“In June 2021, I had my Revisional surgery, and I feel fantastic”

Lauran Harwood

first experience with weight loss surgery

From being seven years of age, Lauran can always remember being overweight. She has tried every diet; it would become a cycle of losing weight and then putting it back on. 

in 2015, Weighing 16 stone, she decided to take control of her weight and get weight loss surgery. Going with another UK provider she was recommended the gastric band and lost a remarkable 5 stone. “I lost a lot of weight quickly and to where I was quite deficient with nutrients”.

Following her Gastric Band procedure, she struggled with the rules and restrictions. Finding it difficult to get the correct nutrition and eat the right food. And, despite her best efforts to make the gastric band work, in 2019 she had all of her fill removed and gained all of the weight she had initially lost.  

Lauran’s has a fantastic career as a therapist, and she has done a lot of work around where eating behaviours come from. She believes that they have formed from being a child that has now impacted later in life. For Lauran, it became a vicious cycle, the more weight she put on, the less confident she was, and she would eat more to help her deal with difficult times. Eating was Lauran’s self-soothing, and she describes it as being unfortunate that nothing could replace it. 

“I sometimes think that many overweight people go through things like being bullied at school, and it knocks your confidence and self-esteem. Food becomes a comfort and self-soothing.”

Finding healthier weight

Unhappy with the weight she had gained and the cycle she had fell back into, Lauran wanted to make a change. She had considered having some sort of revision surgery in the past, before she got pregnant with her son, but she felt like price limited her, and at first, she did look at going abroad.

After some research into abroad clinics and stories her family talked her out of going down this path, which Lauran is forever grateful for. So, began to research revisional surgery in the UK. Rishi Singhal, our medical director, came up for being the best as he has performed over 2,500 bariatric operations in his career, and is widely recognised for his expertise in this area. 

Once she found Rishi she knew that he was the only person she would want to do her revision surgery, this time everything had to be right, it was her last chance at success with weight loss.

Lauran contacting our patient care co-ordinators at Healthier Weight and started her journey straight away.

“I had a telephone consultation; straight away, I knew he was the best. He knew what was going to be best for me. He explained to me why the band didn't work why the Bypass would be better.”

from gastric band to gastric bypass

Lauran was booked for the band to bypass revision surgery but when she got to the hospital and spoke to Rishi Singhal, he discussed the mini–Gastric Bypass. Our surgeons and Healthier Weight team will always give you suitable options to reach your healthier weight long term. Since Lauran discussed having more children in the future, he felt the Mini-Gastric Bypass was the best. “He was just so well informed; I felt in such safe hands and took his advice and went for it” – Lauran. 

Lauran had many people messaging her on Instagram asking about the surgery. She would get questions like, “Oh gosh, is it an invasive surgery”? But actually, Lauran would reply and say it was quite the opposite; she found the Gastric Band more invasive when she had it back in 2015 with a different weight loss provider.

 “I have had less complications. The recovery was so much better, and now I can eat and feel naturally full.” – Lauran.

it's helped lauran mentally

Weight loss surgery has been a tool that has helped thousands of people reach their healthier weight. Before having weight loss revisional surgery, Lauran put so much weight on that she felt there was no other way out. “I think weight loss surgery does give you that physical head start. Which then helps you see the light at the end of the tunnel. This gave me the motivation I needed”. When Lauran was 19 and a half stone before her revisional surgery, she expressed that she couldn’t see a way out of this. But now, she has lost seven stone since June 2021; she can see it is possible.

life after revision surgery

In terms of what Lauran can eat is similar to before, she may have a craving here and there, but the most significant difference is, “I have four pieces of chocolate and leave it. Whereas before I would have eaten the whole bag” – Lauran. Life is all about moderation and not seeing unhealthy food as bad; they are now a treat.

But Lauran’s life has changed, and it is more about the simpler things in life, such as walking upstairs, days out with her son and just feeling energised. Before surgery, she would carry her son up to the bed and feel so out of breath. Now she goes to soft play every week, and she can now climb through tunnels and go down the slide, whereas before, she was self-conscious about doing things like this, but now she is a free woman. It has been the smaller things in life that others may take for granted, and weight loss surgery has now enabled her to enjoy quality time with her son.

Weight loss surgery is a life-changing procedure, and it really can be your forever weight loss success, but it is natural before your procedure to have concerns and worries. Lauran’s biggest concern around having the Bypass was being deficient in vitamins and nutrients and being exhausted all the time. But, she has felt the opposite, “I feel a lot healthier, I just had my six-month blood test, and everything is perfect”. 

it's more than just weight loss surgery

“I’ve always been into fashion, but I always felt like oh I love that, but I’d never be able to wear it” But now Lauran channels confidence and self-love. For example, Lauran went shopping and saw a piece of clothing in size 12. She was like it was pointless, even trying it on in her mind. But she just went for it, and it turns out that the size 12 is actually too big for her she was mind blown.

Taking photos of herself is something she could never be able to do before her revisional surgery. Lauran would avoid it as she felt she looked unhealthy, and if someone took her photo without her knowing, that would be even worse. She would always have to ensure it was taken from a high angle. But now her partner will take photos of her and their son, and Lauran is shocked at the woman she is today, “ I look at it, and I’m like, wow, that is really me”.

Lauran also used to have low self-esteem, where she would find herself making up excuses to avoid social situations. This would be due to not knowing what to wear. But now, she has this new confidence and feels fantastic about herself. She will just go for it.

Her Revisional surgery has not just helped Lauran lose a phenomenal seven stone, but it has given her the motivation to go out with her friends and family and feel good about herself and enjoy the clothes she wears! Weight loss surgery is much more than just a procedure; it really does improve your life all round.

wedding bells set to ring

Lauran has such an exciting year coming up as in October 2022, she will be married to her partner. She has already said yes to her dress, and seeing herself in her wedding dress at a healthier weight left her startled.

In Seven months, Lauran feels like she has hit her goal physically and mentally, “ I am well over the moon to be able to achieve that in half a year”. But this year is going to be about building muscle, maintaining her new healthier lifestyle and getting married.

We are incredibly proud of Lauran for her achievement and dedication to her journey. We can’t wait to hear about her wedding later this year and her first abroad holiday since surgery.

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