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Band surgery helped improve my health and wellbeing

*Weight loss surgery results and benefits differ for each individual. Results cannot be guaranteed

Procedure of choice         Gastric band

Starting weight                  26st 3.5lb

Current weight                   23st 8lb

Total weight loss                2st 9.5lb*

Trigger for weight loss       Health

My story

I chose to have gastric band surgery mainly for health reasons. At 24 years old and 167kg (26st 3.5lbs), my weight was causing me to be constantly tired and out of breath. It would have only been a matter of time before diabetes, heart disease and all the rest would have followed. I already had polycystic ovaries (PCOS) that were causing me to have acne and bad periods, and that in turn caused me to become anaemic.

I was in danger of having to have surgery to remove a big ovarian cyst when I decided to get the gastric band. This was my wake up call - I wanted to lose weight so that if I did have to have an ovarian cyst removed, at least it would be a lower risk procedure because I wasn’t so morbidly obese. Having weight loss surgery was a huge step for me. I was afraid of dying on the operating table but everything went fine and without complications. Afterwards I was in a lot of pain and spent two nights in the hospital. The ride home was agony as every jolt of the taxi sent another shot of pain deep in my bruised stomach.

However, this was a very small price to pay. When I was at my biggest, I was constantly embarrassed about my weight. Not necessarily about how I looked, but how out-sized I was. Fitting into bus and tube seats was a problem. As a frequent traveller, every time I flew on a plane, I’d have to go through the embarrassment of asking for an extension belt from one of the flight attendants.

Since having gastric band surgery in November 2008, I’ve lost around 17kg (2st 9.5lbs), but already that has been enough to get rid of the polycystic ovaries and the symptoms that go with them. Best of all, the large cyst has completely shrunk and disappeared due to my weight loss, meaning no more surgery.*

The only problem I’ve had since the operation is that my hair has thinned significantly. This is a side effect of the drastic change in the calorie intake my body has gone through. I am taking multivitamins and supplements but in the meantime I’ve just cut my hair from elbow-length to shoulder-length and got on with things.

In the future I look forward to losing a lot more weight due to this amazing little band and the staff at Healthier Weight. With that I hope to start horse riding again. It’s a sport I haven’t been able to do in years due to excessive weight. I am also looking forward to shopping in clothes shops that aren’t meant for plus sized women. I’ve never been one for mainstream fashion, to me clothes are a way to express myself, but I feel I can do that better if I have more choice than one or two stores. I still have some way to go yet, but it’s fair to say that the gastric band has changed my life already and I don’t regret it for a minute. 

By Jaana

March 2009

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*Weight loss surgery results and benefits differ for each individual. Results cannot be guaranteed

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*Weight loss surgery results and benefits vary and are different for each individual. As such, Healthier Weight cannot guarantee specific weight loss goals.