nobody around to help or clean up. This was unfortunately only the start of the horrors to come from her experience with the Turkish company.
The nurse who came to change Kym’s dressing shocked Kym with the protocol of her hygiene. She recalls how the nurse didn’t wash her hands before touching her, nor after when going to change other patients dressing. She spent two days in the hospital before spending the last night in her hotel. On the last day, Kym just wanted to get back to the UK to her husband, recover and start living her life.
RETURNING HOME AND COMPLICATIONS
Unfortunately back in the UK was were more problems started to arise. The pain from the surgery was agonising and her wounds were not healing in the way she had expected. It was only days after the surgery that they started to become infected and even open up.
Forced to go to the walk in centre
With all 5 wounds infected,, she was having to redress them so much that she ran out of dressing and had no choice but in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic take herself to the walk-in centre. She was seen by nurse’s who redressed her wounds and gave her extra dressing to take home alongside a 7-day course of anti-biotics as a sterile dressing were not enough to treat the wounds and infections in all 5 laparoscopic incisions. Thankfully Kym is a trained nurse so she was able to do this from home.
This would not be the last trip Kym would have to take though, as time went on the wounds only became more and more infected. It got to the point where the one wound had re-opened and made a hole in her stomach. But, she had no choice but to continue to treat them herself and wait for them to finally heal.
Contacting the company for aftercare
When Kym contacted the Turkish company that performed her surgery she was told that to receive any aftercare from themselves that it would have to be done in Turkey. They strongly suggested that she seek help from the NHS.
Aftercare is a crucial part of any surgical procedure, especially with weight loss surgery. When booking a surgery abroad taking a long look into their aftercare policy is highly recommended. You need to know if/when something goes wrong you have a team to help you.
Discovering the gastric band port still inside of her
Disheartened by the lack of support from the Turkish company, Kym was thankful for her husband around her to help her through the emotionally and physically tough time. It was on one occasion where a hug was shared between the two that Kym felt a pop in her stomach, instantly she knew that it wasn’t right or normal and her first instinct was that it was the port from the gastric band she had in prior to her revision surgery.
Angry, upset and tired Kym immediately contacted the company in Turkey. How could they be so careless to do such a thing she thought, but, to no surprise they completely dismissed Kym’s claims, making her feel stupid for the evening thinking such a thing could happen.
Unsure of what to do or who to turn to Kym just wanted to forget the whole thing and focus on making the gastric sleeve work and losing weight. At this point, she had only lost a stone in 4 months and has said that it was only down to the stress of the situation she had been put in that she even lost that much.
SKIN REMOVAL AND MORE COMPLICATIONS
After a hellish 8 months post revision surgery Kym wanted to start a new chapter. After treating her wounds her self they had healed and she felt that the only thing holding her back from losing weight was her excess skin. She wanted it removed as soon as possible to move forward with her life.
Returning to Get Slim In Turkey
Kym knew that the company she had her revisional surgery with also had a procedure for skin removal. It was in the original hospital she had spent all her time prior to her first surgery researching. She felt that although she had problems with her healing from the band to sleeve revision surgery, that it was just an unfortunate scenario and not the company’s fault.
She booked her skin removal surgery with them, for a great price and felt happy that the surgeon doing it was somebody she had time to research and the hospital was a safe place.
The journey from booking to having the surgery was the same as it was the first time, which Kym thought was normal as she didn’t know any different. And, she felt much more prepared this time about knowing how procedures work at the clinic. She received her surgery, had a few days of recovery in the hospital and returned home, hoping that this was the start of her new life.
Confirmation of the port being left inside her
Still, Kym was sure about the port being inside of her from her revision surgery. Now being back in the place where it happened, she couldn’t help but try to get to the bottom of it all.
On the day of her skin removal, a staff member listened to Kym as she explained the discomfort in her abdomen since the surgery and, voiced her concern about the port. The staff member arranged an ultrasound and despite the company refusing to believe a port was inside her, the results spoke for themselves. It was very clear that it remained in her abdomen. With this discovery being hours away from her skin removal there was no time to arrange for it to be removed. The skin removal surgeon said if he could remove it safely he would but if not, it would remain inside her – which it did.
More infected wounds
Kym’s nightmare only continued, as just like her last experience her wounds didn’t heal. She had the exact same scenario on repeat, having to go to the walk-in centre to treat her own wounds, take time of work and get to the bottom of her savings to make ends meet, she was heartbroken about the whole situation.
This time, however, the company offered revision surgery to fix the scarring from the skin removal. The offer put Kym in a difficult situation, to go back to the same place that botched her twice? Or live with the constant scars reminding her of this awful time in her life? It’s a tough choice to make but being part of Facebook groups with patients in who have also been botched by the company has made Kym even more wary of ever going back.
HEALTHIER WEIGHT AND THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
A friend of Kym, Ellen, who also was on the receiving end of the poor surgery provided by the company in Turkey recommend Healthier Weight to Kym. She had also been left with a port from her band inside her from her band to sleeve revisions surgery. Our medical director Mr Rishi Singhal is an expert in the field of revision surgery and will be the surgeon to carry out the procedure for Ellen. After hearing about Rishi and Healthier Weight Kym wasted no time in booking her own consult to finally speak to a surgeon about her surgical problems.
The importance of aftercare and having the right surgeon
If there’s one positive thing to take from Kym’s whole experience it is that she knows now the importance of having the best aftercare plan for your surgery, because anything could happen.
At Healthier Weight we are experts in weight loss surgery. Our patient support team is on hand for patients whenever they need them, once you’re a patient with us you’re a patient for life.
Now with having her surgery with a UK clinic Kym can find out everything about her surgeon as all of our surgeons are NHS registered and on the GMC register so she can look up his credentials for comfort and peace of mind.
We hope that this is the light at the end of a long painful tunnel for Kym and will follow her journey throughout her recovery.
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