I had gastric bypass surgery in 2008, and I want to tell you about my particular experience. I want to share some of the answers to the questions I was asking myself when I was considering the surgery. If you are having serious problems with your weight like I did, then this page is for you!!
What’s my story? I was a “thin child” up till my parents separated when I was 11 yrs of age, then with all the emotional upset (and there was lots) I comfort ate and my weight went up and up… I remember being 14 yrs of age and 14 stones, 16 and 16 stones – the weight went up and up as the years went by.
I had tried weight watchers, slimming world, and even dietitians over the years for more help – I couldn’t understand why I was so fat. I ate lots of fresh vegetables and fruit and my only downfall was chocolate, most days I would eat a small bar but only ever one – I never gorged myself, so I just didn’t get it! In fact the only time I lost weight was when I was pregnant – at 9 months pregnant on both pregnancies I was 1-1½ stone under my starting pregnancy weight!
I damaged my heel about 15 years ago and this reduced my mobility greatly. Even after 2 operations on it I had great pain and difficulty in walking – the dietitians just said that I needed to mobilise more, then I would lose weight. So I was in a vicious circle – I was trying to eat more healthily, but the weight would not come off as I was unable to walk enough. I was also working 12 hour shifts as a nurse, so my eating pattern was out of the window 3-4 days a week.
At this point I thought “I need help more than the slimming clubs etc can give me”, so I set myself the task of reading more about weight loss surgery. Being a nurse I had more “access” to medical journals, and I read voraciously. To be honest, I was not keen on gastric band surgery as it seemed to work for some people and not others, and there was no guarantee that I would lose the weight I desperately wanted to (in fact, I came to realise there is never a guarantee!). I was also not keen on having a gastric balloon in my stomach that would need to be removed after a certain time.
Which led me to gastric bypass surgery – I then started looking at the companies involved and probably wrote and spoke to at least 6 different companies who did bypass surgery. My last port of call was Healthier Weight, and I researched the company and their surgeons, and eventually made the appointment to see Dr Ashton. He was the only one who did not try to “sell” me anything, and we sat and we talked at length with no hurry and no rush.
At the end of my consultation he agreed on why he felt gastric bypass would be the best obesity surgery* for me and here I am 14 months on from my op writing this for you!